Sicilian women are known for being loud, emotional, and, well, zesty. I'm a little bit of each.
Every drop of my love, my tears, my joy—my passion for friendship and romance—goes into every meal I cook.
Sometimes, I'll be wearing a white shirt (dumb enough, I know) and the sauce will decide to bubble and erupt like lava, all over my sleeve or right where the shirt covers my boob. Sometimes I yell at the sauce and smack the lid so hard that the walls shake. But then I'll forgive it and doctor it up with some salt and pepper. I mean, how could you not unconditionally love a sauce made from delicious "liquid gold" olive oil with fresh garlic, chopped onions and red pepper flakes sizzling with the juiciest Campari tomatoes in a gorgeous, lush red frying pan? There is nothing...and I mean nothing...that can soothe me better than these simple, fresh ingredients that just seem to be making love on the electric stage of a stovetop.
And sharing a good pasta dish with people I love totally makes up for the stain on my boob.
Giving heaping bowls of pasta drizzled with sauce and garnished with herbs is a way to show my loved ones how much I really care about them; how much of myself I devote to every spoonful.
And although it's often a drag for many people, the act of cleaning up after the meal can sometimes be one of the happiest experiences for me, even when I'm alone in the kitchen and there's nothing left but plates and forks to be scraped, scrubbed and scoured.
While picking up the wine-stained napkins and washing plates after a party, I dissolve into the memory of laughter tickling the kitchen walls and the clanking of goblets during the few hours my friends gathered to celebrate a birthday, a girls' night in, or an evening with nothing else better to do than sit, eat, drink and chat about reality TV.
When I was a little girl, I always got so upset when everyone had to say goodbye at parties; I loved sharing food and ice cream cake and hugs with them. Warm bodies in chairs and crumbs on the table meant that life was being lived.
I hated being left alone after a party. I always wanted company. I still do. Not just to have somebody there, but to share a special connection with another human being. To do that is one of the most magical abilities we possess as a species. That's why I love having people like you here on my site. I feel like I'm sharing something with you; I'm connecting with you. I may not know who you are or what you look like, but that really doesn't matter. I feel like I'm making you feel warm and welcome and whole, the way I sometimes didn't feel when I was younger. For a long time, there was pain and drama and loneliness—a lot of which I created. Maybe I wanted to feel sorry for myself. Maybe I wanted people to know I was sad so they could comfort me and hug me and tell me everything would be okay. Regardless, I'm going to do the same for the people I love. Not because I'm the stereotypical "motherly" woman (alright, maybe a little bit), but because I'm a human being with a heart. Someone who loves people more than anything in the world.
The few seconds it takes to hug someone is worth more to me than the $12,000 limited edition wristwatch from Tiffany's that'll probably (no, definitely) last eons longer than a simple human embrace. But I don't care. Call me a nutcase, but I'll love 'ya till the point of tears.