Friday, October 26, 2012

Case Study 120: "The Ginger Pear Cupcake"

Today is for reunions and it looks like the weather is going to play along.

Days like this always remind me of fall in Bologna. The gray sky, the smell of the coming November rain and the first sights of marzipan in the pasticerria windows.

It reminds me of how we roused late and brewed caffe in our tiny perk before indulging in biscuits and Nutella from the jar. How the light would peek around the corners of the narrow streets, and in the early morning the grates would go up at the Mercato delle Erbe as the statue of Ugo Bassi pointed ahead.  

It makes me remember our homemade haircuts and long lasagna lunches. Parties at the house, marked by Nina Simone and hash cigarettes. The long walks up the six hundred and sixty-six portici that led to the sanctuary on the hill. And most of all, it brings memories of long afternoons at Il Cortile Cafe, where the day faded to night and we started every evening with prosecco by candlelight and listening to Django Reinhardt covers played live.

And so it's nothing but fitting that on a gray late October day, I'll reunite with my best Bologna people right here in New York. 

Back then we ate. And we ate. And we ate. For fun, for sustenance and really for no reason at all. We always went back for seconds, we never did it with shame. All of our senses and our gastronomical dreams were awakened and brought to life. And so, there's no way in hell that I would welcome friends to America empty-handed without the best that fall could offer. 

Fresh ginger and molasses cupcakes with vanilla-pear buttercream and dark chocolate candied ginger shavings on top. Yes, I think that will do. 

Today we'll stroll arm and arm like we used to. We'll take in an early aperitivi in a dim light cafe before the rest of the working world joins in. We'll drink prosecco, chats about boys and share memories about the dear old days of our adventures abroad nearly eight years ago. And as true friendship always goes, nothing, nothing, will have changed at all.

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