We took advantage of the holiday weekend and made a quick get-away to the ranch. Although short and sweet, it was nice to breathe the proverbial fresh air that the wide open range provides.
Tonight feels like a Sunday rather than a Monday. And I did not have time to make my usual beginning of the week pilgrimage to the grocery store, so after a quick inventory I determined I had just the ingredients for the North End Italian Cookbook’s version of Pepperoni Pie. It just doesn’t get any more basic than this:
¾ c diced pepperoni
¾ c cup Muenster cheese
¾ c flour
1 c milk
As I was cubing the cheese I thought of all the mothers around the world, tired from a long weekend, filled with bittersweet anticipation for the week ahead, and desperate to put something hot on the family table for dinner. Ironically, during my preparations a friend called and she too was ‘cleaning out the fridge to make a frittata’. While the dinner table unites families in a sacred moment of togetherness, those who prepare these meals also share a common stockpot, so to speak. My menu inspirations come from all over the world, most recently from Italy and France. As I chop leeks, blanch almonds, peel and crush tomatoes, I imagine kitchens in villages throughout Southern Europe.
Vignettes play in my mind: a woman hushes her children during the final moments of a sauce that requires concentration and perfect timing; a group of friends gather in a cozy kitchen each bringing tried-and-true recipes served in favorite cookware; a young wife woos her husband with a meal better than his momma’s; and children sit politely at the table, savor every morsel put in front of them and after being excused from the table and clearing their plates, promptly say, “Thank you, Mama” sealed with a kiss. OK. That final part is a fantasy shared by women throughout the world. Tell me where that scene exists and I’m on the next plane.
Off to pack tomorrow’s school lunches — leftover pepperoni pie.