When I got my follow up appointment at Dr. Frank Paletta's I was proud to show him the rapid healing of my tongue and lip biopsies. "I can't believe it, I can bake and eat semolina bread again," I said, smiling.
"You like bread, take a look at this and he took out his smartphone and played a video. "This is my friends home baked bread, and those are his wife's hands," he said. It was a gorgeous dark boule with a starburst of decorative slashes dusted with white flour. A right hand appeared to hold the bread while the left started slicing off a piece. The crunchy sawing sound was audible. I laughed out loud thinking about what we were seeing, a pin up video of bread being sliced. This is why I love the Italian Americans of Rhode Island. "I'd eat the whole loaf," Dr. Paletta said. I had a poignant moment and was almost sorry to leave. Perhaps I'll drop off a bread as a surprise someday. Meanwhile I am due to buy 50 pounds of semolina flour at JAR Baker's Supply for this years bread and pasta.
The irony is this is the time of year that the Jews have to sell their grain and clean their homes and kitchens of chametzfor Passover. In spite of my cellar full of grain I will celebrate Passover with our knowledgeable Yiddish-speaking and Hebrew-reading friends. When we'll read the decaffeinated and caffeinated versions of the Maxwell House Haggadah, and Rebbe Nachmann's Breslov Haggadah
I always say that Moses must've had allergies because the horseradish sandwiches cures the sinuses. I love Matzoh ball soup and Gefilte fish and matzoh.
I am technically Jewish on all sides but I was raised Italian and without any religion. The family religion was FREUD psychotherapy. I discovered Ram Dass' BE HERE NOW and it blew my mind wide open. Then I discovered he was raised Jewish. It all made perfect sense to me somehow.
My friend had a flock of ducks with a bunny who was raised as a duck. I am the Jewish bunnyraised as an Italian duck.
As artist/writer Maurice Sendak said, The Italians are Happy Jews.