Monday, October 22, 2012

The bread lesson/La lezione di pane

There were about 17 people here for the bread lesson. F decided he was going to finally speak to people at one of our parties. And not only did he speak, but he spoke in Italian. Hurrah! He mostly made himself understood and it was very cute. Everyone went home with the two page sheet of instructions which came out great after I asked a bunch of questions on the phone to my friend Patrizia and after our friend Carlo came by with an emergency pencil in hand to create something that could be understood by all.

That is me fleeing the room.
If the bread could have spoken, it would have pushed people to drink more wine.

We had examples of the six phases of bread-making from when you create the sourdough starter from fresh grapes to when you are ready to take it out of the oven. There were note cards on the table to highlight the phases. I hear some people do absolutely nothing on Sundays, but if you do that for too long in Lucca you can lose touch with all of your friends. I invited too many people who did not know each other so the beginning of the lesson was pretty awkward. It was made even more awkward because the weather was springlike and everyone preferred to drink water instead of wine. I insisted that we make a toast just as soon as the academic part of the afternoon was over so that people would start chatting a little more freely. I personally had several dixie cups as soon as the cork popped.

It took off in soap opera like proportions when my friend Serena, that sly girl, didn't mention to me that her birthday had just past until last night at the end of our phone call. T helped me run breathlessly around the antique fair to find a cool purse to give her. It was handmade and so one of a kind with black wires all interconnected in geometric shapes giving it modern, avant garde pizazz. We also surprised her with a cake -- chocolate, her favorite.

My friend Federica brought her friend Mary from Nigeria. It is adorable that they are friends since they communicate mostly through their hearts. Mary speaks some English, but very little Italian and Fede speaks very little English. Mary is here legally, in that she married an Italian, and is searching for work, and they were asking me if I could help out because she can't pay her rent. I put an announcement for her on the meet up group internet page. And tried to frantically translate some of the bread making instructions into English for her before she had to leave in a hurry to catch a train back to Prato.

My friend Adonella's friend Cristina who runs the Tricot store in Lucca had to come late and so we had an after-party. I was glad that I had just managed to clear the table and make the place look decent again when the doorbell rang.

 F and I finally got to sit down about seven hours later. T was off hiding/babysitting/eating pizza with her preferred parents Stephen and Meagan while all of this chaos ensued.

We know what you are thinking: Haven't you people ever heard of watching cartoons in your underwear and drinking beers on Sunday? Answer: Um, no.

(The number of times I wrote the word "friend": 7. It's like I'm worried you all think I have an explosion of cousins. Seriously, if there are named people who don't start with the initials T,F, or K, let's just assume for future reference that they are friends or really awesome enemies.)

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