– Sunday in family –
“I drop my eyes and smile, when i hear my son’s car entering the driveway. In the air there is the smell of good things to eat, serenity and joy. Indeed, family.”
If my daughter-in-law knew how much butter I add to the risotto, she would get scared. However, I will never tell her it: this is one of those secrets that grandmothers must keep hidden like treasure. How else would they spoil their grandchildren? Valentina, my son’s wife, is very nice and sweet.
Maybe a little bit obsessed with healthy food: my two grandchildren eat only fruit smoothies and organic yogurt snacks. I have never tried to explain to her that the fruits bought at the supermarket don’t have anything to do with those grown on trees: I am not an intrusive mother-in-law! However, I admit it: when Gioia and Francesco are at my place, they do eat cakes.
“I only give the final touch and then we bake.”
Not those packaged ones but we make them together. We put the ingredients in a large bowl, I leave them to knead with their hands: eggs, butter, sugar, lemon peel. I only give the final touch and then we bake. They are still kids, and their eyes shine with happiness every time they see the cake, as if by magic, it becomes thicker and softer.
If it is sunny, we eat it in the garden, in the open air, among the grass and flowers. Instead, in winter we nestle in the warmth of the green armchairs in the living room; and if we make crumbs, we don’t worry. Sometimes we spread a chocolate cake: if there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that chocolate is healthy. Not too much, of course, and only when it is deserved: like hugs.
Today, however, they are all invited for lunch. My daughter-in-law, my son and their children. It does not happen often, you know how it is: commitments and work. However, as soon as we can, on Sunday, it gives us a couple of hours to be with the family.
Then, fortunately, they become more than a couple. After lunch, the kids mix the coffee sitting on their grandfather’s knees; they browse magnificent illustrations from old books and then run to the garden to play, while we are sitting at the table. We talk, we tell anecdotes and jokes.
I love that atmosphere of tranquillity and peace that is created only within the walls of a house. It is almost like a perfume that you can deeply breathe, which is not found anywhere else in the world, which makes you to come back home after every trip.
This morning I did not stop even for a moment; I want everything to be perfect before they arrive. The risotto, the roast beef cooked to perfection, the baked potatoes. All cooked slowly, without haste, with love and some cooking secrets that I cannot reveal. The cake, a creamy tiramisu, has been resting in the fridge since last night.
“We talk, we tell anecdotes and jokes.”
My husband is always making fun of me, but he is really not that different from me. He gets really curious about the menu so he can choose the right wine for it. He will never admit it, but I know that for him it is a great joy to uncork a bottle and drink a good glass in his son’s company.
Our only child, Filippo, has become a man of whom we are immensely proud. We may not tell him very often, but we hope he equally understands. I hope that love is able to embrace and fill our small gestures, like coming up to him without too many words.
Immersed in my thoughts, I place six white plates on the table. They are a recent purchase: I finally managed to convince my husband to buy new ones.
“Immersed in my thoughts, i place six white plates on the table.”
I was affectionate towards our old table, which we had for many years of marriage: dinners with friends, breakfasts full of kisses, Filippo’s first meals, and his graduation celebration.
I always wanted to make me a gift, to renew the dining room. The new table is made of wood, spacious. Solid, as the affection that unites us. The white edges give it brightness: it is like how my life is since I have much more time for me. I fell in love with it immediately, imagining my family sitting to eat and joke. Perfect for a room that is filled with love, like when I was young and perhaps even more.
My husband comes with a bottle of EstEstEst. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and tells me that it would be more appropriate for other types of food, but this wine is very good and it has a peculiar history, which he cannot wait to tell Filippo.
I drop my eyes and smile, when I hear my son’s car entering the driveway. In the air there is the smell of good things to eat, serenity and joy. Indeed, family.