Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reinventing the Past

Are we hard-wired to remember tragic events over the good? It seems that way. Maybe it's just me. Sure, I’ve had peak high days of utter joy but they don’t have the same razor sharp clarity as the bad events. It’s as if the emotional muscle memory can't let go. Those moments in time that just hang there like fossils preserved in Lucite. The words etched in your memory: Dad died.  Your brother is dead.  Mom is gone. There is no turning back certain days, or pressing delete on the calls that defined them. 

So today, in honor of my brother, I'm starting a new tradition to change the energy around this tragic milestone. I’ve decided to turn it into a mini celebration and try to access the joy division of his life. 

Lucky for me Traverso’s  the Italian Deli in Santa Rosa is having a moving sale so I was able to get all the “ode to a good life” supplies at 25% off. 

Since my family background is Italian I thought it fitting to do this with an Italian theme. I love Traverso’s; the array of Italian products, the special cheeses and meats remind me of my childhood, but without all the angst and screaming. (Hey, Italians can be a bit overwrought you know.) But food and wine makes it all better. 

I filled my cart with items to create a classic Italian antipasti spread. Along with some cheese from the Dolomites and salami, I got Filetti di Acciughe--Anchovies with capers, Flott Tuna (the worlds' greatest tuna IMO), and a few different types of Sicilian CaponataCaponota is a Sicilian dish made of eggplant and olives and capers, tomatoes, celery, peppers and vinegar and it’s just the most fantastic thing in the world. It’s my go to de-stress food. The food I find most comfort in. It’s like Italian Valium to me. My Mother and Grandmother were master caponata makers. Once we spent the whole day making enormous vats of it for me to take back to school and in the process burned out the element on my mom’s electric stove. I went back to school with three huge jars and hid them from my roommates. It's not that I'm not into sharing, but this stuff was like high grade smack and equally addictive. I did not want to be responsible for creating any new caponota addicts with my antipasto gateway drug.  

In the wine department I found two of my favorite wines from Sardegna the Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino and the Argiolas Costera made of Cannonau grapes which I recently discovered is the same grape as Grenache. These wines are easy drinkers and a great value at under $20. I’ve been drinking these wines for years but I noticed they have been sort of discovered lately and I even saw the Vermentino was mentioned in Wine Spectator, so the price has been creeping up. I also grabbed bottle of Cinque Terre Vendemmia a very delicate dry white wine that I have never seen outside of the Cinque Terre. Probably with good reason as I don’t think this wine travels all that well. But what the heck, it's most excellent paired with something like Acchugie with capers. So I got a bottle of that too. 

Tonight I as I lay out this Traverso repast, I'll raise a glass to my brother and try to hold on to the better memories now and in the future. –Ciao ciao

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