Some might call me crazy for attempting to fly from Auckland to my native Washington D.C. with three stopovers over 26 hours, travelling four months' pregnant with a four-year-old. But I might call crazy those who wouldn't. Besides, what better occasion to wear one's anti-thrombosis stockings?
The only problems I had on the various flights over were bending over to reach my bag under the seat in front of me and getting my boy to eat peas that had been in inappropriate proximity to a piece of beef with gravy. At least he ate some bread and prosciutto cotto, which is nothing fancier than a few slices of ham: it just sounds better when I translate it like that into Italian for my bilingual son.
If you really want fancy, let's talk prosciutto crudo. I must have been insane that when I lived in Naples I didn't eat it for three meals a day. Now all I can do is dream of wrapping myself in an Armani-tailored suit made of prosciutto crudo and lounging around on a cantaloupe day bed sticking figs in my hair and licking myself. Who would care if at the end of the day everyone could see my stretch marks and my love handles? But I can blame such daydreams on the hormones: you have no excuse.
Given that cold cuts (especially cured meats) are the top pregnancy prohibition in that they could be carrying miscarriage-triggering listeria, what was a poor jetlagged old girl like me to do when teased at a party with a platter of prosciutto crudo?
I thought how maddening it is that prosciutto e melone, fruit wrapped in lean protein, is a recommended meal for Italian would-be mothers. Call me crazy but I couldn't say no. After all, this is confession time. I skillfully forked three slices onto my plate and ran into the kitchen. No one was around. I quickly went to a dark corner and proceeded to...
...microwave the life out of it. I turned my prosciutto crudo into prosciutto cotto. Ham. Or perhaps worse: bacon. But for a deprived soul like me living in the land of long white cloud and the many white lambs, it was mind-blowingly delicious.
Just please don't tell any of my Italian friends.