Avis’ Last Meal (and a Surprise Visitor)


It’s a weird juxtaposition to have a tortoise and some food in the same picture, but I didn’t take a picture of the meat dish yesterday so the tortoise fills the gap.

As I was adding his picture to the photogrid I noticed how weird his foot looks. Is that normal?! Some part of me remembered that they have toes or at least smoother feet like an elephant. I hope the little guy wasn’t injured. He certainly didn’t seem so; I noticed him meandering down the driveway when I walked out of the house to go to the garden. I called everyone down from tea and as we watched he crawled very quickly (for a tortoise) away from us, along the hedge, and toward the woods. If any of you are as well-acquainted with the Disney movie Dumbo as I am, you’ll remember how Dumbo walks and how they animated his legs. This tortoise had a rather similar gait, which was hilarious to me.

Last night was Avis’ last night with us for dinner. She’s going back to America tomorrow and staying the night in Pisa tonight. I made her favorite dishes: pollo in salsa di Fegato (liver sauce), eggplant, and a tomato sauce. I used a cool recipe I found online (food52, I think) from Martha Stewart that makes for a very easy pasta. You combine all the ingredients for the sauce and the dry pasta into one big pot full of water. Once the mixture comes to a boil you keep stirring it frequently for ~9 minutes and when it’s done you have a delicious al dente pasta with its sauce already made. It’s awesome. It’s even more awesome for me because the Bane of My Existence Stove has so little depth that it’s hard to fit the Meat Pan, Water Pot, and Sauce Pans on it all at once. By using this recipe I combine the boiling water and sauce pans into one and save space and time! Also, it’s delicious because instead of just sitting on top of the noodles the saucey flavors soak into the pasta and make it incredibly rich and delicious. It was a success.

Today begins the Last Rush of the Guests. Christoph and Sophie’s parents are arriving today around 6, which is unfortunate because they’ll miss Avis by just a few hours. Paul returns from Bologna today, and soon more guests arrive. This is the first time we’ll be at full capacity in the house with all the beds filled. I’m excited!

Although I don’t know how I’m going to adjust to being back in the States and having to cook for one or two people instead of fourteen or fifteen. Maybe I’ll just make big batches of pasta and veggies and eat them for a week. Meat is easier to make in small quantities, so I’m OK there.

The pork loin recipes I found and am combining are going to make an incredible roast tonight. I can’t wait to show you pictures!


One thought on “Avis’ Last Meal (and a Surprise Visitor)

  1. The tortoise just looks like s/he is interested in eating some of the delicious pasta… And on the topic of cooking for 14 people, there are definitely events in the Boston area where chefs make a feast in their home and charge/ask for donations in order to attend a fun, delicious dinner party with other food-lovers. Maybe you can start a monthly “Dinner at Elba’s Place” gathering/happening that would be fun, delicious, social, and also could net you a couple hundred bucks…


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