Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter menu 14/09/09

We went this morning for a coffee and granita etc at our local cafe. It is so hot didn’t even feel like the coffee really. While mio marito was outside under the awning a guy started chatting me up at the bar. Ciccio, my favourite café barista asked me how to say umbrella in Spanish because there were two Spanish girls outside and they were decorating the drink with cocktail umbrellas. So the guy goes, ‘sei spagnola?’ and I said yeah, not bothered to explain, it was too hot … He said his parents had just been to Barcelona and asked where was I from etc. So how long are you staying here? I said I lived here. For work, he asked? Yeah, I run a restaurant in the borgo. ‘But I’ve never seen you, are you in the kitchen?’ I said no, I run it. There you go again, the Sicilian male putting the woman in the kitchen! He didn’t seem too convinced, even when I said I ran it with my husband. Haha, Ciccio was laughing to himself taking it all in.

Over our coffees we read that the mayor now wants to put another tourist floating pier down at Vacarella, which would take away spaces for the fishermen’s boats, so they got almost violent in protest at a meeting with him yesterday. I am not surprised. That part of Vacarella is the most picturesque and charming of the whole of Milazzo. The postcard fishing port. Stupid stupid man. The fishermen all sit there playing cards and chatting in the shade under the big old trees, watching all who pass and commenting. On my own I get long lecherous looks. All of them short with the same sunbattered faces and fat noses and beer guts. One of them fed the cats the fishy leftovers while we sat under the shade of a tree.

Then we talked of the menu and changes for the new season. Mio marito would like to have ‘sfizi invernali’ – winter appetizers, just like we had summer appetizers, like stuffed aubergines and aubergines rolls and caponatina … lots of little tasters with aubergines and swordfish and gratin of mussels, because it was the season. Also the thing that takes most preparation in the kitchen, as there were about 8 different things per plate. On top of all the tapas available. I think they are part of the reason the cooks spent so much time preparing and also were not able to keep an eye on best by dates etc. Also I don’t think we will have the turnover in the winter to put on all these fresh daily specials. I think we should have excellent tapas. Instead the tapas will all be frozen fried things that no one will want, and the sfizi will be all lovingly handmade Sicilian delights. We should have five tapas, said mio marito. But the whole point is, that it is a tapas bar! I have already spent ages working on the menu. I am going to find a definitive list of the best most flavoursome tapas, a range of meat, fish and vegetarian, so he cannot possibly say no! The cooks won’t be so keen on sfizi invernali when they see that they have ten new tapas to learn.

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