Sunday lunch is my new favourite affair. Today’s was no exception.
Chicken schnitzel, battered zucchini, boiled green beans – fresh from the garden, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar – the staple green salad, and patate fritti – or for those without an Italian language dictionary: fried potato chips.
I skipped breakfast this morning (a repeated suggestion since my first invitation to this Sunday tradition) so I was ravenous. My stomach had started rumbling half an hour before it was even close to lunch time. So by the time I sat down, I was salivating like Pavlov’s dog.
I helped myself to what I hoped was a polite serving size of everything that was being passed around the little kitchen table, and with a quick squeeze of lemon (again from the suburban garden outside) I dug in.
I’ve never been great a cooking schnitzel so I am always thrilled when I get to enjoy someone else’s. As a child growing up in a predominantly Italian community, it was always on the menu at my friends houses, and still invokes a warm response from somewhere deep within my childhood memory.
I realized somewhere during the meal that I was eating like a starving vagrant but I just couldn’t seem to slow down. The mixture of oil and vinegar in my mouth stimulated my appetite even further.
Before I knew it, all that remained on my plate was a few stray breadcrumbs and a sheen of olive oil reflecting my satisfaction.
All I could think about at the end of the meal while inconspicuously eyeing off the last schnitzels, was that they would make a perfect sandwich for supper tonight. It turns out, I have yet to master the art of discreet observation as I was sent home with the schnitzels, some left over zucchini and a knowing smile.