Monday, January 22, 2018

Spaghetti Here, Spaghetti There. . . .

  There were drawbacks to spending most of our travel time this last trip in a small seaside town outside of Rome. I know, you're rolling your eyes, but truly, especially if I hadn't had that cold, we would have loved to visit another city for a few days, and we would have loved to spend a few more days in Rome itself. Of course, getting to spend time with our granddaughter and son-in-law was a big balancing Plus! -- as was having a decent kitchen to take advantage of all the wonderful markets. 

I'm hoping to tell you a bit more, later, about eating -- in and out -- in Italy, but for now, I'm sharing this photo of the Spaghetti alle Vongole Pater made there because that's what we're eating here in Vancouver this Sunday night.  Part of that process of Integrating our Travelling Selves with our At-Home Selves that I wrote about the other day. In fact, the clams in our Vancouver dish made me feel good about being home, since we bought them at a neighbourhood fish shop that sells only sustainable seafood, fish and shellfish with an OceanWise designation. I'm sure that there are places in Italy, even Lazio, where we could have found sustainably harvested clams, but I must say that most of the fish markets we visited -- and the gear we saw on the fishboats -- suggested that isn't a primary concern.

Also making me feel great about being home: Being invited for wine-and-cheese at a daughter's place last night to check out their shiny new kitchen reno (I admire M and my Son-in-law so much for making life with two Littles in a relatively small, 2-bedroom city condo look so attractive, on a budget). And earlier in the week, dinner at another daughter's. . .

And then this afternoon, as I walked back from the library (ooh yeah, another point in favour of Home, Sweet Home, the library is a block away), I heard someone yell "Mom, Mom" and then someone else calling, "Nana!" It was the 9-year-old and her Aunt, off to a movie together while the Aunt's two Littles were napping.  So. . . sustainable seafood and library and grandkids and daughters all in the same neighbourhood? Very good to come home to.

That's it, this Sunday evening (which you'll see Monday morning) -- if you're interested in book recommendations, or just curious to see what I read in 2017, I've (finally!) posted that list over on my reading blog. Ciao for now! (Comments always, always welcome -- except the nasty ones, but you wouldn't anyway, right;-)



30 comments:

  1. Oh that has to be one of my favourite dishes. Ok I’m looking at it as I slurp my morning cup of tea, but I could devour it now. Your family circumstances now are so good with lots of family around you and the odd trip to Italy to see the rest. Who could complain. Have a great week. B x

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    1. Well, I can always complain about something or other 😉, but I agree that I'm in a very happy spot right now -- not much for a magic wand to do should it land in my right hand (although my daughter's family might find themselves flying out of Italy at an alarming speed ;-)

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  2. Ditto Coastal Ripples...only I am drinking my morning coffee.Looks delish!
    All the recent talk of home and away made me realize how much I try to do to unify my two worlds: London and Maine. I discussed your last post with my sweetheart and he commented how much paddling he sees me do beneath the calm water's surface to keep the home fire's burning in Maine even when we are in London.
    While I feel at home in both places, I am becoming aware how important it is to me to keep that paddling going by writing notes and emailing and texting, sending photos to those I love there( wherever the is at the moment) so we are ever present in each other's minds.
    I dream of a snowy Maine when I am in London and of a perfect English June day when I am in Maine. Always two places at once I guess, but equally happy in both.
    How wonderful to hear your name called on the way back from the library. It is those little moments that are so satisfying for our hearts, I think. You have a full and beautiful life, Frances, with all the complications that naturally come with that. I feel I do, too, whether feeling at home in London or in New England.
    Have a good week. Do hope that nasty virus leaves you alone.
    A. in London

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    1. When we had two places at once, they were only separated by three hours' travel, so I can imagine the complications with keeping a sense of home in both places -- with all the means, social networks, a feeling of neighbourhood, plus a well-supplied and maintained physical space. But how satisfying it must be to have all that, paddling and all.

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  3. Spaghetti and clams. Mr Green does an excellent version but uses linguine. I can never really tell if there is a difference but am assured that there is. Whatever, it is a delicious dish. Like moules frites. Also: being home is good. We are off to Poland at the end of the week - a first - to visit a child and to try new foods, new drinks and new town. Huzzah! Thricely. Travel in winter.

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    1. Ah, those classics, and moules frites is definitely in the same company. I wonder which new classics you'll add to your repertoire from Poland. . . Enjoy!

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  4. Inspiring! I don't make pasta very often but I love clams. We've got three fish shops near us so I have lots of choice. The Littles must be glad that you are home.

