Diet or Die
A Winter Mostarda
When frightening phone calls drive Rose out of her apartment, grocery shopping seems like a safe distraction. She shops on Bleecker Street, with a quick detour onto Cornelia for Murray’s. You can still visit most of these stores, although you’d find Murray’s around the corner on Bleecker now, and Ottomanelli’s in a different building. Faicco’s remains at the same spot, but Zito’s and the Vegetable Garden closed. While Rose visited these markets as part of her regular errands in 1986, the surviving stores now qualify as food meccas. The search for semolina bread as wonderful as Zito’s continues.
Someone somewhere might even have published a self-help book that could be a good source here. The Detective’s Diet, or Mystery Munchies, or, most likely, Diet or Die. She’d have to check Books in Print soon. Never give in to fear until you’re sure your bibliography is complete. Grab at every little bit of comfort laughing at yourself offers….
Like a Jamesian heroine on her first European visit, a plain New England compote surrenders its innocence to wine and spices, then accomplishes the complex and sophisticated decadence of an Italian treasure.
Serve with assorted cheeses, salumi, smoked fish, or even a boiled dinner.
4 dried figs, stemmed and cut into 4 to 6 pieces each
2 cups of other dried fruit, perhaps golden raisins, dried apples, dried apricots, dried cherries, dried cranberries, or other favorites. Try to pick 4 types, balancing light and dark colors, and use ½ cup of each. Cut any larger slices into smaller pieces so they don’t bully the dried berries and raisins, etc.
At Swim Two Words
La Serenissima mirrors the labyrinth
of the human heart.
Venice seduced me before the water taxi crossed the lagoon from Aeroporto Marco Polo. Dazzled by the light, the water, the famous silhouettes assuming their fantastic shapes through the early morning mist, I surrendered to the city at first sight.
On my honeymoon, I wondered if this meant I was unfaithful.
Questions of fidelity seemed unimportant once we reached the small landing dock of the hotel Monaco e Grand Canal. The youngest porter had stolen his face from a coin. The concierge’s deep eyes had winked at years of assignations. I wondered what the wind had done to my hair and smiled at my husband.
In Ireland, everything was grand.
Dublin was grand; Dublin was lovely. Why wouldn’t I like a city where most of the people looked like they could be my cousins and everyone sounded like my father?
Dublin was also very cosmopolitan. Three of the Internet cafes I’d given up searching for in Italy flourished within a few blocks of my hotel. Grafton Street store windows flaunted styles Soho might envy, while restaurant menus featured salads of mesclun. Banner ads on the sides of buses offered help with depression. Things had changed since my visit with my father thirty years ago. Dublin was a world city now.