Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pure Lovely


The entrance isn’t loud. There is no sign. And the menu, propped up on a crooked pulpit, is tucked inside. Out of the rain. The warm and steamy Mexican summer rain.

I run my fingers along the adobe walls only because I can’t help it. And anyway, I love to wash my hands in their sink, to use their lovely lemon soap, to ease myself into this delectable, sensory haven.

The bricks underfoot tap a crooked beat. Italian opera sings his heart out. My belly grumbles as loud as a distant train. ‘Can I get you some wine?’ he says with a kiss on my cheek. I smile. And nod. Pretending calm maturity. (When really I'm a three year old in disguise dying to clap and yell ‘yay!’) 

I don’t have to order. We haven’t been in months but still, he knows the dance. So we sip and laugh and enjoy the rain falling on the garden path, the picture frame hanging from a tree with still more orchids than before, more leaves plumped up with the lush and lovely rain. And don’t forget the music! Did I tell you about the music?

On the crumbling adobe walls are paintings and posters and maps, and even a glittering mask or two. Lovely mixed with tacky makes a gentle, welcome stew so we point and remember and giggle as we sip, then we point and remember and giggle some more. Until the scented promises reach our table, when our eyes want to close because our tongues beg to taste.

First, the peasant bread. But with salt. Not a thing is bland here. And with that comes the salad. Baby greens dipped in olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkling of Reggiano. Thinly sliced mushrooms, homegrown tomatoes, a dash of spice from an onion slice or two. Ratios are perfect. Flavors are divine. Napkins wipe mouths and my eyes, of course they sparkle.

I breathe in the scent of wild mushrooms before my sparkles can see. A forbidden flavor all their own—musty, earthy, naughty. Homemade fettuccini doused in olive oil, pepper flakes, and parmesano reggiano....ahhhh….did it taste this good last time? I think he upped the annie. I mush and stuff and savor with one eye peeking to see, the other begging to close. They kindly tease and threaten, their palpable ache demanding a taste of their own!

And just when I fear it's over, the dessert rushes in. An Italian mama’s family recipe. Tirimisu, but with an aura that humbles even the bravest of souls. Soaked in hand cranked cream with chocolate and espresso swimming loop-de-loops on my plate, I gaze in to savor the scent, wishing I could bottle it, save it for blue Sundays for all my friends. But I see it begin to melt so I have no choice. I must disturb the peace.

It's cold as it melts into a soppy soup inside my mouth, seeping into my genes, making me more Italian by the second. How can I love this so much? I must be Italian. I let the whiffs of chocolate scent my dreams, the coffee inject my veins, the lady fingers like her owners, surrendering wholeheartedly. Sensuality peaks as it valleys and joys while it mourns. It’s decadent, outrageous, sensuous and unfair. And then, like a pebble on the lid of a pond, it's lovely. Echoes of soft, of kind, of pure... lovely... all its own.

15 comments:

  1. Dear Brynne - is this where the attractive Italian is? The one i want to drink Limoncella with...and so on ????
    :)

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  2. JO! This is where the homemade authentic Limoncello is, yes! And the owner *is* Italian...! (but married...boo!) Its about a two hour drive up into the Sierra Madres from where we live. Oh, Jo...one day! In the mean time, I will work on finding you an unmarried Italian lovely to go with your Limoncello!

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  3. Oh I like the sound of that. Licking Limoncello from a lovely Italian man's lips - oh dear - having the flu is making me all funny...LOL
    In the mean time I'll just go watch Fred Dagg sing the Gumboots Song...

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  4. Oh gosh, dear Jo...how I adore you.:) Maybe you better squeeze some lemons into water to drink while you watch...to keep that dream alive!! Big dreams trump wimpy flu every time.:)

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  5. Pretending calm maturity. (When really I'm a three year old in disguise dying to clap and yell ‘yay!’) I LOVED the way you put that. :) and it was a blessing reading your descriptions of reminniscing about the pictures on the walls. It took me right back in time to a diner of my own and an old flame.

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  6. Sara, soOo glad it got you to smile and even better, that it brought out a little romance in you. Me, too....:) Hugs!

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  7. What an apt title for your blog! And this sensuous piece of writing stirred every epicurean bone in my body. From your descriptive language I can see that you are a born writer who knows how to paint word pictures and make magic happen. Following you with great pleasure.

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  8. Debra!! You brighten my day with your generous outpourings and make my heart flutter with new happy. Thank you for visiting and for the follow! Another sensuous magic lover always makes me smile! Hugs, new friend!:)

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  9. Brenda is left hungry for more than food, your gift of description touches all on my senses. Also it reminds me of my trip to the Mediterranean two years ago.. we ate at the top of mountain over looking Positano. The most amazing meal I had in my life...

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  10. Brenda!! I know Positano and loved it, too!! Maybe if we close our eyes we can go back there...and indulge once again together?? Wanna?? How about 11 pm pacific time tonight?? What will you have?? Oooo...now we get to dream that up, too!

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  11. p.s. Brenda...I think you joined after I posted 'Gifts of Our See' in April of this year. I think you might like it...a beach not far from Positano where we can go after we indulge:) OoOO....yay!

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  12. Brynne darling, all my senses were alert after reading this piece! Absolutely amazing! You tantalized my taste buds with your description of delicious dishes in such a sensual manner, my heart is still racing! :) This is your gift--the power to describe and make the reader feel like he or she is there--eating, dancing, feeling, listening. I'm in awe of this super power of yours!

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  13. My bella Bella...you are soOo very very kind. If I can give you sensory delight for even a few seconds, my heart is happy! Welcome home, my friend. Lovely to have you and your magic here...:)

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  14. Thank you again for this post. It was THE spark which produced the memories which resulted in the saga I wrote on my blog.

    A good fairy to wave her magic wand over a forgotten path.

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  15. I am soOo touched that it sparked all those wonderful memories in you, dear Sara! Wow! And I have so LOVED watching it all unfold over on your blog! What a wonderful gift you are in my life! Thank you, beautiful Sara!!

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