"caprese garnish" From thisismolly photostream at flickr.
"dami, eva e minty carrot sorbet" From thisismolly photostream at flickr.
"fichi ripieni con crema gorgonzola" From thisismolly photostream at flickr.
In this final letter from her ever-exciting post in beautiful Umbria, Italy, Miss Molly and her motley kitchen crew once again push out plate after plate of beautiful vegetarian cuisine despite a tearful screaming match, a wild boar on the loose, a motorcycle accident and much public drunkenness.
Well, my summer in Italy is coming to an end. It was pretty eventful week last week. Just wait... it's a good one.
Sandra yelled at Judit, and if you can recall, Judit shakes like a leaf. The poor thing started crying, and Alberto came in and yelled at both of them. Unfortunately, I was the only other person in the kitchen and knee-deep in polishing glasses, so I couldn't really put them down and walk away. I didn't quite know what to do.
Sandra yelled back at him. She was always a bitch to Judit and had it in for her from the beginning, but no one knows exactly why. I mean, Judit is this cute girl from Hungary who is on a scholarship to go to school in Italy. She's at Montali to earn some money over the summer to continue improving herself and education. Sure, she hasn't done the best job in the world, but the girl puts in one helluva effort. What more could you possibly ask from someone?
Anyway, Sandra and Judit share a room, so we took Judit to the castle and had her stay with us. Sandra took off in the middle of the night. So I guess she's not part of my restaurant dream team anymore.
A few days later, Sandra came back, I guess to get her paycheck or something, and told Chef that Judit was having an affair with boss! Can you believe that? Remember I wrote about that a while back? First she had the balls to come back and ask for money, and then she said something like that. Any respect I had for her and her hard work went down the drain at that point.
A few nights later, Jaro took the Honda 600 home, but he couldn't get it started right away, so we said that when we dropped everyone off back at the castle, we would turn around and go back to Montali if he hadn't arrived yet. We saw the light coming up the road, so Josh and I waited for him. Jaro pulled up and started stumbling around and told us he had fallen off the bike when a wild boar jumped out in front of him.
I didn't believe him. We joke around like that... but then I saw the blood (See the photos here. Don't worry—they aren't gory). We helped him up the walk and when we got into the light, the blood was only from a couple of scrapes... not too bad. Then we realized how drunk he was. He didn't go to work the next day because of some internal bruises, but nothing serious. Chef and Alberto are babying him, and he's soaking up every last drop of it. It makes me want to barf.
Janko doesn't like Sara because he says he acts like she is in kindergarten. In the kitchen, she has the attention span of the kindergartner, but Eva (who has the day off with her) says she seems totally competent outside of work and doesn't know why she's like that inside the kitchen. Sara drove to the store yesterday and when I walked in the house, I noticed a 22oz bottle of beer she had finished on the counter before she left. Is the whole world drunk and I'm the only one who's sober?
We had a really good night last night. Really smooth, good-looking food and no stress. I am really going to miss this place. I enjoy working here very much, and it's too bad that it took me so long to adjust. Now that it's over, I feel like all my complaints have been are trivial. To use a cliché: hindsight is always 20/20.
It's so beautiful and peaceful out here, and not having internet access regularly is not as bad as seemed at first. The boss and chef are fun people who love life and I'm totally in love with their son, Damiano. He's one cool kid.
My hair cut went great. It was difficult to tell them what I wanted, but we got it accomplished. If I could, I would fly here every four months just to have Marco do my hair again. The town of Tavernelle is lucky to have him.
I'd like to close my last travelogue by saying a few nice things about the people I'm ending this adventure with:
Janko: A great great cook with a great sense of humor. He taught me how to just work and not to bitch about it because it's not that big of a deal. I learned this just by watching him.
Eva: so classy and intelligent. I never know what she is thinking, but in a good way. When someone starts acting stupid, she is the last one to roll her eyes. She's great fun to be with and I think she is going to go far in life.
Jaro: Also great fun and funny. I think his Mr. Bean voice makes everything funnier than it actually is, especially when he sings.
Judit: She's always scared as hell but does it anyway. I will miss her very much and I wish her well in her studies. Bravo to her for working at it.
Josh: Always willing to listen and think about it... An admirable quality.
Chef: Her passion for life is contagious. She's a happy person and works her ass off. She always listens and genuinely cares about other people, and this 50-year-old woman has more stamina than I do. I'm lucky to have worked for her for this short amount of time.
Boss: No matter how "stressful" his job is, it's been great fun to get into verbal sparring matches with him. When all is said and done, he has created a pretty special place here at country house Montali.
And last but not least, Sara: A free spirit who always wants to please. She's been nice to everyone, and harbors no hard feelings. Bravo to her, as well.
Thank you all for listening to my rants and raves, my highs and lows and reading my most personal thoughts. This has become an immense experience for me, and much more personal than I ever anticipated. And yes, everyone was right: I don't want to leave.
See you in America soon!
With deepest gratitude,