I love to prepare food for family, friends and neighbors. That is the Italian in me, like a shepherd dog trying to herd them all together around a table, that is my alltime favorite thing to do. I love to plan special dinners and they are not special because of the ingredients, no, they are special because of the company.
You see the Italian way of eating is a little bit different. There is no real breakfast, it’s mostly just a cup of coffee, accompanied by a cookie or a something sweet. The most Italians have breakfast on their way to work in a bar, where they order an espresso or cappuccino with a small cornetto or other pastry. Italians don’t see the need to sit down for breakfast, it’s just a quick stop before the day starts.
Lunch is suppose to be the main meal of the day, no matter what Olive Garden tells you. Lot’s of Italians still drive home during lunch hour to eat with the family. It’s mostly a two course meal and starts with a form of pasta or risotto. The second course “secondo” is either a fish or a meat dish with vegetables or salad. Desserts are not typical during the week, they are reserved for the weekends.
Dinner is a much lighter meal. Cold cuts, cheese and bread, soups and salad, vegetables and fruits, nothing too heavy before bedtime.
The Italian dinner, that we so often see in movies or advertisement, is reserved for the weekends and special occasions. That’s when the Italians invite family and friends, drink wine and sit and eat for hours. Times have changed a little bit and many people in larger cities can’t return home for lunch anymore and are forced to have their main meal in the evening, so the whole family can sit at the table and discuss the day’s events.
That’s what its all about, sitting together enjoying a meal and that’s what I love. Not the everyday thing, when I have to throw dinner together after a long day, but the special get togethers. Planning is half of the fun. I can sit there for hours, surrounded by cookbooks and you will see me write and re-write shopping lists for days and I drive from store to store, because nothing seems to be out of my way. Then there is the actual cooking. Music in the background, cutting and chopping food, juggling pots and pans as needed and all of it with a big smile on my face, knowing, that we all will be sitting down around a table soon with lots of talk and laughter, that’s my alltime favorite food.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”