“Good night.” And I have to say it was. Nothing special. Just dinner with friends and neighbors Bob and Francesco on a cold, rainy night. Bob’s the English former Coke engineer and Francesco is his Italian friend from Napoli. And wow, can Francesco cook. Joining us for dinner were Jenny and “Legs,” their Workaway couple (At 5’6″, that’s really what he prefers to be called. Go figure.) What’s first– food or friends? Let’s go with friends.
Legs is just over 50 and Jenny is “sub-50,” as Legs says. They’re British citizens who have been living in Australia for about 13 years and are on “Workaway,” http://www.workaway.info is a program where you sign up to work somewhere in the world in exchange for room and board. You pay your transportation, and your host family feeds you and gives you a place to stay, and a little education on the local area. Your host gets free labor and you get a uniquely local experience in another part of the world. Before Jen and Legs got to Le Marche, they workawayed in Tuscany. Jen’s a former nurse and Legs a former gold bullion trader and they were doing odd jobs (olive harvesting, pruning, feeding animals, etc). Why? I guess people do it for different reasons. These two wanted to get away from the workaday world and into the workaway world. Pretty wise, I think. They’ve met incredible people, seen places they’d only read about before, and had amazing times (and food). From Le Marche, they were going to spend holidays in England with family, then workaway in Vietnam and Cambodia. That takes them out to spring, 2014. Beyond that… they weren’t quite sure. Yes, this is something I will look into.
Bob and Francesco. What can I say? Warm, kind, friendly, loving, helpful. Bob has helped out immensely around Casa Mosaica and will help keep it up when we’re gone until Kerry arrives again in the spring. And the meal… First, the Prosecco we brought. Then,
Homemade bruschetta. Then,
Cheese-stuffed olives and two other kinds of cheese dipped in breadcrumbs and sautéed. Then, the main course (Il secondi piatti)
I’m afraid I’m going to have to tease you here. Bob jokingly called it “pasta in a towel.” I will have to find a picture of the actual plated dish, but dream along with me here– it’s Mortadella, spinach, cheese and olive oil wrapped in sheets of pasta and steamed in the towel, then sliced across the length of it. It looks like a pinwheel and tastes like heaven. Accompanied, of course, by Rosso Piceno, the local red wine (from the jugs we filled yesterday). Bellisima. Yes, a good night.
The day wasn’t bad– I planed and sanded some doors that were sticking, hung some shelves, we got the heat to work (thank you, Baby Jesus) and bought some needed fixtures from the Home Depot. (No, of course it’s not a Home Depot, silly. This is Italy.) But the day paled in comparison to Il Buona Note.