The Wisdom of Suspended Time: Artichokes and Fava Beans
29 March 2020
Although of uncertain origin, they say
that fava beans have an excellent claim to antiquity
and are amongst the finest of delicacies;
the very essentials of life.
And since I am far too polite to argue with elderly traditions, I make simple Fritella for him,
and for the Faithful Departed.
Begin by preparing a blood-warm lemon bath for the tender artichokes, to prevent browning.
I am overcome by their sweet, nutty smell, redolent of a bountiful Spring,
Sautee chopped onions on a medium flame in olive oil, until lightly golden brown.
Add the delicately cut, tender artichokes.
Because we prefer our artichokes crispy,
yet still retaining its buttery texture,
I add the freshly shelled fava beans soon after that.
I add a splash of white wine and watch the blended vegetables begin to glisten brightly,
as I season lightly with salt and black pepper.
He is oblivious to the absence of buoyant crowds, as he dances in the wind,
in this silent Spring.
His pure, child’s laughter is infectious, as it floats across the meadows,
where it finds me searching for mentuccia,
a shiny young shrub of lavender-pink petals,
emitting both the scent of mint and oregano.
He is hungry and impatient to eat,
so I hastily sprinkle a sparse handful of the mint leaves over our meal.
I watch him savour his favourite grub,
and he teaches me that we are dying to live.
That pain has become a guest at our table.
A guide, an advisor,
so that we may deal with the task,
beyond which it alerts,
to new inner health,
which when gained,
Will let us forget the pain,
Just like that.
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