by Melinda Gallo

Making chicken broth on Monday

Dave woke up before me as usual today. I took over the bed and bundled myself up in the down comforter we brought from the States. Half-asleep, I listened to Dave go down the stairs and into the kitchen to make his morning cup of coffee. It's already Monday; time to get up and get the week started.

I finally dragged myself out of bed and went through my normal routine: drink a tea or coffee, write my morning pages, take a shower, do some work and go to the market.

The sun was shining in the cloudless sky, but the wind was blowing fiercely. We could hear it howl in the fireplace. "'s going to be cold out there," I told Dave, regretting that I even got out of bed.

I decided to go to the market after much procrastination.

New, I kept thinking as I walked toward the market. I must do something new today. So, as I walked around all the vegetable and fruit stands, I was going to go to a new one, but I just didn't have the heart. I had to go to the one I normally go to. They're a mother and daughter team and they seem so down to earth. Besides, they were playing some Wham! song as they were packing up for the day.

So then I went into the market, got two types of mozzarella at the cheese vendor and then headed for my usual macellaio (butcher). With so many people in line today, I decided to go find a new macellaio. I walked to one counter, trying to find the one Simone told me about, and looked in the case. A man stood in front of me while he was talking to his friend and then wiped his nose with a handkerchief.

I quickly turned around and went to another vendor. An older man was putting things away for the day and the display case was almost empty. "Ciao cara...dimmi," (Hi dear, tell me...) he said as he peeked over the counter at me. "Vorrei un pollo per fare il brodo," (I'd like a chicken to make broth) I said. He asked me which kind of chicken I wanted and said two things I didn't understand. "Cosa mi suggerisci?"(What do you suggest?) I asked, trying to cover up the fact that I had no idea what he was talking about. "Io prenderei questo pollo qui per fare il brodo," (I'd take this chicken here to make broth) he told me, lifting one up out of the window by its neck with its head dangling to one side. "OK," I said, trying to appear as if I too knew that that one would make good chicken broth.

"Te lo taglio in due pezzi," (I'll cut it in two pieces for you) he said. "OK, grazie," I said, smiling back. I watched him put the chicken in a sheet of paper and wrapped it up. I was hoping he'd keep the head and claw, but he didn't. Maybe it will make better broth.

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