June 6, 2008

Nine Course Meal

This is Buckaroo with Renato, my amazing poet-friend and gourmet cook. Renato serves everything Italian style, so all of the meals come in courses. We had a goodbye dinner tonight, and even though it wasn't really nine courses, it was a lot of delicious food.
First there was the proscuitto course, then the squash risotto, then chicken and green salad, followed by fruit and cheese, oh and always bread and wine. He tried to finish us off with sorbet and panettone, but Sweet Potato was the only one who could keep up at that pace.
Renato lives above Lake Merrit, so we ate dinner and watched the sunset reflect over the Oakland hills and the water, and then the lake lights came on at dusk.
Renato told us about his childhood in Milan. He used to swim in the canals during the summer, even though it was very dangerous and his mother forbid him to swim there. When he would come home in the evening, and his mother would check the thick hem at the bottom of his shorts to see if it was wet so she would know if he'd been swimming that day.
He asked Obo, "You think life is difficult without TV?" (Obo is looking forward to sitting on his bum-oley and watching TV in England because we don't have one). "When I was a kid we didn't have TV. No radio or newspapers, either . . . Sometimes no food. I swam in the canals."
Obo did start to get excited about swimming in the lake in The Woods at sunset. He said he likes to swim deep past the surface water where it's cooler. That's the first happy thing Obo has mentioned about Massachusetts since we visited last summer.
So we stuffed ourselves, even Buckaroo ate more than one baby's share of risotto, and I gave Renato three new poems, and then we said another goodbye.

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