il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

Double Life – Gardening

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini*

This is a true story, the story of unexpected gardening. Last year we built raised bed gardens to plant herbs and vegetables at the back of the house. We went to the greenhouse and bought all the plants we thought we might want, and I insisted on zucchini, because there is absolutely nothing more delicious than zucchini flowers filled with mozzarella and fried. Perfectly logical decision, you see. Except for, something went very wrong, the flowers where too spread open and thin, and I couldn’t really use them for the wrap I had in mind, and when the plant started giving fruit the zucchini were watery and mushy, and I really didn’t know who to cook them properly.

An Italian that cannot cook zucchini is unheard of yet, but I always keep in mind the fact that the soil is different here, this is Israel, the sun is more powerful, etcetera, so obviously I blamed myself. And I was wrong: turns out we received the wrong plant at the greenhouse, and we grew luffa instead of zucchini. Now you go and cook luffa, perfect for making dry vegetable scrub in the shower, but not much more. And here comes the twist. We laughed about the sad story of the zucchini that was not a zucchini at a family meal, and as a result we received a sudden gift: a box full of a hundred (sic) different plants, zucchini of various types and much more. We quickly planted them all and we now have a small forest to attend every day. And I mean that literally: every day.

This story teaches that when something goes wrong and you vent about it within the family, you need to make sure you are fully prepared to cope with the resulting generosity, in the short and in the long term. It also teaches that as long as you work hard, provided you use the right raw materials to begin with, you will get your zucchini flowers wraps eventually. And sometimes, family is what makes the difference between bad and good raw materials.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Israel, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.