Easter is nearly here, we have just finished our first month of national quarantine and have survived 6 weeks of homeschooling. We are officially enjoying our Easter holiday although it doesn’t really feel any different from anything else right now. No video lessons but there is still more than enough homework due right after the holiday ends, to keep the kids busy. Having holiday homework is no different than any other year for that matter. Our kids never have holidays without homework, not even during the summer. Life in general just keeps puttering on as I am sure it is for most of you. For those of us who are not working (and there are a lot of us) the days have taken on a new rhythm. Last night we had the happy news (not) that our quarantine is being extended until at least May 3rd. We are learning patience again as we wait for our turn to go into a drugstore or market. People are more subdued than they were during the first few weeks of quarantine. There are still messages of hope being posted on our Whats App chats, but they are coming less often, in short bursts. There are moments of joy in spending time with my family and times that I would like to abandon them. Don’t worry, there are no bodies buried in the garden…yet. No really, all joking aside, this is hard. We all have our own way of coping with grief and stress and I think we can say that this whole pandemic has brought both grief and stress, many types of stress, into all of our lives. My tendency when under duress at home, is to crawl into a cave, but my cave is occupied by three other people. I love these three men dearly, but most of us need a break from time to time, I certainly do. We are not supposed to go more than 600 feet from our homes unless going out for necessities. Six hundred feet is not very far, it’s like being in a cage. I imagine a lot of us feel like that these days. I have shed many tears over the last few weeks as we learn of family, friends and friends of friends who have passed away, and Easter and Pasquetta are here. It is a time of celebration, and despite the stress and the grief, we will celebrate.
A normal Easter for us will start with an egg hunt. My egg hunters are a bit big, but we will do it nonetheless. We’ll just work harder at hiding the candy filled eggs. I think this is an excellent strategy at a moment that we have time to spare and are trying to encourage activities that don’t require a screen. The next part of Easter day would be a home cooked meal, shared with my sister and brother in law, and our nephew which is usually followed by a long walk. Dessert would normally be a sweet bread called Colomba but they are in short supply this year where I live. This year we’ve decided to BBQ chicken wings and sausage. I asked my butcher if he had any lamb, but that too is in short supply this year. My in-laws are tucked away at their home and we aren’t allowed to walk in groups of more than two people in addition to the 600 foot limit. Perhaps we will watch a film together in lieu of the walk. It will be low key but that fits the moment.
Pasquetta, or little Easter, which falls the day after Easter, is more important for our family this year. We would usually have a picnic in the Langhe (a wine region about an hour from our home), and take a trip to the Cantina di Clavesana to buy a demijohn of house wine to see us through the year. If you want to know what a typical Pasquetta is like for us, read this post: https://wordpress.com/view/lisasdolceitalia.com
This year we must improvise but that’s okay because Pasquetta falls on my baby, Emanuele’s birthday this year. Thirteen on the thirteenth, during a pandemic. That has to be a good omen for a child that was born on Friday the thirteenth. Emi has chosen his birthday menu: Bagna Cauda, a typical Piemontese dish made with anchovies, garlic and cream with roasted bell peppers, Pasta Carbonara, a traditional Roman pasta dish and an Oreo Cheesecake, 100% American. It will be delicious!
Instead of visiting the cantina this year, the cantina will come to us. The good news yesterday was that they will deliver a demijohn of dolcetto that we will bottle as we normally do, plus a few half cases of their bottled wines that we like: Arneis, a typical white wine from our area and sweet bubbly Moscato d’Asti, the perfect accompaniment for desserts. As a Corona virus special, they aren’t charging for delivery and we simply need to send one of our empty demijohns back with them. It sounds like a good deal to me and the wine will be delivered within 10 days.
Where ever you happen to be on Easter this year, I hope it finds you with people you love. Raise a glass of something and let’s toast health and wellness for all. The Covid19 numbers here are moving in the right direction. This is a difficult moment for all of us, and it will pass. Buona Pasqua!