Friday, March 19, 2010

La Dolce Vita

A lot of wishes have been blown into the air these days. Life is erratic and it seeps into my being, my work, my blogging. "Looking for normal" and find it in a blog, a recipe, an unexpected burst of silliness. A dandelion blooming way too early.
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I am learning about the end of life. Learning acceptance and grasping minutes that are "normal."

And then the unexpected happens. A playwright-colleague of mine wrote a play Danny is Going to Die about his bout with cancer. It's biting and sardonic. It satirizes the treatment of patients and the disease. And it's warm and fuzzy. Only Tim could pull that off. 'cause that was Tim - wry, sardonic, highly irreverent (wonderfully, strongly, enthusiastically irreverent) and thirty. He will always be 30. On St. Patrick's Day he passed away peacefully.
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His Facebook friends declared him sharing a pitcher of his favorite appletinis with St. Patrick. Facebook was oddly comforting and there was a lot of laughter in the remembrances. Tim wouldn't have it any other way. As I prepare for a different loss, I am blindsided by Tim. And I stop preparing - because I cannot, I shouldn't - it negates what I have now - la dolce vita - even when the sweet is savory - even when I don't taste the sweet.

Someone gives me some truffles. Very unexpected.

- I cannot cook in the hospital I visit regularly. I cannot shave these over eggs or into risotto or pasta. But I could slice them into butter. Savory cookies and cream. Pick up some artisan bread.

So I stir and with emotion - mash it into butter. My daughter's was wishing they were chocolate truffles. I am glad they are not.



It will sit in the fridge over night: 2 shaved small black truffles, 1 stick of unsalted butter - which I proceeded to salt with a few shakes of sea salt. And then it will accompany me and some mighty fine bread on my journey tomorrow to spend time with my parents and sister. We will break bread together in the seating area. We will hug and we will smile and we will laugh. We will chew and talk all at once with our mouth full.

La dolce vita from a truffle. From a gift. From remembrances. For this minute today.

40 comments:

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

This looks very interesting combination!

Velva said...

Claudia, this was a beautiful post. We are not guranteed anything and each minute is a gift.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm so sorry about your friend Claudia. I can tell by your touching post that he meant a lot to you. How fleeting and fragile is this thing called life.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Tim, Claudia! My niece lost her best friend from childhood in a snowmobile accident this past winter and facebook was a wonderful and comforting way for all her friends to express their sorrows, and happy memories of her!

I am also sorry to read that you have an ill family member! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Shaving the truffles into butter to serve later with a crusty loaf of Italian bread sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy them! My husband often says a simple meal like that is the most satisfying.

{{{Hugs}}} Pat

pegasuslegend said...

awesome pictures and great info here thanks

Wanda said...

I'm so sorry for the unexpected loss of your friend and colleague, Claudia! I'm touched by your ceremonial preparation of the truffles, the correlation of accepting and sharing our moments of life as they happen...the good along with the sad! Glad you made something savory...so appropriate!
...your friend Wanda

Choices said...

Claudia,
Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. He will always be in your heart. Facebook is a wonderful place to share thoughts and feelings. Four years ago, my nephew died in a kayak accident and when his friends posted their feelings about Adam, it was such a comfort to my family.
Truffles are so delicious. Your recipe looks soo good and comforting.
Take care.

Vrinda said...

Awesome pics, and sorry for ur loss Claudia.. Truffle looks so good,never tasted though...

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Hope all goes well with your family! You have my prayers!
Sorry for your loss!
Hugs and prayers!

Mary said...

Tim would love your memory of him. The death of one so young wrests the soul. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. Blessings...Mary

Cinnamon-Girl said...

The mashed potatoes sound really good after sitting all night and letting the flavor of the truffles seep in.

I'm so sorry for everything you're going through my dear, sweet Claudia. *HUGS*

gaga said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Take care, and lots of hugs!

Bridgett said...

Oooh, total comfort food with a high end twist! Sounds like this is just what you need right now. It is so hard to lose a friend, isn't it? I hope you find peace in your heart soon.

Jen_from_NJ said...

