(October 8, 2015) Bill and Shelly Trowell, my friends from North Carolina, hosted their first guests in their new home here in Spello—Steve and Carol Wallin. When their guests were enjoying their last evening before parting, Paola and Leonardo had the idea to host a quick potluck dinner the night before, so we all contributed to the dinner, and in only a couple of hours had quite a feast to celebrate the visit of Steve and Carol.
Paola is a wonder—given only a couple hours to prepare, she just comes up with so many wonderful ideas, and her small kitchen is the birthplace of some really great antipasti, and pasta sauces, too. We decided on the dinner, all (like boxers) went to our respective corners to quickly prepare our contribution to the dinner, and then we met up at 8 p.m. with the results.
I swear that there is no finer table to pull up a chair for dinner than Paola’s—and our small contributions were pale by comparison to hers. The best ingredient, we all agreed, was the company of all of us together, having a wonderful time. Slowly, the Trowells can speak and understand more and more Italian, and Leonardo and Paola have begun to understand and speak more English. We meet in the middle, and the room is full of laughter and fun, and some wonderful things to eat.
At the end of the evening, we’d all had a very memorable time, just celebrating together and enjoying what would be considered a “light meal,” by Paola’s usual standards. Again, it was not just the great food, but the great company made it an unforgettable (“indimenticabile”) evening.