Friday, February 29, 2008

long table under the trees

this is the title of the next chapter of the book that i am currently reading, under the tuscan sun. really this book is just feeding fuel to the fire of my wanderlust spirit. i am a dreamer. i have a very over active imagination. so when at the library the other day, with a move to europe heavy on my mind, i thought of this book. which i have never read and am now wondering why. it is non-fiction but purely sensual. the descriptions of tuscany are so vivid i can smell the orchards. she also goes into heavy detail about the food at which point i start drooling and make a mental note to pick up some gnocchi next time i am out.
when i came to the title of the next chapter, i had to put the book down feeling that if i read anymore i would have a slight upset stomach like i had eaten too much rich cake. i see the image of these words, a long table under the trees, with the table covered in a crisp white linen table cloth, some lavender sprigs tied up with a blade of grass and set upon each place setting. a bouquet of wild flowers in a clear uncut vase in the center. the trees the table is under are large elms. it is neither too cool nor too hot. i can hear the cooing of doves. the flavors and aromas of the meal are of roasted chicken, a simple salad, sauteed asparagus, and of course large hunks of bread to be dipped in olive oil. plates of bruschetta and bowls of olives placed around the table. some fruit with a wedge of parmesan for desert. occasionally i will see this scene in a movie. people are usually wearing white or khaki linen themselves, children are running around but not crying. there is wine to go around. in my mind i am in tuscany having this picnic or in provence. either place would be perfectly acceptable. the celebration would for a birthday or an anniversary or simply friends and family wanting to be together. this picnic would take up the afternoon. then when the air started to cool a bit women would put on a light sweater and everyone would walk into the village to have a gelato or coffee. (or if in provence a pastry, i suppose). not an espresso but a cafe' something or other at this evening hour. everyone would take the time to savor the tastes, the smells, and sounds. most importantly the friends and family around, not thinking about the time or tasks they should be accomplishing. but for one simple afternoon they could just enjoy the eternity of time.
last night right before i fell asleep the husband asked me, "are going to take all of our savings and buy a house in tuscany when we retire?" "if i get my way. " i replied. and then i heard, "i love you jennie."
to be able to enjoy this picnic that i have created in my mind would certainly rank up there as one my life's great accomplishments.


EatPlayLove said...

maybe we can be neighbors in some sleepy village on the west coast of italy. the hubby's can go off riding their bikes and we can sip espresso while watching the gardener at work.

I read that book ages ago, I must pick it up again!

love2cook said...

Oh yes, Tuscany. What a beautiful place that is. When we stayed there before Ms. E was born we stayed at a bed and breakfast in the country (rolling hills, vineyards, meadows of yellow flowers) and the owner's name was Allesandro. He made his own olive oil and wine at the B&B. We also had a chance to enjoy a dinner made by him and shared it with an adorable Dutch couple we met. I remember having crostini, veal scallopine, gnocchi and of course grappa. That stuff will really get the party started. :)