Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A PIZZA OVEN?



How would you like that, ma'm?
Saignant? Au point? Ou carbonise?


I do a lot of experiments with our pizza oven. Some turn out better than others. I think you will be able to see the difference.




Well, at the time, it seemed like a good idea to leave these formerly gorgeous vegetables in all night. But the next morning....not so much!


LEARNING TO USE YOUR NEW PIZZA OVEN (AND HOW TO FIND OUT WHO THE REAL "FURBI"/SLY PEOPLE ARE)


STEP ONE: Get someone who really knows how to use a pizza oven to teach you the fine points. Famer G is your man. As it turns out, to do it right, you need WAY more wood than you think. And as Farmer G is piling on the wood like there's no tomorrow, maybe you have a moment's pause when you realize, "Hey, wait a minute! Isn't he the same guy who's selling you that wood?"










That moment of doubt came during a period when I was just starting to learn the meaning of that all-important Italian word, "FURBO," which roughly translates as "sly" or "cunning." Italians take great delight in pointing out to a naive "innocenta" like me that the Italian world is full of FURBI who, with a smile on their face and hectares of charm, will, at the first opportunity, take advantage of your innocence. And sometimes it's the most FURBI who like to point the finger at others whom they denounce as FURBI. (Remember the snappy grammar-school comeback to an insult, "It takes one to know one")?


Early in our tenure here, there was a confidence-busting lesson in who's who when I, who used think of myself as a good judge of character, mistook a FURBO for a non-FURBO.


"PARLA BENE, MA..." ("HE'S A GOOD TALKER, BUT...") 


Marcello, whom, I am ashamed to admit, I have often thought of as FURBO, even while he was trying to teach me to be aware of FURBI, points out that the real FURBI always end up disappearing when they don't get what they want, whereas the true non-FURBI stick around and are there for you, no matter what.


MORE ILLUSIONS PERDUES ("lost illusions" does not sound anywhere near as good as the title of Balzac's great novel)


On the theme of my crisis of confidence in my own judgment of character and loss of innocence, here are a few other random illusions that fall under the heading, "nobody ever told me that..."


1.Teeth, once crowned could still go bad.


2.After childbirth, breasts do not look the same.


3.The "Runaway Bunny" notwithstanding, you will not always be the center of your child's life.


4.In response to my lack of energy in the pool, Aunt Irene's admonishment to "Get moving--you're not always going to have that great little figure!" was right on the money.


5.My lifelong identity as a blond might be open to question.


6.Highlighted hair that looks great when you leave the salon quickly "oxidizes" if washed too often or left uncovered in the Italian summer sun.


7.I thought that my eyesight would be the first faculty to go. Who would have guessed it would be my hearing? On the other hand, sometimes not to hear so well can be a blessing. Author David Lodge "recycled" his hearing issues into "Deaf Sentence," a delightful novel I just finished. 


In fact, disillusions and all, la dolce vita Italiana is plenty good! 

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