Friday, August 6, 2010

Forward my mail to Stepford, Italy.

Project La Cucina Italiana has been replaced by Project Sasquatch, my seriously committed weight loss program. Or not.

Fortunately for Bev, the three-week La Cucina Italiana project, where carbs overwhelmed my kitchen and my backside simultaneously, sundowned on our anniversary on July 21 (and a little beyond because I couldn't bear the hang-dog husband). Now that the gift has been given and the anniversary is over, I'm no longer a Pasta Hostage. That's the good news.

The bad news is that Michael has become seriously attached to La Cucina Italiana. He loved the splendor of sumptuous meals lovingly served upon his arrival from work each day.

Yah. Who wouldn't? But Stepford is NOT in Italy. (Is it?)

The problem is that I'm crazy about the boy and hated seeing him picking over a grilled cheese sandwich, trying to think of something nice to say: "Uh ... you should be a food stylist, Bev! Who says that the slices of bread have to line up? If I look straight down, it's like a little Star of David. Only with cheese." It was praise, but it rang hollow. The light had gone out of his eyes.

Guilt overwhelmed Runner Bev.

So tonight as a special Friday night surprise, I prepared "Petti di Pollo Ripieni Cotti alla Brace" (Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breast). I cut slits in the chicken and filled those pockets with cheeses, roasted peppers, and fresh basil. While the chicken was baking, I prepared roasted rosemary, garlic, and olive oil for drizzling. It made an awesome bread dip.

The dish almost didn't make it to the table. Michael dragged through the back door, saw food, and ... well, you know when an Orca knifes the surface of the bay and rips a seal right out of the water? Or when a big frog flicks out his tongue from three feet away and an unwary fly vanishes? Or when a pride of starving lions finds a fresh wildebeest carcass? Well, that was Michael with Petti di Pollo. One minute it was there. And the next minute it was gone.

It had been replaced by light in his eyes.

What's Runner Bev to do now? How do I balance a serious weight loss program with preparing Italian food? Which matters most? Width of my hips or light in his eyes? With apologies to another Browning:

Dear Michael, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height (and weight) my hips can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace ..."

Guess we're going for extra miles.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trouble in the hood.

Yesterday, being Tuesday, was trash pickup day in my neighborhood. Since this is my third blog on the subject, I leave little doubt that this is an exciting time in Runner Bev's training schedule!

I LOVE running on Tuesdays when the recycling bins are out in the morning. As I slip by, I relish those quick glimpses into the secret lives of my seldom seen neighbors. I have always taken guilty pleasure from knowing who got a new laser printer and who is obsessed with both Cat Fancier magazine and Shotgun News (a collision of interests that ignites the imagination and could explain a few things around here).

It never occurred to blogger-blabbermouth Bev that a neighbor would ever discover my blog, let alone read it.


One neighbor found the blog. And now all the neighbors know that I eyeball their recycling bins and write about them. We had a Facebook discussion that went rather well, I thought, once I got over hyperventilating and throwing up on my keyboard. I went back and re-read what I had written over the past months. It was sweet-spirited and respectful. No one could have been alarmed. No one could have been anything but amused by my mild curiosity.

Wrong again.

I'm guessing that my photographing that one recycling bin took "mild curiosity" into stalker status.

Look what I found yesterday morning. Coincidence?