Selfishly, I must say the torrential downpour happening outside my window is making my day’s assignment easier. A week from tomorrow I am leaving for Italy and in the process I am stockpiling Game Plan columns to run in my absence.

I love to write, rain or shine, but the lure of the sunny Hoboken waterfront has waylaid my good writing intentions many times. Not today. I sit here with plenty of vegetables, fruit and protein options in my kitchen to fuel my goal of knocking out five columns this weekend.

Three down, two to go.