Paolo was an Italian who lived near Toronto and wrote the blog “How We Eat”. He was a vibrant advocate of slow food and healthy eating. Though most of his posts were joyful explorations of eating, cooking and the wonderful camaraderie that can only be found over a table, he was also a staunch human rights advocate and could never seem to understand why people were driven to oppress those that were “different” than themselves. Sometimes, he even wrote a Friday Drabble.
I didn’t know him particularly well — he was an intermittent writer and was ill for much of the last year or so — but I always enjoyed his posts and comments because they always seemed completely heartfelt and unscripted. Looking back at his blog, the following was from his first post:
I seem to have a way of finding good food where ever I go. I always want to know about the food I eat, not only how it was prepared but the history of the recipe and the ingredients. I want to know about this history before it fades away to our fast, convenience desired national habit. I will be going to where the vegetables are grown and speaking to those that grow them. I will also be speaking with cooks, some professional some not, about what and why they cook… I don’t know where this journey will take me but I hope you will go along for the ride.
As ways to spend your time go, you could do a lot worse.
I stopped at the farmer’s market the other day and on the spur of the moment picked up some gorgeous, ripe figs. That was the day he died and I was surprised today to see that his blog’s banner has a beautiful sliced fig.
So tonight, I think we’ll grill those figs and have a good red wine and think of friends that you never met, but were a part of your life anyway.