Cool in the shade. Warm in the sun. Spring.
Roberto handed me the plastic bag. My face lit up...My eyes bright and unblinking. Another glimpse of spring, this time from his parents garden. So potent. Mild and spicy all in one bite. I could smell them through the thin plastic bag. Fresh, young, and tender. Mysterious purple bulbs with their dirty, just pulled from the earth tendrils.
Spring onions (green onions, scallions).
"You can leave them out for later." He said.
"We'll eat them with the ravioli." I said.
If it's not the shallot in our sauce or the red onion in our salad, it's the green onion held in our left hand while eating pasta...almost every night.
A rite of passage. A day of planting and sowing of seeds. The sun high and bright with its nourishing rays of light. The wind inflating our lungs (fresh air WILL do you good).
Hours passed in the garden and our bellies ached with hunger. We scrubbed off the marine later and made for the kitchen. Freshly made cheese ravioli—72 cheese ravioli, to be more exact— from Little Italy. Roberto cooked up a pot of red sauce while I made a salad and cleaned the spring onions.
I held the long green legs with one hand and slid the cacoon-like purple bulb off with the other. The green was trimmed, the tendrils removed, and into a bath of ice cold water they went. Because there's nothing worse than taking a bite laced with gritty bits of earth.
So it went...Bite of pasta. Bite of spring onion. Repeat. I finished my six ravioli while Roberto continued to work on his eight. About five spring onions between us.
"Do you want one more?" He asked.
"No, that's alright. I'm okay." I said.
"Half?" He asked.
"No, that's okay." I said.
Roberto sliced half of ravioli number eight and slid it onto my plate.
"Thank you." I said while gobbling.
Plates were rinsed.
And it went...mixed green salad, fried eggs, and seven grain bread.
"I'm so full." He said.
"I'm so full too. Coffee?" I said.
"Where's the chocolate?" He asked.
"On the chocolate." I said.
And it went...