Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce and fresh bread is the best way to celebrate my scoop today. The sauce is so incredibly rich and fattening — made from equal portions of butter, heavy cream, and Gorgonzola cheese — that I don’t indulge in the dish as often as I would like.
Tonight is going to be a solo celebratory meal. I love cooking and especially enjoy feeding others, but by the time I filed my story, most people were thinking about bed, not dinner.
I have such a strange mixture of emotions running through me about my scoop that will run in the newspaper tomorrow.
For the most part, my heart is heavy remembering the cherubic face of the little girl and her gorgeous, smiling mother. I’m heartsick that they were both victims of a solider who returned from Iraq with PTSD. Police say it looks like the man killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself.
At the same time, I’m overcome with guilt. I feel terribly guilty that at the same time I’m heartbroken over this tragedy, I’m, also, exhilarated that I’m going to kick the bigger paper’s butt on this story despite them having three reporters on it against little old me.
What to do with such a volatile cocktail of emotions swirling in me?
Eat and drink until I don’t think anymore, of course.
It may not be the healthiest way to cope, but it usually helps—at least temporarily—stem the flood of feelings threatening to overcome me.
In North Beach, I swing by Bonadonna’s Deli and pick up a loaf of fresh bread. You can’t eat gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce without a thick hunk of bread to sop up the remaining sauce in your pasta bowl. It would be a tragedy to let all that creamy, cheesy goodness go to waste.
In my lobby, I unearth a postcard from Russia in my stack of mail as I trudge up my stairs. I quickly scan it. Damn. Tomas spotted my trap for his King.
I light all the candles in my apartment and sing along to Billie Holiday as I make dinner. The beauty of gnocchi is once the water boils, the little potato dumplings cook in less than a minute. Melting and stirring the sauce only takes a few minutes longer.
Even so, it’s close to ten when I settle down with my dinner, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and my new book, The Art of the Chessmaster, which I flip through hoping for inspiration on how to counter Tomas’ move.
When the wine is gone, I start on the vodka. I need a distraction. Horrific images of what happened to that beautiful family keep nudging into my mind. I try to push them back, but I can’t help remembering what the cops said (off the record). What awaited them when they opened that house where three bodies had lain dead for a month?
Pushing back the nightmarish images, I finally am tired and fall into bed craving something. It’s not food. It’s not another tumbler of chilled vodka. I don’t know what it is, but I know that I need something more to fill the emptiness inside.
You can read more about Gabriella in Blessed Are Those Who Weep, the third book in the “Gabriella Giovanni” mystery series, published by HarperCollins. The first two books in the series are Blessed Are The Dead and Blessed Are The Meek.
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About the author
Kristi Belcamino is a writer, artist, and crime reporter who also bakes a tasty biscotti. She is the author of the Gabriella Giovanni mystery novels. Her first novel in the series, Blessed Are The Dead, (HarperCollins) was inspired by her dealings with a serial killer while working at newspapers in the Bay Area. As an award-winning reporter, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, and watched autopsies. Find out more at www.kristibelcamino.com.