Project La Cucina Italiana has been replaced by Project Sasquatch, my seriously committed weight loss program.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It had been replaced by light in his eyes.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.