47 Comments
Apr 25Liked by Samantha Childress

You are divine. I always love reading about your dad. I need to think, or maybe even write, more about the food/past/emotion connection, but in lieu of my own memories, i will tell you that whenever our Sicilian neighbor makes her Sicilian olives for my Sicilian partner, he slow-pokes his way to picking an olive then savors it with his eyes closed and tells me they're just like his grandmother's olives.

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That is so sweet of your neighbor--she's giving your partner the gift of memory! I would LOVE to read your thoughts on the food/past/emotion connection...your descriptions are so visceral, I know you'd knock it out of the park.

My dad had a few food memories that he described so vividly I now feel as they though they've become mine. There was a beer he was always hunting for--Rickard's Red. He had it once after a day of skiing in Whistler, and he said it was so "frosty" and perfect for cooling down after getting hot on the slopes, the most refreshing drink he ever had. I have never, ever seen Rickard's Red on a menu and am guessing the brewery has long since shuttered, but it's this sort of legend in my mind, and if I ever saw it on offer I'd be morally obligated to order it.

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Aw I looked up that beer - very caramely! looks like you'll easily find it next time you're in CA - made by Molson-Coors - I really enjoy the memories of your father and hearing about your uniquely close relationship. I will surely let you know if I do a food post - being an emotional eater means most of my childhood memories revolve around food haha!

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I was not expecting, at the start of this essay, to be near tears by the end of it.

And I had no idea that moschino could mean little fly! Italian is so funny! Every word sounds like it's gonna be poetry but then I guess when you translate, it's a language like any other, with beauty and silliness and all the rest.

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💕💕 It's funny, because my dad called me moschino for my whole childhood, and I always knew intuitively what it meant, but I still had to look up the literal translation! I don't think it's all that common in Italy, but I could be wrong--I'm guessing it's a bastardization of something his parents or grandparents called him.

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I call my kids "battoot" which means little duck. I'm not sure if this is an Egyptian thing or a family specific thing (like so much else in our little world, being removed from the larger world it comes from).

Your dad's words were so familiar to me. I could feel that chain coming from someone further back in the family.

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"Battoot" sounds so cute in my head!! I hope they use it for their own children one day and keep the chain going, like your own little family language. I hope to keep "moschino" going as a way for my family to know my dad. :)

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May 6Liked by Samantha Childress

my little redhead grandson in USA has earned the nickname of Pulcino --- every day Fulvio asks to see the newest Snapchat video , "Cosa fa il Pulcino oggi ? "

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Pulcino! How precious! I think we need to start a dictionary of cute, non-English terms of endearment 😊

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May 6Liked by Samantha Childress

I enjoy your musings since I also was a trailing wife years ago. Check out my "The Painted Palazzo"

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Apr 25Liked by Samantha Childress

I lived in Rome for many years starting from university, it's my second home. Rome welcomes you and envelops you, cuddles you, makes you marvel at its places, sometimes even makes you angry because of the chaos, but then it immediately finds a way to make up for it. Just a carbonara in Garbatella was enough to put me in a good mood again ☺️

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:) I could do with a good carbonara right now!

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Loved how you integrated your love of Rome, your love of food, and your love of your father to create such a great post.

First, I'm definitely having pasta tonight!

Second, the dover sole at the Four Seasons restaurant in NYC (now closed) was a dish that my mother and I would always have. No sauce, just lemon and olive oil. So, in my memory it's that dover sole I associate with my mother who passed away about four years ago.

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Thank you, David! I hope you had some wonderful pasta for dinner! I'm sorry to hear the Four Seasons closed--it would have been nice to have the option of going back to order the dover sole and feel your mother's presence.

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What beautiful memories your father gave you. I am sorry to have missed you in Rome, but I love reading about what a good time you had.

I can attest to the legion of unhappy US Embassy people. I once had someone snap at me "I hate it here' when I introduced myself. Thinking she had come from some dreamy post like Fiji or an organized place like Singapore, I asked where she had been posted before. Iraq, she responded adding it was so much better and easier there. (This was before the embassy was finished and people were living and working in trailers and wearing helmets and bullet proof vests)

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Iraq!! 🤣 This kills me. State Department people are a funny breed...I kind of thought I would find them to be kindred spirits who love travel and adventure, but at least half are just in it for the benefits and ease of having lots of practical life things done/decided for you (and of course, the "worse" the post, the more things are done for you). Nothing wrong with that, I guess? It's such a bummer not to enjoy the privilege of living in a wonderful place like Rome, though! I'm sorry to have missed you, too, but Nick and I are already plotting our next trip!