What a beautiful post. I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Each and every moment is so precious since we never know what life will bring our way. Enjoy the time with your family and enjoy those lovely truffles.

Miranda said...

I WANT SOMEONE TO GIVE ME TRUFFLES! ;P
LOL.
Lucky, women!!

Kim said...

So very sorry to hear that you have a sick loved one in the hospital. I hope the truffles bring them and your family happiness. It's a shame to hear of your friend Tim dying so young. I'm sending you all of my best wishes. Take Care Claudia!!

3 hungry tummies said...

Beautiful and touching post my dear! Tim is at a better place now!

theUngourmet said...

Sorry about your dear friend! It makes a person stop and think about what is most important in this life. Hopefully.

I've never tasted a truffle. I imagine your butter was delicious!

Angie's Recipes said...

A thought-provoking entry and I am really sorry to hear the loss of your friend. Life is just so fragile....sighs.

OysterCulture said...

Claudia, I am so sorry to hear about your friend, but it sounds like he had amazing graze and made everyone the better because of it. Now it sounds as if some memories of your friend will carry on with the play. Its times like these, as you said that you realize its not forever and you have to savor la dolce vita while you can. I am sorry for the illness in your family, but I bet that the truffle laden butter and bread will bring some smiles and relief.

Claudia said...

To all my blogger friends: Thank you for such sweet smiles during difficult days. You have my gratitude.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Claudia, this was a heartwarming post, beautifully written. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Food can fix everything, even if only for a minute or two.

Thank you for reminding us to stop and enjoy each day. One never knows.
Sam

Ruth said...

Claudia, I am sorry to hear about your friend and your words truly express what life is about and how it should be remembered, through the precious moments and enjoyed to the full. Such as your truffles, you grabbed them and made something extraordinary with them! Thats exactly what we should all do with life!!

Also, thank you so much for your help! Especially when everything and anything is going on in your life at the moment, you still took a minute to help me.
Just goes to show how truly special you are!!

Patty said...

Beautiful post, we need to remember to live each day to the full, thanks for posting!

Barbara GF said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Claudia. Loss of a friend, a family member, is part of the cycle of life, but that does not ease the pain. You are an inspired lady. Every day is indeed a gift. And food always seems to help bring people together in difficult times.

Julia said...

Beautiful photos!

Juliana said...

Claudia, sorry to hear about your friend...yes, life is precious and we sure should cherish every moment.

5 Star Foodie said...

I'm sorry that I'm so late to read this post and so sorry about your friend. My thoughts are with you.

Choices said...

Hoping that all is well with you. I came back to tell you that last night I made your salmon recipe with the cabbage and onions. Success! Both my husband and loved it. Thank you!

Claudia said...

Oh I am so very pleased! You are reminding me to make the salmon again for my family.

My Little Space said...

I'm so sorry about your friend! Hope you're feeling better now. I'm sure he'll be always in your memory. Life goes on!
Have a nice day!
Regards,
Kristy

janet said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. And my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope something brings a smile to your heart today.

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

So sorry to hear about your friend…..
Speaking about truffles other of my weakness.

Hugs!
Gera

Katy ~ said...

Claudia, hugs. I am sorry for the pain of loss you are feeling...

...and gladdened that you can find delight in your beautiful butter.

I think that your friend would want you to celebrate life and the gifts it brings.

Rosabela said...

Claudia, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Tim. He was so young. You wrote a beautiful tribute.

Velva said...

We will continue to blow good thoughts your way. Hope that you continue to embrace "moments of normal"

I love the idea of truffle butter. I cannot honestly say that I have ever enjoyed truffle in it's pure form-added to butter sounds fabulous.

figtree said...

I am so sorry for your loss..when I lost my mom I was told that to grieve deeply, means to have loved deeply..xox

Choices said...

I just tagged you on my blog.
Happy Sunday.

Sophie said...

Dear Claudia!!

I am so sorry to hear this loss,...He was so young!!

You wrote indeed a lovely tribute!!

What a moving post this was! We will be thinking of you!

Lori Lynn said...

So sad.

Your writing is wonderful, I can taste the bread & truffle, and feel the emotions.
LL