Friday, January 4


my grandmother used to make a fresh stew for us when we were little-
she called it ciambotta, and said it meant garbage can-
well, it doesn't mean garbage can, as you might have immediately imagined,
but she would just toss the sauce and stuff from the fridge all in together,
and make a stew for me and you-
essentially, it was a pot full of whate'er she wanted to use up-
y'know like it was the garbage can, man.
yeah, you get it.
i took a guess at how to spell it this morning, and it even has a short wiki page,
defining it as a cross between soup and stew-
that's a perfect description.
what's it actually mean?
well, it's been around so flippin' long that the historians' best guess
is that it was the name of where or who made it up first.
is mine traditional?
probably not.
is it exceptional?
abso-F*ing lutely.
you wanna see?

i'm the garbage can man, and my ciambotta is expert as hell!
what's in it?
we got a gliug of olive oil first, plus half a rough chopped red onion;
two fat cloves of sliced garlic sizzled up in that oil, too;
there's a stalk of celery, slivered on a bias, tossed in;
with half a poblano pepper, chopped,
and half an aloha red/yellow variegated bell pep jaun on there as well-
i threw allll the tips from a bunch of asparagus in there;
the seasonin'?
parsley, sage, oregano, basil, thyme, red pepper flake,
cracked black peppercorn, pink salt, GPOP, and a tablespoon of nootch-
there's a handful of spinach;
a half a cup of petite green peas;
a can of stewed tomatoes in their own juice, plus half a cup of water-
dudes, it's a choose your own adventure food exxxplosion-
i dry-fried some baby bellas,
i steamed up some long grain rice ( i should've used arborio- i'm not perfect, neighbors)
and i ate a literal whole entire pot of this stuff.
holy sh!t.
i was instantly a little kid again.
i love that.
i was transcending space and time, and i did it with minimal presence  or planning,
instead navigating completely by feel.
that's some throwback hippie food visionquest stuff-
it's some truly good food for my face.
all those vegetable awesomes turned into a voltron of flavorful hottness.
yeah, bro.
i'm living well, i'm eating better, and i'm communing with the echoes of my elders
through culinary conjuration.
that's real.
the peas are where my grandma, mae  would sign her work, so to speak.
(we all called her mae, not nana, not nonna, just mae)
peas in everything was sort of her move.
she used frozen peas, which i like-
as opposed to those sad grey bummer peas from a can.
i can't hang out with the softies, kids.
it's just a personal thing, and it might be a british isles nostalgia thing,
but freshie-fresh-ish frozen greendrops are what i love-
and whenever i have 'em, i think of mae.
i spent my first new year's eve all alone, and that was okay.
i couldn't help reminisce about all the years we spent at my grandparents house,
staying up, watching that dumb television broadcast,
and then making ginger ale toasts and throwing plates out the second story window!
i guess that's some wild oldschool italian strega sh!t, too.
we'd all fire a bunch of plates and bowls out the window onto the alleyway below.
y'know, my grandmother was a cheap old b!tch, but she always somehow
had extra plates for flinging every damned year.
that says a lot, in retrospect, about how much she liked having us with her, too.
i'm all caught up in some feels,
all from one or two throwback bowlfuls of spirit and memory.
that's powerful medicine, guys.
food is what fuels my heart, literally and figuratively-
i summoned up some big reminders of the past, a spoonful at a time-
and it's got me experiencing emotions!
that's not normal.
but it's all really happening, which is always what we should remember most;
never quiet, never soft.....

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