Thursday, August 7, 2008

Three Beautiful Things: Cookies, Friends, Italian Food

1. Half-moon cookies are a wonderful thing. Every summer when I come back to upstate New York for vacation, I eat about a dozen of these amazing cookies, which are apparently rather unique to New York. I found a pretty good recipe for making these at home, but they just don't compare to the real thing. Last night we each got a cookie from Tops Friendly Market. Isn't that a nice name for a supermarket? (They're not really too friendly in there, but that's NY for you.)

2. I spent a lovely afternoon with my high school friends, Robin and Lisa (above) and also Michelle and Karen (I forgot to take a picture before they left). Robin was my best friend in high school, and Lisa is my oldest friend. As always for the past two decades when we get together, I missed our friend Ros tremendously. She hasn't been back in a long, long time. I miss her. But we five had a good time. There is something so comforting about being with people who knew you when you wore red Keds, and when you had glasses and braces, and when you had your first kiss, and when your heart was broken for the first time. For a couple of hours the five of us caught up on all kinds of people-we-once-knew (they all still live in our hometown or nearby) and barely talked about our current lives. Later Robin and I went out for coffee by ourselves. I love that girl.

3. It's hard to properly express the joy of true Italian-American food. I grew up with it here in upstate New York. Down south the Macaroni Grill and other such restaurants do their best, but it just can't compare. When I was growing up, Nonna's Trattoria was Alice's Restaurant (and yes, the ad said, "you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant"). It's changed hands since then but the food is still amazing. I had gnocchi with beans and greens and then Dr. H and I split tiramisu for dessert. Spectacular. Laurel and Duncan got to have spumoni for the first time. They couldn't believe we used to get that for lunch in the school cafeteria ("chocolate, vanilla, spumoni or Italian ice?").

Life is good.


  1. When I was in my teens, my mom had an Italian girlfriend, and we had the most amazing Christmas dinners with them every year. You're right - there's nothing like really Italian American food!

  2. Ummm... real, not "really" in the last sentence. Oops!

  3. Oh, it sounds like fun!!
    I enjoyed the 3 beautiful things pictures, too. They were fantastic!

  4. Mmm...spumoni!

    I didn't keep in touch with any of my friends from my hometown until this past year. I've had so much fun reconnecting with them!

  5. Again, I never really liked the Italian food I had in Geneva and I ate with the natives. In Geneva most of one's friends are going to be Italian or Irish so we all got to eat at their houses, etc. But I never really had Italian food I liked there with the EXCEPTION of Alices.

    OTOH, Big Ed's Pizza in Oak Ridge Tennessee was/is just as good as Alice's. The only other place that compared to these 2, for me, was the Village Inn in Johnson City, TN.


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