Clang, clang, clang went the trolley~
Standing on a platform waiting for a train in Rome can be a nerve wracking experience, especially when you are alone and don’t speak the language. When I first traveled to Viterbo, Italy in August 2005, I had to change trains in the outskirts of Rome in order to get to Viterbo. The hour wait seemed unending. I had been up for over 24 hours and I was a little anxious about meeting the Stefanis—the family that I would live with for an entire month.
Now, five years later I am still anxiously waiting with regards to the Stefanis. It was for a train back then, now it is for a book.
My manuscript “Beyond the Pasta: 28 Days of Recipes, Language, and Life with an Italian Family” is in the process of being submitted to publishers and literary agents. I am waiting for the “literary train” to arrive at the “publishing platform”—sadly, there is no timetable posted for this track.
Submitting a manuscript for approval is somewhat comparable to auditioning for a role in theatre. I stopped being an actor in college because the angst of having to wait for the casting notice to post after an audition stretched my patience to the end of my last nerve. In college theatre the wait was usually a week and that was too much for me. When it comes to publishing the wait can be up to two months—eight weeks. Ugh! You might just find me in the front yard, spinning in circles, while I try to survive this wait.
Time is culturally different for Americans and Italians. As Americans, we want everything now. We are young and impetuous—time is fleeting. For Italians, whose culture has been around for thousands of years, there is always tomorrow—domani. Time plods forward leaving room to savor life, because what doesn’t get done today—“Eh? C’è domani sempre—There is always tomorrow.”
While I wait and spin, my impatience losing the battle against Time, I am looking into ways to increase this blog’s profile in the blogoshere. Soon I will be adding podcasts. I am excited by that medium. Recently I have registered this blog with Twitter. You can add it to your Twitter following list by searching the user name “beyondthepasta.”
Things to look forward to in the near future:
-I was asked by www.dishKarma.com to do an “Ultimate Meal” video for their blog. I have done the video and it should be posted on their site later this week. I’ll post here when the video is on dishKarma and you’ll be able to go to their site and check it out.
-Podcasts. I hope to get the first one done this coming week, so look for that link. I am excited about bringing Italy, its food, people, and culture to podcast listeners in addition to the blog community.
-There is one more video with Nonna. That should be coming toward the end of February.
-And, last but not least, maybe by the end of this month there will be some encouraging news on the publishing front—whether it is an agent or a publisher. Buona Fortuna!
This past weekend has been all about Italian food here in the Deep South:
-Friday night I went over to some friends’ house where we ate pasta with black truffles, butter, and cheese. The Guests of Honor at the party are going to Rome, Florence, and Venice in late March and we provided them with as much knowledge of sights, restaurants, and transportation as we could—especially after lots of wine and two bottles of port. Oddio!
-Saturday’s lunch was at a friend’s house…she is Italian and is from Rome. Her fresh pasta was made with her hen’s eggs. There is nothing more beautiful than the orange yolks of a fresh egg—or the deep golden yellow of pasta made with them. The pasta was served with three different sauces: (1) pancetta, parmesan, peas, and onions, (2) pancetta and onion, (3) eggplant, ricotta cheese in a tomato sauce. Buonissime! She also made chicken cooked with rosemary, wine, and cream and, for dessert, a large serving platter of tiramisu—which also used her hen’s fresh eggs.
-Sunday, in keeping the weekend all about Italia, I made fettuccine alla puttanesca (whore’s pasta) and involtini. The pasta sauce is tomatoes, capers, black olives, anchovies, garlic, and parsley. Involtini are meat rolls…thinly sliced pieces of sirloin rolled around a mixture of carrots, onions, arugula, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. They were cooked in a garlic, tomato sauce.
Everywhere I went this weekend was perfumed with the heavenly scent of Italian food and standing outside the front door of Saturday’s lunch reminded me of standing in Nonna’s kitchen in Viterbo—buono profumo!
Ciao e a presto~
(*) The photo is of the clock tower in Montepulciano in Tuscany. The tower is topped with the Commedie dell’arte character Pulcinella—a character that is famous for being mean and crafty, often beating people to get his point across. Interesting that here he is beating time. If only I could do the same.