Mangia, Mangia
Sunday, September 30, 2001

Mangia, mangia!

That's what Italians say when they want you to eat.  Literally, it means, "Eat, eat!" It really means "Eat with gusto!" 

My husband's essence is true Italian. Eating and cooking are at the core of his existence.

DH shows his love by feeding me. My preference is home-cooked food.  Italian cooking -- beyond pizza -- is my favorite. The dining establishment of choice is our mountain home, with its quiet, comfortable, and intimately private spaces -- our sitting room, porch or  dining room, depending on the season, away from the hustle, bustle and clatter of restaurants. 

My husband knows all of this.  Yesterday, for my birthday, he was my personal Italian chef, cooking and feeding me all day long.

After we attempted to walk off some of that huge mouth-watering breakfast, enjoying the company of our dog-kids, stopping to chat awhile with neighbors, and taking in the beauty of the trees and late summer flowers, DH was back in the kitchen, whipping up lunch.  He prepared another of my favorite meals: linguine con vongole (linguine with clams), redolent with the aroma of garlic, oregano, parsley and basil. 

I''ve wondered how Italians in Italy can have such a passionate love affair with food, lingering long at the table as they do, and get away with it. Their incidence of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other Western diseases is low compared with ours. They must know something we don't. 

I think I know some of their secret:  Eat smaller portions, talk about the pleasant things in life, and savor, savor, savor.  I did exactly that, and I was sated, but not at all stuffed.

We took another long walk, this time among the lengthening shadows of the tall pine trees.  Perfect fall  temperatures. 

"Peaceful, it's oh so peaceful here."

Late in the afternoon, DH was once again in the kitchen, preparing dinner. Using fresh ingredients --no chemicals or preservatives--  and simple preparation, DH prepared a classic Italian dinner: a Portofino salad of spicy arugula, escarole and kale; pork chops pounded thinly and lightly pan fried in olive oil and garlic, then smothered with green onions and capers; and boiled, then pan-fried red potatoes. 

With the words, "Mangia Bene e Bevi!  (Eat Well and Drink!)" resonating in my thoughts, we sat down to dinner.  Leisurely, we wined and dined with pleasure. Simplicity in all its elegance

At 7:30 pm, we were officially both 50 years old.  In the glow of candlelight, we toasted in our new decade with Black Mountain Merlot.

DH presented me with a birthday card.  A beautiful black card with a dramatic red heart with the words " I'd Marry You All Over Again" across the top...and a sweet Happy Birthday sentiment inside.  

Having a personal chef who is a hopeless romantic like me, it doesn't get better than this. My DH sees me and likes what he sees.  He perceives and appreciates what he perceives.  He loves me for who I am.  Just as I do him.  

DH is my dessert in life. 


Grazie, mio amore, 
 for your countless gifts of love.
You are my best birthday gift, DH.

Molto bene,
Author Unknown


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, September 29, 2001.
September Morn 2001