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Friday, October 06, 2006

Living in the moment with limoncello

We've just spent a couple of days mellowing out at a yoga retreat. On the drive home, I was thinking about the rather spartan, almost-vegetarian meals we'd been eating, and ... maybe I dozed off or something ... suddenly I found myself dreamily reliving meals I've had in Italy. Anything but spartan... and I've certainly never gone three days in Europe without a glass of wine!

Perhaps it was the retreat's ubiquitous jugs of water packed with lemon slices that made me think of limoncello. In Rome, we often stay in an apartment around the corner from Sta. Maria della Pace, and when we do, we frequent the little neighborhood osteria that's tucked in just steps from our 15thC doorway. (Osteria del Pegno, Vicollo Montevecchio,#8) The last time we stayed there we supped at del Pegno the night before our early morning departure for home. We had planned to eat and run, get packed and go to bed.

But that plan changed when we asked for the check. Instead of il conto, two frosty little glasses of limoncello were delivered to our table, compliments of the house. I suspect the waiter picked up on -- and disapproved of -- our haste, and this was his subtle way of making us slow down and live in the moment! And it did do just that ... we lingered over the tangy liqueur, then decided to take a leisurely dawdle around the neighborhood before going up to pack. We strolled over to the local alimentari and bought a bottle of limoncello to bring home with us, even though we seldom carry anything back that we know we can get here.

Anyway, having thought about this sweet experience yesterday, today quite coincidentally I came across an article about limoncello at the Dream of Italy website which, after providing some fascinating historical and cultural background, provides a recipe for concocting limoncello at home.

Well, I seem to have produced another food-related posting, with no mention of art and history ... I don't think referencing the history of limoncello really counts. I'll get back on track next time, I promise!

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