Saturday, January 24, 2004

Stone Soup

Last night Antonello and I had friends over for dinner for the first time since I arrived. I didn't really think four people could fit comfortably in my tiny underground apartment, but there was room enough for all of us, and plenty of food to go around.

I made my dad's veggie soup which always reminds me of home when I make it. Just the smell, invading my basement Macerata kitchen, brought back memories of our kitchen back home in Indianapolis, all of us checking the soup pot every once-in-a-while to see if it's ready to eat. It's almost a group effort back home, but here I was all by myself, cooking half the afternoon to make that soup, sandwiches, onion rings, and salad. A feast for four people.

The dinner went well, and everyone seemed to like the soup. It was nice to gather around like that and share a little something of home with friends that I hadn't seen in months. Afterwards, Antonello brought out his photos from America, and we shared photos and funny stories (the American Coffee story!), and Antonello proudly spouted out various facts he remembered from our trip. We ate plum crostata and Pandoro di Verona.

When our friends left, Antonello turned to me and smiled. We had accomplished a dinner party, of sorts. I was exhausted.

The true test will be today, though. For lunch we are offering the rest of the soup (I always make enough for 60 people, even when I try not to) to Antonello's mom and grandma. Everyday I eat lunch at their house, and now they can try something from mine. I'm eager to see how it goes.


Update: His mamma liked the soup! She even called it buonissimo, which I take as a serious compliment. His grandma on the other hand...well, she didn't really comment on how the soup tasted, just the fact that we called it soup at all. "Soup? Oh, that was soup? Believe me, I have had plenty of minestrone, which is what I would consider soup, and..."


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