Rising from the bleak

OK, look, I'm going to admit that the last post was pretty bleak. Yes, I'm fearful. But Dan has also been lucky to find a job. The New York market is better than so many others. And now I have total dominion over the kitchen again, which is a very, very fine place to rule. Let me tell you. It's true that I have to call Dan each afternoon on the cell to ask how to cook the meat. Is that really such a big deal? Have I lost all credibility as a female for admitting that? I do bring something to the party, and what I bring is roughage. Yes, yes, fruits and vegetables and all the wonderful nutrients they carry. Last night, we ate two cucumbers from our neighbor's garden. Ralph, our neighbor, brought them over in person and delivered about seven cucumbers. OK, so, who wants to guess whether Ralph is Italian?? Anybody? He used to own a butcher shop with his son, R&S Meats. Anybody?

Yes, OK, I know that it was not much of a contest. Ralph is indeed of Italian descent. And you know, I love this about Italian men of a certain generation that they grow all this fresh produce in the season. When I was a grade-school girl, I lived across the street from Ann-Marie Andrews whose grandfather was named Parisi.

Mr. Parisi had this extraordinarily tiny garden fenced in in the back yard, but he grew an amazing amount of produce on that plot. He staked his tomatoes high -- they were Romas, I think -- and they were beautiful. Very red and bottom-heavy. I had dinner with the Andrews/Parisis one time. They asked me, have I ever tried mushrooms? Never, I said. I remember my first taste of the mushrooms over pasta, and I have loved them ever since. Buon apetito!

Wait, OK. Isn't this a blog about job loss? I am lost in the past (and the pasta) and reminiscence. I apologize. One last indulgence before I sign off. My daughters loved Ralph's cucumbers. That's what I meant to say when I started out here. The vegetables were especially flavorful because they were locally grown and they were a gift -- or at least, so we imagined. Also, I love having some of my domestic role restored. I love making dinner, even if we are sitting down late (8-ish) for a bite and shared conversation.