Halfway through the store, in the aisle with the salad dressings and ketchup, he reminds me that I wanted olives. I get a jar, and my eyes wander over its neighboring products on the shelves. There's another jar that catches my eye, full of cauliflower and carrots and red pepper pieces and celery. Taking a glance at the label--some Italian surname--and reminding myself that I need to slip more veggies into my diet, I place it in the basket.
Fast forward through unloading groceries, making a flower arrangement, reading a bit, taking a nap, waking up to a phone call from my daughter, and then getting the munchies. The veggies! I spoon some out for a few bites...
...and realize that this is antipasti. The antipasti from my childhood, and I'm sitting in a pizzeria off of the Via Domitiana, near the Lago d'Averno. I'm listening to the grownups laugh and talk as I nibble at the vegetables and ignore the odd-looking meats and cheeses, waiting for my pizza margherita to arrive. After dinner, if the grownups aren't too tired, I'll be allowed cappuccino served in a tiny white cup on a saucer.
Funny how a jar of pickled vegetables from an HEB in Austin, Texas can send me back to Naples, Italy--no airfare or time machine required.
|My grandfather took this picture of my grandmother and our family in front of our house in Naples, Italy, 1975.|