Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunshine Puddin'

I have a little card file box of recipes, mostly favorites, from my wife, who is no longer with us. Some of the recipes are printed in a wonderful script from the days before her hand shook and she was unable to write. She was a Fort Worth girl and many of her recipes were homey and simple, and wonderful comfort food. So today, after many weeks of travel in hotels and restaurants, was the day to pull out the recipe for Sunshine Puddin'.

Bread, milk, eggs, cheese, sounds a little like a grocery list. A pot of coffee and some fresh orange juice and a fruit salad and Sunday, the day of rest, ah yes, I remember it well.

But today was not to be a day of rest, but rather a day to share stories and ideas about wine from the Veneto.

And unlike the last posting where I stood in front of people who just wanted me to fill up their wine glasses and check on the air conditioner, today they actually let me talk a little about the wines of Prosecco and Soave and Tocai and Valpolicella and Amarone. They got it. So while I technically worked today, like I tell my mom, yes I worked and though it seems like a vacation because I enjoy my work, it still is work. But that’s not a problem.

But when I came home, I came down. My body collapsed on the couch and I slipped into a quick, deep sleep for a couple of hours.

If you Google Sunshine Puddin(g) all kinds of things pop up. But not my gal’s recipe. Seems like we’re all sitting in a kind of sunshine pudding of our own making these days. Looking out over my last hotel room, the scene outside took on a Dante-esque aspect. Mid-May and temperatures approaching 90° F, gridlock on the roads and folks jamming the lunch spots before 11:30 AM.

Her recipe is a lot like some of the experiences I talk about regarding Italy. Memories of comfort, tastes and sensations of harmonious and pleasant foods, a familiarity with the table and the meal. Where are you going to? Comfort, Texas. Who are you going with? Pure and simple. Who do you think you are? Nobody, are you nobody too?

Look in the Mega stores, where life there offers so much more than just bread, milk, eggs and cheese. I don’t go there often, too many choices. And though the world of wine can also seem like that ( many choices, many countries, many price points) my idea is to put one foot in front of the next and just take a direction, look ahead, look up, slowly and simply. One doesn’t need the 90 point wine; all one needs it to get those little points of pleasure piqued inside ones palate.

It’s all along the lines folks are thinking about in relation to their life and their homes and their consumption of natural resources these days. Just like brown is the new black and 40 is the new 30, 1500 square feet is the new luxury home. Sound crazy? I have a friend who is contemplating going from a 1700 to a 900 square foot residence. Like he said, when he first got married and had two kids, it worked for all of them then. Maybe one has to be Italian, or to have lived in New York to appreciate this direction. It does give one the extra cash for that mountainside retreat in the Alto- Adige. Something to think about. Pass the puddin' please.

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