The magic combination for most Sunday Sauces and certainly for mine, is time, love and meat, meat, meat. Any combination of beef and pork will enhance the flavor of the sauce. I like to change the combination up from week to week, using any/all of the following meat options -hot sausage, sweet sausage, meatballs, braciole, pork ribs, pork chops, beef short ribs, the options are almost limitless. The sauce simmers over a low flame for half a day and fills house with the most amazing smells. Just the smell of sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil can lift my spirits to incredible heights...that is, most of the time.
This morning as I was chopping garlic and onions, I started to whistle while I chopped. I always whistle while I cook as I tend to get lost in the busy work of chopping and stirring and sauteing. This is usually an unconscious thing and I don't realize I am doing it until I catch myself, sometimes three or four songs in. This morning I was about half way through a song as a wave of sadness came over me. I realized that I was whistling "Come Back to Sorrento". I then looked up at the calendar and realized that exactly one year ago, we were in Sorrento, and it was one of the most magical experiences of my life. Once I realized that, the tears came.
Ever since my first trip to Italy in 2010, I have become nostalgic about Italy in a way that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The silliest things can make me cry (what I call) "Italy tears". They come on like a freight train and over the smallest things. For example:
- See an Italian grandmother pulling her shopping cart up Arthur Ave in the Bronx? Choke up. Hold back the Italy Tears.
- Hear Italian being spoken in a bakery in Greenwich Village? Stare like a creeper. Try to listen. Mist up. Quietly wipe the Italy Tear that appears on my cheek.
- Push my shopping cart through the Italian Grocery store and hear Volare? A river of Italy Tears.
- Catch myself whistling Come Back to Sorrento? Heaving sobs and copious streams of Italy Tears.
I know some day the gravitational pull of Italy go away. Perhaps there is some magic number of trips that I will reach where I become bored of it. How many is that? 20? 78? 350? I'm not sure. Sadly, trips to Italy do not grow on trees. If they did, I would renounce my distaste for nature and do nothing but water and tend to the Trip to Italy tree. Until the next trip, I will try to keep myself from watching videos like the one below because, there just isn't enough Kleenex.