Today was quite an eventful day in the traditional way in that there was lots of wine, lots of food and lots of family. My husband’s cousin invited us over for lunch. Usually it’s a small group and we dine inside his apartment which has a breathtaking view of the sea overlooking the Ligurian village of Recco.
But today was entirely different. You see, the 2 brothers own this classic house on the hill and share a gorgeous garden full of fig and orange trees, basil plants, rose bushes and Lord knows what else. But the focal point of this garden happens to be the pride of every Italian home in Recco, an outdoor wood burning oven! This treasure was hand-built by the brothers and fits in nicely amongst the trees.
Recco is famous for their “focaccia al formaggio” and I can tell you honestly that they do in fact have the best in Italy. So today was in fact a real treat as numerous family members arrived carrying home made dishes and kids ran and played in the garden while the brothers churned out homemade pizzas, focaccia and farinata.
I have to be honest, I have been on the go so much lately that the idea of yet another family lunch was not thrilling me too much. My husband has been home barely a week and we have had little time alone together. When he comes home it is only natural that his family and friends would also want to see him and I sometimes find myself competing a bit for his time. But as I start to learn more Italian and see his extended family on a more familiar basis, they are slowly working their way into my heart too.
Living here can have its many challenges. Being married to someone who is not always around also produces some unique challenges. Having an Italian family just adds to the wonder and challenges of life in general. But no matter where you live or are from, everyone has a cousin who makes great homemade wine, an uncle who barbeque’s the best burgers or an aunt that bakes the best pie!