I see stories – Venice without a boat

I liked the idea of these barges in Venice. Having your grocery store come to you is way better than getting groceries delivered.

Phillip is coming to dinner. It will be our third date, an important milestone and I need to wow him in the kitchen. In Vancouver I would have gone to Whole Foods, or to the Granville Island market for ingredients. Here, in Venice, we don’t need to go to a specialty store for healthy food. If this went badly, I could only blame my skills. The ingredients are always top shelf.

“A little of that,” I say pointing to the dark green broccolini. “And, four of those.” Red tomatoes would almost complete the Italian flag. A safe bet for food in this country of ardent Italians. If it isn’t Italian, it isn’t right, seems to be the motto, even here in Venice, a place that holds itself apart.

The white of the flag will come from the beautiful buffalo bocconcini. It will start with the cheese sharing a plate with thick slices of the tomatoes. I will scatter basil around the plate and drizzle it all with a good olive oil. The broccolini I’ll saute with more olive oil and some garlic. The boar sausage I picked up yesterday will go nicely with that. And dessert, well I hope that will be me.

I hand over the money to the owner of the boat. We exchange pleasantries and I walk away. Tonight I will seduce a man with my cooking. Something I would never attempt at home. Something I would only try in Venice, city of mystery and romance.