Today, I greet you with something insanely comforting, warm, and inherently, a part of my childhood. Growing up in a Northern Italian family, we ate a lot of polenta. I'll admit, my first experiences with it were lost on me as a 7/8 year old. I was like, why are we essentially eating cream of wheat with chicken? V confusing for me at the time. A few years later, and a few more experiences getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, and I understood the merits. It's a fully customize-able peasant food vehicle, that can be whatever you want it to be. Fried? Hell yes. Along with chicken cacciatore? Double hell yes, and also, that one's coming soon, guys. As a soft, herbaceous, Parmesan-laden bed for rainbow chard, tomatoes, crisp prosciutto, and juicy shrimp to rest upon? YAS. PLEASE.
Before we shrimp it up, just a quick word from my sponsor, Personal Anecdote. Wink emoji.
My sweet boyfriend, Benjamin and I met when we were 16 and 17 respectively, dated when we were 18 and 19 for about 8 months, broke up, and found each other again as almost 30-year-olds. While there are so many reasons I hold our story so dear, it's honestly the gems of memories that keep popping up since we've gotten back together that never cease to amaze me. Mainly because it shows how we all take in experiences so differently and different moments stand out for each of us individually. For example: He shared with me a memory he had when we were like 18, and we went to dinner at the home of my wonderful grandparents, Joe and Joyce. This was a super regular occurrence, which is why I probably didn't absorb the experience as a future precious memory. In fact, still, the memory itself seems kind of anticlimactic. We were having polenta and bolognese sauce that night, and Ben simply said he remembered my mom, sister, and I each taking turns stirring the polenta when my grandma Joyce was occupied (most likely making drinks). Seriously, such a simple memory. If he would have told me that stood out to him at the time, I know without a doubt it would have been totally lost on me. Now, much has changed. We lost my grandparents in June of 2017, and now, that memory will forever be a little polenta post-it note in my mind. It's a tiny testament to the community created around meals in my family, and the ease of us all being together. Since I first introduced this as a sponsored anecdote, let's just go with the code SappySally2018 for 30% off your first month of Mental Post-Its. Screamin' deal, ya'll. Thanks for bearing with me.