I've always been a worrier and a planner, or what some would call a pessimist. I hate the negative connotation of the word pessimist. The OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY defines pessimism as:
" 1. lack of hope or confidence in the future. 2. Philosophy a belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good." ,
as opposed to the definition for optimism:
"1. hopefulness and confidence about the future or success of something. 2. Philosophy the doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds."
Since I'm neither all doom and gloom, nor perkily hopeful, I prefer to think of myself as a "realist", someone who expects the best but plans for the worst. If I'm planning a vacation to Florida, I expect to spend my days on the beach, in the water, and doing everything and anything I can outdoors. So what happens if a hurricane pops up, or if there's an unexpected dip in the temperature? Someone like me will have a list of museums, movies or other indoor activities, just in case.
There are tons of books and articles written about how to have a positive attitude, and if you've been reading, I've been trying to focus on the positive aspects of moving back to the states once our house in Italy is sold. My newest line of thinking combines both positive AND negative attitudes. I've been thinking about things that I should take back to the states with me; things from Italy that I'll miss, the things that aren't so easy to find in the states, or things that are very expensive. I've been making a list, and so far it includes:
- Porcini mushrooms
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Parmesan Cheese
Now I'm wondering what else I should consider. Risotto? Specialty pasta? San Marzano tomatoes? If we're going to ship our goods back to the states, why not include some of these treats? Some people might include truffle oil, but that's never been a big deal for me.
I wish I could take back some porchetta, the delicious roasted pork, or some bistecca fiorentina, the melt-in-your-mouth, two inch thick steak that's a specialty of Florence. I'd also like to take some packets of pre-cubed pancetta.
I can brown up a packet of pancetta (either sweet or smoked), throw in some chopped garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a can of tomatoes to make a quick spaghetti dinner that's out of this world.
There will be many foods I'll miss once we're back in the states, but I'm trying to turn that negative into a positive by planning ahead. If you have a suggestion, feel free to post a comment!