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This was so beautiful.  ❤️ And also made me laugh because I moved to Italy over a decade ago with a boyfriend who was in the foreign service and assigned to Rome. I was *thrilled* to be in Rome and he hated it! Complained about everything. Insane. Luckily, that relationship ended but my relationship with Italy continues to this day, lol.

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Thank you, Rebecca ❤️ and omg, that is hilarious--glad that you dropped the complainer and held onto your love of Italy instead, ha! It's not without flaws, but it's such an incredible country.

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May 9Liked by Samantha Childress

“I am, after all, my father’s daughter” 🥹🥲❤️

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💕💕 always and forever!

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Apr 28Liked by Samantha Childress

Just stopping by to say I like this: "laughing expensively".

Gone back to continue reading...

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And to think I almost edited that part out! 🤣

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Yikes. It’s happened again: wrote a reply and it disappeared. I’ll try again…

Dig that photo of S Pietro.

I really liked the way you wove in your memories of your father with your experiences in Rome. I think that’s a really helpful way to remember and continue to find ways of loving people who have died: absorbing memories of them into your present as it evolves as a sort of affirmation or celebration of all that you had when they were alive.

That isn’t quite how I put it first time round…

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Dig that photo of S Pietro.

I really liked the way you wove in memories of your father with your Roman experiences. I think that’s a healthy way to remember and continue to find a way of loving those who have gone: absorbing their memories, and your past, in the enjoyment and appreciation of your present. It really keeps people alive for us and that is so important.

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Thanks, Nicolas! Agreed, it's a gift to be able to remember our loved ones through these small moments in our daily lives. It took me a while to reach this stage in my grief, where I'm able to do that without it being painful--I'm grateful to have arrived here.

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Apr 27Liked by Samantha Childress

So beautiful. In tears by the end. Remembering my late Fathers ( August 2023) daily relationship with ice cream. One of his joys. Thankyou Samantha . Grief is a messy thing but today you helped me smile and giggle remembering Dad.

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I am so sorry for your loss, Deborah, and I'm glad to have been able to help you recall a good memory of your dad ❤️

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Apr 26Liked by Samantha Childress

Aw I would have loved to meet up! Napoli is just an hour (and a world) away 😊 glad you enjoyed your Roman lifestyle.

Here in Napoli the complaints list is also huge. 😂

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Oh shoot! It's funny, as an American--even having lived abroad for a long time--I never stop to think that major cities could be that close 😂 but Nick and I have already resolved to go back to Italy ASAP and we really want to check out the south...hopefully we can catch you when we do? 🙂

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Apr 26Liked by Samantha Childress

The list of food I associate with people is so damn long. Come to think of it, I associate every person close to me with a meal or several. Coq au vin with my father, empanadas with my mother, spicy nachos with my friend Cam, French wines with my friend Keaton, all-you-can-eat curry buffets with my friend Usman, hazy IPAs with an ex (probably why I don't like them much anymore), and the smells of an Argentian asado with everyone I love, but most of all, my grandfather.

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It's crazy how strong food associations can be! This is a such a great list of eats...all signs of a life well lived with your friends and loved ones, I think 🙂

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Apr 26Liked by Samantha Childress

Thank you for this article! You have beautiful memories from your father and thank you for sharing them! I'm happy that you enjoyed Italy and Italian food! I miss gelato, and when I'm back home, I love to go to the same gelateria where I was going when I was a kid, and recently I brought there also my girlfriend.

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So fun that you were able to take your girlfriend to your favorite gelateria, Flavio! There is something really special about revisiting those places and sharing them with friends and loved ones--it's like giving them a window into your childhood. :)

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Apr 26Liked by Samantha Childress

This is absolutely beautiful, so fun, and deeply poignant. A rollicking ride! Thank you!

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:) thank YOU for reading, Christiana!

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I wrote a micro essay on my most intense food memory that begins like this :

“Not as thrilling as an arrabbiata, not as erotic as bitter chocolate, not as invigorating as a lemon sorbet on a summer afternoon, but known like your husband’s eyes and rich like gold is the taste of the marzipan fruits made by the dolceria of the Santa Caterina monastery in Palermo, Sicily…”

To read the rest; http://matterpress.com/journal/2023/03/20/cnf-marzipan/

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I love this mini-essay, Claire!! Can I share it as a Note?

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Oh, please do—thank you!

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