The torta di ricotta was a smashing success at Robert’s dinner party last night, if I do say so myself.
And I am one lucky girl, because I still have some ricotta left in the fridge. The only thing better than torta di ricotta is fresh ricotta straight off the spoon.
Robert has been taking a cooking class and produced a beautiful spread for fourteen(!): braised “Riviera” chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, onions, and paper-thin slices of lemon and lime; a pasta salad with sliced radishes, dill, and chunks of some sort of creamy mild white cheese; sautéed zucchini rounds with garlic; and a baby arugula salad. At some point after dinner, I sang “What a Feeling” (from Flashdance, in case you’ve forgotten: “Firrrrrst when there’s nothing…but a slow glowin’ dream…that your fear seems to hide…deep inside your mind…”) with piano accompaniment. I didn’t even have to look at the lyrics; I knew them by heart. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has heard me sing, you know how painful this was for me and all involved. Oh, what a feeling.
This morning was cool and sunny, very dewy and golden. I woke up an hour earlier than I’d wanted to, and when I realized my mistake I climbed back into bed, on top of the covers and with the fan pointed directly onto me. I woke up an hour later with little icicles for feet. It was delicious. I walked down to the farmers’ market and came away with more of those sweet Romano beans, little French filet beans, four lemon cucumbers, one squatty head of soft red leaf lettuce from Willie Greens’, and a pound of the first Italian prune plums I’ve seen this year. I’m sooo excited. Prune plums! Quetsches! They sound even more exciting in French. Back at home, lunch was routine but mighty fine: a sandwich of barely toasted wheat bread with creamy salty peanut butter and La Trinquelinette apricot jam, a pile of blanched Romano and filet beans, and half a cold sweet-tart Early Gold apple. Peanut butter never stops hitting the spot.
While I was eating lunch and listening to the radio, something reminded me of an odd discussion I got into with one of my classes of high school students when I was teaching in France from 2001-2002. The context is blurry, but I remember saying something like, “It’s all about food, sex, and Star Wars, honey!” I have no recollection of what led to my making that exclamation, but holy holy, how inappropriate, Molly. One thing is infinitely clear to me: they should have never let me loose on those kids. But their English conversation abilities were quite excellent by the end of the year. Quite excellent.
Oh, Saturday, Saturday.