Back in our home… far away from Home!

Los Angeles, January 13th 2010

Me, Deb and the Girls are speechless. This trip to Florence has been the hardest so far, in what is now almost a decade of back and forth; everything worked out fine at the end, but if you follow us on Twitter, I am sure you had a chance already to laugh with us about our Christmas Tuscan Experience. We landed in Florence on December 18th, at dusk… the snow started falling the moment we exited the airport. By the time we approached the last few turns right below Fiesole, our rental car had to be parked on the side of the street, and got snowed in for the next four days.

We got rescued by my father and driven to our Pink House in the middle of the farmland. My mom had spent weeks getting it ready for us: clean, decorated, warm, half full fridge, cookies for the girls, a couple of steaks for Me and Debi… It was a wonderful welcome home. And outside, still snowing, a bit harder than before.My Los Angeles born and raised daughters were literally in heaven: I had promised them I would have brought them to see the Alps and play with the snow… I delivered much better than that: in our home, with the whole family, under a snowfall. Everybody started making big plans for the day after, already counting down the hours before we could all get outside and play “Winter Season” style. Debi and I looked at each other dazzled, trying to forget that Air France lost four out of seven pieces of our luggage: my clothes, all the Christmas presents, the shoes/bathroom piece… and all the snow gear… We shrugged, and poured a glass of Chianti. We woke up the morning after, we shivered, and checked the temperature in the house: “Umph, 47Fº… something must be wrong…..”

The heat was down.
Debi thought of finding some comfort with a hot shower; by the time she started shampooing her hair, the water tank was empty… a strong noise started to come up from the under-roof water system that serves our bathroom. The pump was trying real hard to accommodate Debi’s need for water, but as we soon realized all the pipes got frozen overnight. The pump kept on going ballistic for a couple of uninterrupted minutes, than the electric of the whole house went down.
Within a half hour we were moved into my parents house!
The first week of our vacation was spent snowed in with the “Nonni”, waiting for all the repairs to happen.
Christmas came, and by that time thankfully Air France was able to retrieve a few missing pieces of luggage, including the one containing all the gifts… no snow clothes yet though, those arrived two weeks into the trip.
Long story short,
This past moth in Tuscany has been cruel as much as it has been magnificent!
By the time Christmas was over, friends were flying in for New Years’ Eve, and the cell phone would not stop ringing.
I never pulled out the video camera once; way to much to do, organize and think about! I decided to focus on the “Famiglia” and I dedicated myself to a quest for books about Traditional Tuscan and Florentine Food, its history and traditions. I collected about 15 volumes, between simple farmers’ recipe publications, manuals about the anthropology of food in Italy and various Tuscan Almanacs rich in culture and historical references.
Debi and I are now enjoying a few mornings of quiet in our L.A. home; kids are back in school, and this first calm morning hours are for us a wonderful treat after all we endured in Tuscany for the past few weeks.
We wanted to wish you a Happy New Year, and tell you that many new recipes will be coming your way very soon.
Debi will be in San Francisco this week to present at the Tasty Awards, I guess next week we’ll crack the camera out.
Ciao
Gabriele