The Norm


Dinner time has become routine. I realized yesterday how comfortable I am with the schedule. I know at 7:45, for example, that I absolutely have to boil water for pasta otherwise I’ll be late. Usually I already have the sauce prepared, but last night’s pasta dish required last minute prep so I couldn’t. To counteract this I made the meat first, kept it warm in the oven, and fried the zucchini second. The last things I did were the pasta “sauce” and the Stupid Salad.

(The middle picture is breakfast. Oatmeal with my Sugarless Plum Compote and Frutti di Bosco yogurt.)

A friend of mine told me once that humans digest fruit differently after around 2pm. I don’t know if the time is exact, but I do realize that eating fruit after dinner with cheese often leaves me feeling a bit off, like there’s something in my stomach that should be digested first but can’t be because it’s at the top. I get all bloated and then I don’t want to do anything but sit down and go to sleep. I also don’t know how I feel about eating salad after the main dinner. I guess that’s my western upbringing talking. Salad is an appetizer, not a meal, and certainly not dessert. Similarly, we eat ice cream after dinner when I’m at home and that’s seriously looked down upon here for some reason. Gelato is for mid afternoon, not for after dinner. Cookies and sweets are for tea time only. These people are missing out.

So, last night for dinner I made Spaghetti alla Stallina (lazio), pollo aceto, and zucchini a scapece. It was tasty, but yet again I overlooked them. I really need to get a grip. Spaghetti alla Stallina is like Spaghetti alla Grecia, but I guess without the addition of starchy pasta water. Grecia is in the “lazio” category as well, which I’ve come to learn basically means a really simple, often tomato-less sauce. I liked it a lot, probably because it had a strong garlic and pancetta flavor. Yummy. I learned to cleanse my fingers with lemon after using garlic to get the smell off them (though I kind of like it). Rachel Ray swears by grating garlic when sautéing. I’m totally in her camp.

Happy 4th of July! I’m in charge of making side dishes for the 25 people coming to dinner tonight. I’m planning on deviled eggs, coleslaw, potato salad, and a three-bean salad (skeptically). Sep will make the burgers. This is the grill situation into which we were thrown:

Sep and the Professor have been arguing about whether a new one is necessary. I think Sep has finally won the battle and is getting a new one later today.

To all my relatives on my moms side: I’m thinking of the Rice Heritage Cottage today and of all the delicious dish to pass happiness that will be happening. I wish it was a similar situation here, I don’t know why it wouldn’t be a potluck with 25 people (most of them neighbors anyway). I hope lots of people hit the bouy! I also hope the meeting goes well. I’m looking forward to reading the minutes.

I’ll let you all know how the chaos here unfolds. Ciao!

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