Love and Prosciutto

Joe and I in da' cooler

Joe and I in da’ cooler

God is in the details. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Talk about coincidences. Jim meets a wonderful man last year. It was Joe (above), and Jim fondly nicknames him “Prosciutto Joe.” They click. Joe invites Jim over, Jim buys a prosciutto. (so far, I’ve not met Joe)

In a separate state of affairs, I’m taking a water movement class at the YMCA. I overhear the ladies talking about the recent death of a butcher who was in the class. His name was Joe. He makes prosciutto. I tell Jim. Could it be the same man? We wonder. We think Joe is no longer on this earth. This makes us very sad.

But wait! Joe turns out to be alive and well. AND definitely IN MY SWIM CLASS. Joe and I have a good laugh over the coincidence. In his gorgeous Italian/English way of speaking, he says, “Next time Jim comes over, you come.”

So last Saturday, we came, we ate, and we left with prosciutto. Joe only makes so many and most of them are taken. I think someone else is probably getting one less prosciutto because of my husband.

The first thing we did when we arrived at Joe’s was eat. We were invited to the dining room table where his daughter LIdia made us fresh cappuccinos to go with our slices of homemade apple pie. Then Joe’s wife Ida presented us with little handheld pies, made with a filling of ground chickpeas, cocoa powder, and of course, Jim’s honey. Amazing.

When I was at that dining room table, I felt like family. We told stories, heard about Ida’s recent miracle, and talked about everything under the sun. Joe took a small break to attend to matters outside but when he returned, into the cellar we went.

The basement reminded me of my grandmother’s house. There was a washer, dryer, a stove, sink, and a table and chairs. Ida showed me her summer herbs, drying on a rack in her gas oven. It’s the old style, with a pilot light!

Sweet Ida and her Herbs, Parsley, Rosemary, and Basil.

Sweet Ida and her Herbs: Parsley, Rosemary, and Basil.

Next, Joe, JIm, and I went into the cooler so JIm could pick his prosciutto. Jim looks around a bit (they are everywhere) and picks THE ONE. Joe says, “Looks like a good one Jim!”. While Ida and I talk (and she gives me a jar of her homemade grape jelly) I hear Jim and Joe talk about salt. Joe tells me it’s all about the salt. I believe him.

I hope this isn't a secret. ;)

I hope this isn’t a secret. 😉

Then Joe and Jim cut a hunk off of the prosciutto, slice it paper thin, and we all taste. And moan. It is so good. So awesome. I can hardly believe I’m witness to this whole morning.

I know from experience that God is truly in the details. The salt, the herbs, the apples in the pie, the foam on the cappuccino, the amazing prosciutto. The deep down warmth of this family is just beautiful. I promised Joe that I would wrap some of his paper thin prosciutto around melon slices for my son’s upcoming baby shower. Joe, it would be my pleasure.

I love these stamps. Joe is a butcher, after all.

I love these stamps. Joe is a butcher, after all.

Jim and Joe and the prize Prosciutto

Jim and Joe and the prize Prosciutto

PS. The barn wedding I did a month ago? Joe is the bride’s great uncle. I saw him at the wedding!

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10 thoughts on “Love and Prosciutto

  1. Cindy

    Wow what a heartwarming story! You do meet the nicest kinest people, Joanne! I could almost feel how comfortable you were sitting around the dining room table enjoying that wonderful food! Reminded me of going to my mom’s and grandma’s house. Awesome picture of Jim, the butcher, and the mouthwatering prosciutto!!

    Reply
  2. Marylin Warner

    You have written so many delightful and touching life stories, Joanne, but this is one of my favorites! I’m still smiling–and I was so relieved to know Joe was alive–but to learn he’s been in your water class was wonderful. And the connections, with food and friends, continue! This is beautiful.

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      When I figured out that Jim’s prosciutto guy and the guy in my swim class were the same, it was a light bulb moment. It’s truly a small world. Glad you enjoyed this story Marylin! xo

      Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      We know there are no coincidences right? I love that God has put such wonderful people and experiences in my life. Bless you. I really love your blog. xo Joanne

      Reply

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