dario has a restaurant! how exciting.

sometimes, the intensity with which i miss italy is surprising, even to me. in some ways, i felt at home there like i've never felt anywhere else. it's so amazing to find a place where you just fit in so perfectly.

last week, we were able to get two beautiful pork middle sections--the whole loins with the bellies still attached. clee and i butchered them and seasoned them with dario's profumo that he'd sent for us with a friend a couple of months ago, rosemary, sage, and garlic. we scored the skin and tied them up, and they looked just like dario's beautiful arista. we cooked the first ones yesterday, and they were exactly right. i could have closed my eyes and been at dario's house having dinner. today, i made an attempt to recreate his fabulous mostarda mediterranea--i was nervous, since he has such a precise recipe, and i have no clue what all of his percentages are. but somehow, the stars aligned for me, and after i cooked and pureed and strained it, and put some on the room temperature porchetta, you could have called me samin cecchini. i couldn't believe how good it all was. sometimes, i just can't believe how good our food is. plus, bob's shellbeans all'uccelletto basically tasted like florence in a pot. i just wanted to die of happiness.

later, when i went to the gym, i could smell the mostarda emanating from my skin. and all i could do was smile.