Pasta Fazool: Recipe, history, and a real Italian supper

Every house holds its traditions. Stabbing a fork into a bowl of pasta fazool between political spats and endless tirades of how the world is, or is not, falling into turmoil—that is a constant of the Ricigliano keep. Like true Italian-Americans, the whole dysfunctional family gathers around the grandparents’ table. Forged from oak, it stands thick and formidable with well-worn edges that protrude stubbornly into the space, much like the personalities that occupy its perimeter. Each time I approach that table, I know what kind of meal I am in for. Always Italian, never quiet; such is ritual.  Continue reading

On the way home

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  – Henry David Thoreau, Walden’s Pond

I went to the woods because I was lonely. To be honest. I wished to find companionship among the trees, who I imagined leafing out condolences for my solitude in Tolkienian rhythm.

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Drinking in that mountain air

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You dont’ need to talk to a corner drunkard to figure out the best things in life come in paper bags; just wander into a wooded coastal town somewhere between California and Oregon and order a hitchhiker’s wheat bagel. For added spirit, make it a sandwich by adding a fried egg, roasted tomato, and tofu pate. This breakfast turned out better than a bloody mary on Sunday morning. Mmmm hmmmm.