Sitting outside the antique kitchen of B&B Calvello staring at the view and taking the sun – I got smacked in the head. Wham – an explosion of laughter burst out the open door. Boing – epiphany.
Giggles, guffaws, titters and screams of laughter are erupting in the kitchens of Pontelandolfo. This week, adventuresome Americans are here and they are up to their elbows in ground pork, pizza dough and wine. Wait, did I just say wine? Who in their right minds would be up to their elbows in wine? Bending their elbows with Alperol Spritzes- maybe.
Our May 2018 participants in Cooking in the Kitchens of Pontelandolfo are a wickedly affable bunch. This morning while they were working dough near the fireplace, wood burning stove and oven, all I heard was laughter. Boing, boing – there is that epiphany. This cooking program is not just about learning how to make traditional Southern Italian food, it is about having the freedom to laugh at yourself, laugh with new friends and truly enjoy cooking. We all have incredible schedules – work, home, children, grandchildren, appointments etc. Often, making dinner or entertaining feels more like a chore than something to enjoy. We stare into open refrigerators, sigh at the empty pots and pans, clench our jaws and stifle angry words at those in our families who are having a cocktail while we cook. Errrg. Cooking is not fun. This week, normally over scheduled Americans, rediscovered the fun of cooking.
I never thought of it that way before. The joy of cooking really is a skill that may also have been lost during the industrialization, digitalization and work comes home with you world. The only time I enjoy it is when I’m having a dinner party. Then sipping scotch, reading cookbooks for ideas, planning and prepping becomes an opportunity to create. The rest of the time – errrrrrrr. Why can’t we always just live in the food moment and enjoy ourselves?
Maybe it really takes time away from our normal lives. Maybe it takes someone like our host, Angela Addona, who was born in the small stone house that her grandmother raised 9 children in, to instill in us that a big kitchen with the latest equipment does not make a good cook. A big heart and love for cooking does. “A small kitchen and a cook with a big heart makes the best food.” Even if all you have are wild vegetables picked along the road and the parts of a pig that no one else wants to eat, you can create heart in the kitchen.
Ci Vediamo! Next time I see you I will be laughing in my kitchen.
Angela’s pig parts recipe – click here.