I love aperitivo but there is nothing better than sitting at home with your own well-designed plate of nibbles and a bottle of wine. It generally involves emptying the fridge to form a random variety of food onto a wooden board. A great chance to sit down and relax for an hour, or simply to be used as an excuse not to cook dinner.
Mum and dad have just taken a big jet plane back to Australia but managed to leave a larger kitchen, many copper pots and even a stocked up wine collection behind. Whilst renovating the kitchen, aperitivo was used as a sign to sit down and stop. Dad would crack a beer and eat from a tray that has been assembled next to a ladder and balanced on top of a chair due to our lack of table. Trying to collect food from a fridge whose door had been turned into the wall was no problem if it was for aperitivo, as soon as dinner needed to be made it became no less than a pain in the bum.
When I was younger my mum used to make my sisters and I a meal called “things on a plate”. I loved this type of dinner as I could choose what things from the fridge or pantry were put on my dinner plate. Now at 25 years old I still love making “things on a plate” the italian way. But not much has changed, ever since I was eight years old my things on a plate (or should I know say, le cose su un piatto) has involved cheese, olives and a stray carrot stick. The only thing that has changed is that my transfer to Italy allows this plate to have a foreign name – aperitivo – which, for us in Australia means it must be very cultural of me.
So there you go. I have been making le cose su un piatto for a long time. Italy must have always been an obvious choice?
…. I wonder if the italians think that ‘things on a plate’ sounds cultural and sophisticated?