My taste of home arrived at our village post office last Friday.
|My taste of home|
Exactly one month after it began its journey from my hometown, Yakima, Washington, in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, it arrived in our adopted home in the rural Greek Peloponnese.
'Gasperetti's, The Story of The Restaurant' was published as a tribute to the long-time Yakima business and the family for whom it is named. The restaurant is a part of Yakima Valley history, having been operated over a span of nearly 70 years, in two locations, by two generations of the Gasperetti family. It closed in 2020.
|From the book, a menu, circa 1945|
I liken the book to a multi-course meal at 'The Restaurant' (as it was called in its day). Its appetizer course is the opening chapter; a history that takes the reader back to the family's culinary roots in Tuscany, Italy. The main course consists of some 65 mouthwatering recipes for those favorite dishes that were once served at The Restaurant, now adjusted for home-sized cooking. Sweet memories prompted by its photos was a most fitting dessert.
|Thursday nights Crab Cannelloni Nights|
I was surprised by not only the hunger pangs it prompted, but the emotions as well. It was a shot of nostalgia, and memories both for the restaurant and the town. It had been 'the place to go' when celebrating life's special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, or even the end of an ordinary work week. It was at this restaurant where we gathered with our close friends a few years ago to celebrate our move to Greece.
Gasperetti's Comes to Greece
|John Gasperetti and the book|
News of the book's publication many months ago had me contacting my now FB friend, John Gasperetti, about ordering a copy. I'd finally decided the logistics of doing it from Greece were too difficult and I'd risk waiting until my next trip to the States to get a copy. I was hoping it wouldn't be sold out.
|Postage to Greece is outrageous|
She and I both began tracking the parcel two weeks into its journey. By then, it had reached Athens. In fact, it had shipped from Athens five days before the day I checked on it- but to where, I wasn't sure. The travel time between Athens and here is about four hours, certainly not days. . .
Nikos, the unflappable clerk at our small village post office, checked his computer. He told me it had shipped from the Post Office to Customs in Athens. He speculated, that maybe it had, or maybe it hadn't gotten there; maybe it had or maybe hadn't been shipped. . .or maybe it had gotten there, and no one recorded it. Bottom line, it was in a Black Hole somewhere. Another 10 days and we'd have to start some sort of process to find it, he advised.
|But what did it mean?|
Its whereabouts got murkier when I checked on it this week and found signs of movement, I just wasn't sure what they meant. So back to Nikos I went. He frowned at the news of 'held in customs' because that could mean a hefty customs fee.
Then he flashed a big smile and said, "Oh! My computer says it is here. Yes, it came Friday!" He reached to a shelf a few feet from his chair and there it was - my taste of home! As I've written before, getting mail in Greece is always an adventure.
Stirring the Italian travel bug
|John Gasperetti and his sister Jean Gasperetti Lemki|
|My homegrown and cured Kalamata olives|