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    1. It's such a simple but delicious recipe -- especially when he makes it ;-) Lucky you, all those fish shops!

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  5. You're carving a neighbourhood out of a big city...very appealing. walking to the library is wonderful isn't it? Or maybe just walking with books. Like carrying an exciting secret.

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    1. It's true, carrying worlds in your arms -- did you ever read as you walked, on your way to school or whatever? I was that girl. . .

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  6. It looks delicious!
    The littles must be the best part of being at home!!! Ours offer so much joy and the playtime and crafts make my day much richer.

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    1. It's true -- so good having them nearby.

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  7. Delicious!
    I adore pasta,especially spaghetti,spaghettini,linguini (agree with Mr. Green :-),quite a difference)
    I second A. in London's thought,too:you've made a full and beautiful life,with your family,here and there,although it is not easy when one's heart is in more than one place
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, D. I do feel lucky (while missing some -- you know the feeling well)

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  8. Beautiful food - and how wonderful that you run into your family members at random.

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    1. I know! The first time it happened I was so tickled -- really changes the nature of the city.

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  9. Sounds like absolutely wonderful homecoming.

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  10. This is a lovely description, Frances, of urban family and home. As I mentioned to you previously, Spaghetti alle Vongole is one of my favorite dishes. Paul's looks divine. Like you, I want to know my clams are sustainably caught. What you describe about your new urban home is what I love about urban life. Walking everywhere. Frequenting my known neighborhood places. Having my museums and libraries and stores all close by so I can drop in on a whim. Seeing people I know. My suburban time has been much longer than I intended. I'm grateful for this supportive spot, but I'll be delighted to be back walking in an urban setting soon. Thank you for bringing up good memories for me. Enjoy it all.

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    1. Cities can be so much more supportive of community than those who live in suburbs or small towns or rural communities realize. I've always known or intuited this, in theory, but it's so gratifying to be experiencing it. (For what it's worth, I appreciated much of what subdivision life once offered us, and I loved our seven years in a fairly isolated small town, and ditto our 20+ years on an island that maxed out at a population of 350 on the busiest summer weekend -- they all have advantages and disadvantages)

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  11. Your urban life sounds so appealing to me. I realize how hard it was to leave your island home. We try to imagine the big jump....but not yet.
    Pasta in any shape is pure comfort food. Seafood added is even better.
    Ali

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    1. You haven't the compelling reasons to jump that we did, and you appear to have a marvellous lifestyle -- hang on! ;-)

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  12. How lovely just to encounter your family as part of the community. And walking everywhere is a true delight of the city. I know I am going to take badly with having to drive to get anywhere out of my small village.
    Fishing in Europe, as many things connected with food, has great extremes of artisanal and 'bio', and vast industrial scale with added pesticides. We wait with some anxiety to see what our dire government will try to get away with on the latter once we're out of the EU.

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    1. I must admit I've got quite out of the habit of driving -- have to make a point of it occasionally just so that I don't lose confidence/skill. But living in your small village will make the necessity of driving well worthwhile, I'm sure. I'm really looking forward to your IG posts once you make that move.

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  13. You make it sound like you are living in a village within a city . Best of both worlds .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I think this is what I'd like to cultivate -- shopping, eating, coffee-drinking, all locally, so that we feel we have a nodding acquaintance with our village-mates . . ;-)

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  14. One of my favourite dishes and Pauls looks delicious! Love a good bowl of Moules too, with a white wine and cream sauce, yum! Your life really does seem to be "all coming together" ...I'm so happy for you. Hearing your daughter and grandaughter call out to you must have been so lovely. Wendy's comment took me back to when my daughter worked and lived in London. At different times she was based in Chiswick and Richmond. Whenever I visited it was like being in a small town or maybe a village within a small town, in parts. I walked for miles and loved exploring. I came to view London as a central city, ( the part we all think of) surrounded by individual small towns and villages!
    Some parts even had village greens, making it seem that they were way out in the country. Unless you focused on all the traffic!
    Hope you're having a good week!
    Rosie

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    1. I love that perspective you have/had of London -- lucky to have had a home base there, through your daughter, to show you a side that many can't appreciate. So many of our big cities, I think, retain neighbourhoods that used to be more self-sustaining in terms of community, and I think walking is generally a good way to rediscover those "villages"

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  15. Such joy. Food and place and family intersecting in their own overlapping orbits.

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    1. I like this characterization, Mardel -- thanks!

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