Thursday, November 25, 2004

Giving Thanks

Here in Italy, Thanksgiving is like any other day. I almost forgot what day it was until last night when my brother called me, he and his wife Carolyn busy making quiches and stuffing and turkey for today's feast. We, instead, plan to have our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night, with a couple of Americans and their husbands, and I'm still not sure if there will be a turkey involved or not.

This Thanksgiving morning, busy thinking over my list of items for dinner on Saturday, I took a walk into the Macerata countryside--a normal ritual for me that gives me some fresh air and time to think, with some nice views of Italy from all around.

I took a longer route than usual, and as I walked and thought about what to cook, what to buy, what time to have dinner, etc., I noticed that the rows of trees that lined this part of the country had all turned orange--their leaves ablaze with color in the autumn morning light. It felt like fall. It hasn't felt like fall since fall started, but now it did with the colors of the leaves, the briskness of the air, the city hazy and sparked with sunlight in the distance.

And that's when I really remembered. Today is Thanksgiving. There is a lot to be thankful for, I thought, continuing up the hill back toward home. Even in this corner of Italy, on just a regular Italian Thursday in November.

Mom, Dad, Paul, and Carolyn--have a great day and a wonderful Thanksgiving meal!
Corrie--thanks for the quote! I love that poem! Hi to your family for me and enjoy California!



This may have been a previous Allora, Aspetta quote...but I'm thankful for a somewhat dappled memory.

"Glory be to God for dappled things -
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim."

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

Buon giorno di ringraziamento - happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Which cows make the chocolate milk?

It was a misty, gray, and cool afternoon when the brown swiss sauntered toward me from across the field. One thought crossed my mind...Move!

Yesterday the Indianapolis chapter of Slow Food met at Traders Point Creamery to help bring in the cows (brown swiss, horns and all), watch the milking process, and taste milks and yogurt good enough to make anyone yodel.

The hippy chickens were waddling around the farm when we arrived. Delicately, we all danced our way throw the piles of, um, brown swiss pies to help corral the massive animals into the milking barn. The kids were having fun getting their boots suctioned into the lovely mud. In the end, even adults were climbing fences, petting calves, and naming favorite cows.

This small, young organic dairy makes three kinds of yogurt, a couple kinds of cheese, and four varieties of milk, including whole. Once available only by visiting the creamery personally or by happening upon a booth at the local farmers' market, Traders Point is opening the door to the corporate world (I've seen their shiny glass bottles in Marsh supermarkets) but keeping the mud on their shoes. Committed to organic and sustainable farming, the proof is in their product, not in the board room.

Muddy, but happy and full of yogurt, we pecked out the door like the chickens stumble out of the hen house first thing in the morning. A final question from one young visitor with a brown mustache made me smile, "Which cows make the chocolate milk?"