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La Primavera!

I am relishing the sunny (and even rainy) days of spring. This is the first spring I have had a real backyard since I was a kid. Eager plans were formed quickly in the early days of spring for an abundant garden full of heirloom and rare varietals. I poured over seed catelogues from Urban Harvest and Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. With varietal names like Cosmonaut Volkov Tomato, Mountain Princess, Mrs. Bot’s Italian Giant, Perfection Fennel, how could I not be excited? But, as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I bought dozens of lovely seed packages with exotic names and did not start my seeds indoors early enough to use most of them this year. Alas, next year, next year.

Although my garden is not an heirloom vegetable utopia, I am pleased as punch (yes, as punch) with what is going on in my backyard. I sowed some of my fancy seeds and bought seedlings from various non-fancy locations and a few designer tomato plants from local farmers markets. One thing I have learned about myself in this process is that I am OBSESSED with gardening and the miracle of plant life. Planting lemon cucumber or romano red flamed bush bean seeds and watching them erupt from the ground is incredible. Oh, nature. You amaze me.


Italy is but a distant memory. And I mourn the loss of it daily. Not in an overwhelming depression, but in the little things. In the coffee, the food, the sense of adventure that being away from home brings, in not being an ‘other’, in not being able to practice another language constantly. I fell in love with Italy, and didn’t quite realize it at the time. I think of the people I met and the adventures I had and still haven’t gotten used to the fact that I won’t be seeing them again and won’t be jumping on a filthy regionale or spiffy ES train anytime soon.

Being in Canada is much easier, that is for certain. We are very lucky. Showers are large, peanut butter is rampant, but so is terrible pizza (with few exceptions) and a lack of easily obtainable quality cured meats that I grew so fond of. In my absence, lots of exciting stuff has happened in Toronto as well. A new butcher shop has captured my heart and is helping me satisfy my new year’s resolution of purchasing only the happiest of meat. And contrary to the above grumblings, I ate a fantastic pizza that had me transported back to Italy for a few shining moments. The local indie coffee shop makes one of the best coffee drinks I have ever tasted (a cortado). The winter produce is exciting, beautiful easter egg radishes and rainbow chard.