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Summer Flavors among the Modena Hills

Blog e Ricette

Anna Maria woke up early that morning, the sun was starting to light up the sky with a soft pink. It was the perfect day for the picnic she had been planning for weeks with her closest friends. With a smile on her face, she went down to the kitchen to prepare the final details of lunch.

“Good morning, darling,” her mother said, coming out the door. “Do you need help with anything?”

“No, mother, I have everything under control,” Anna Maria replied enthusiastically. “I’m just chopping peaches and mangoes for the salad. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction.”

Anna Maria was 27 years old and worked as a graphic designer. She was always busy, but that day she had decided to give herself a break. After finishing making the quinoa salad she put everything in a large wicker basket. She made sure she had everything she needed, then left the house with the basket under her arm.

The hills of Modena stretched out green and lush under the clear sky, offering a breathtaking panorama to the eyes and heart. Anna Maria loved those hills, they reminded her of the afternoons spent with her family during her childhood. In a park located right in the heart of those places the sun was shining and a light breeze refreshed the air: Anna Maria found a perfect place under a large oak tree, where she spread out a red and white checked blanket. Soon her friends arrived: Marco, a young doctor who was always busy, Lucia, a teacher with a passion for photography, and Paolo, a musician who never separated from his guitar.

“Mery, this place is wonderful!” Lucia exclaimed, taking out her camera to capture the beauty of the moment. “The hills of Modena seen from here are truly enchanting, don’t you think?”

“I brought my guitar,” Paolo said with a smile. “I could play a bit before eating!”

“Great,” Anna Maria replied. “I have prepared a light and delicious lunch, I’m sure you will love it.”

They all sat on the blanket, chatting and laughing. Marco told of his latest adventures at the Hospital, stories of hope and of patients who had finally managed to emerge victorious from the last cycle of chemo. Lucia shared some photos she had taken recently, showing the happy faces of the children in her class and Paolo strummed a few notes on the guitar, creating a relaxed and joyful atmosphere.

When it was time to eat, Anna Maria opened the basket and everyone was amazed: the quinoa salad with peaches, mango, fresh pecorino and balsamic vinegar was colorful and inviting, a perfect mix of flavors and textures. After a first taste, positive comments immediately arrived, appreciating her efforts in the kitchen.

“Mary, that’s exceptional! Aren’t you in the wrong job?” Marco, a greedy cheese lover, said laughing as he served himself, trying to include as many pieces of pecorino in his portion. “You really outdid yourself.”

“Thank you,” she replied, blushing slightly. “I wanted us to enjoy a day together as best we could, away from everyday stress. When will we all be free on the same day?”

The afternoon passed in a flash between stories, music and laughter. Paolo played some songs written by him, Lucia took photos of every special moment and Marco, despite his always very serious manner, relaxed and joined in the fun, even singing along with Paolo on a couple of occasions.

When the sun began to set, creating long golden shadows on the hills, Anna Maria felt completely happy. She had created a precious memory with her friends, a moment of pure joy and connection that she would carry in her heart forever.

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