Relaxation! What a lovely day! I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single minute of it. We had a lecture early this morning on Etruscan history. It sounds pretty lame, I find any phrase involving the word lecture to be dull, but the man knew a lot about Etruscan influence in Italy. Immediately after the lecture I went to my first day in the cooking lab. AMAZING!! Seriously, I can't wait to come home and cook for everyone! Americans have a unique and incorrect perception of Italian food. We think that Italian food is complex - false. Italian food is all about choosing the best ingredients and using simple clean flavors that are enjoyable to taste.
Yummy cookies we made.
On the menu for today:
Insalata Caterina:Salad with arugula (peppery lettuce), spinach and 4 other greens. Garnished with pecorino and dry ricotta cheese with balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt. It is so simple but so delicious.
Spinaci Ravioli: Homemade pasta ravioli (wohoo I made pasta) with spinach, ricotta, basil, and parmigiano reggiano filling. This was dressed with a cooked tomato, garlic, and basil sauce.
Vitello con Limone: Veal cutlets with lemon sauce served with grilled pumpkin was our secondo.
Biscotti: For dolce (dessert) we made biscotti (Italian hard cookie) which had almonds, lemon and orange zest, and pinenuts.
Everything tasted so good and it was very simple to understand and make. I'm excited to share it with all of you!
We came home after that (and after a quick gelato trip). Benny (my host dad) got home from his business trip today and brought home Mozzarella Bufala (Mozzarella from buffalo milk) sourdough bread and some other surprises. Elizabeth's favorite part of his surprise was the living creatures he brought home too (oysters and clams) along with some freshly caught fish from this morning (thankfully not alive). I'm lucky because this family knows how to eat. We had clam spaghetti a few days ago...buonissima!
As we were cooking Benny turned some music on and he started teaching us how to dance like Italians. It was hilarious because I was so terrible. We kept saying, take a picture - I did take pictures but my blog is being lame and won't post any. When it starts working you'll enjoy seeing how awkward I look in the photo.
Another funny thing that came up today was wine and liquor (any alcohol in general). Benny said, "It's too bad you don't drink this because it is very good. Mormon." He kept offering us different kinds of alcohol and we just politely refused. He's a persistent little man because Elizabeth is 98% sure that the 3 different kinds of dessert they gave us tonight contained alcohol. I didn't really notice (me being naive) so of course I ate them all. Elizabeth was sitting next to me trying to either gag it down or explain that she's too full to eat anymore. Oh funny. Should I talk to the bishop about it? Shoot!
We finished off the night by playing Wii with Giuseppe and Alberto. I feel right at home.
GELATO COUNT: 11