Not Exactly the Type of Adventures I had in Mind

25 Oct

So it’s been a little less than a week since I last wrote and of course I am very sorry, I wish I could blame my “MIA” status on something like being busy, but in fact that would be a lie, as this week I have done absolutely nothing. Ok of course that is also another lie I have done things (imagine how hard it would be to do absolutely nothing), In fact I have done many things, but none of these thing would make a particular interesting post, therefore in hindsight I realize I was really thinking of you the entire time, not wanting to bore you with my simple day-to-day activities.

So if you read my last post you know I was in search of adventures, open to everything and In a relaxed state of mind, however next time I know I must be a bit more specific with the type of adventures I wish to have, this week I sure did have my fair share of adventures, of course though none of these were the type of adventures I had in mind.

So what does one do when they are search of adventures, well for starters they leave the apartment. So that’s what I did, I started my week by telling myself the only acceptable times to stay in the apartment would be to eat (although I am not frightened by the idea of eating alone, I am on a bit of a budget which doesn’t include going out for nightly dinners) and to sleep, and maybe use the bathroom (as public bathroom in Italy aren’t too common).

So I started my day Monday morning with a trip to the library (ok I know what your thinking), but trust me this is not your typical library, not unless your typical library allows smoking, drinking, has an outdoor terrace, has a cafe which prepares gourmet meals and of course hosts daily happy hour with music, and has waiters that come around to take your order. No this is not your standard run of the mill library at all, in fact it is more like a pub opened during the day hours. In my opinion this is a place intentionally mislabeled as a library so that people can go  and  not feel guilty about drinking during the day and socializing with others, because after all they are at a library……

Of course though as luck would have it I always happened to choose the spots to sit where the people around me are actually studying, who would have thought! Of course being on vacation for a week I have no actual work to do, and I often times after sitting down it feels a bit awkward to directly stand up  again and search for a more sociable spot, so instead I found myself seated while trying to disguise watching comical YouTube clips as “doing work”……that sure was an experience and not exactly the experience I thought it would be.

Finding things to do at night I assumed would be a simple task, after all, this is Florence, a small city with a surprisingly very large nightlife and with notoriously friendly locals (especially to tourists…I think you get what I am trying to say). I assumed I would not have a problem finding an adeventure…turns out I did though. I went to the most populated places I could think of Piazza Duomo, Piazza Repubblica, Ponte Vecchio, in hopes of meeting people, maybe socializing a bit or at least to receive one of those flyers advertising clubs and special promotions that are typically very annoying to get, however, I was shocked to find all those places nearly deserted. Now typically I know that it’s common for most italians to go out around 1:00 a.m. or so but by 12:30 I was nearly falling asleep in the street, it was then when I pretty much decided that there would be no adventure exciting enough to keep me sleep deprived so I called it a night and headed home.

After my two nights of failed attempts to find an adventure I decided maybe I was trying to hard, so I decided to go on living normally hoping that by oppositely by not looking for an adventure, one would find me.

So at least my adventures did find me, however it wasn’t the type of adventure I had anticipated at all, especially because this particular adventured occurred in my kitchen….how fitting. With a weekend trip booked for  Como, Italy to see my family there, I decided it would be a nice surpise to bring a typical american dessert, chocolate chip cookies.

I headed to the supermarket for ingredients olive oil (in lieu of butter, more italian like), sugar, flour, chocolate bars (they don’t actually have chocolate chips), vanilla, and baking powder. As you have probably anticipated my first adventure came in the grocery store which involved actually finding the ingredients. I headed to the baking aisle (in my mind the most logical place to find everything), there I managed to find the vanilla, baking powder, and chocolate bars, but not the two and main ingredients for the cookies (flour and sugar), after taking a tour of the grocery store for a good half hour I decided to finally ask for help, I was directed to the chip aisle where I  finally found the sugar and the olive oil aisle where I found the flour…who would have thought they’d be in such obscure places.

I then absend mindedly walked into  a line only to realize that I was sandwiched between two people who had carts filled to the top with food, longingly I looked at the self checkout line wishing I could manage to leave the current line I was standing in for  a new faster moving line , the only problem was I could not leave, the carriage behind me took up the entire length of the aisle making creeping by impossible. So there in line I waited for exactly 23 minutes, during this time the cashier left for about 7 minutes in the middle of a transaction only to come back talking to a coworker before finishing cashing out her current customer. I looked around for annoyed signs  from other customers, but was shocked to find they all looked quite content, turns out I was the only one even mildly annoyed (how typical of an American).

Once I got home I immediately started to prepare the cookie dough, this proved to be especially tricky considering our home unfortunately did not come with any baking tools, nerveless I embodied the italian mindset and used my eyes to measure the amounts of ingredients needed for the cookie dough (hoping that the Italian spirit would look down on me and give me a helping hand).

The next problem was that our apartment does not have an oven, however our home does have a toaster oven (as if that’s an even exchange for not having an oven), so I decided to experiment a bit and try making the cookies in the toaster oven….what a disaster, as I am sure you have already imagined.

The first batch burned after just 4 minutes as the heat was too high…of course I didn’t realize this as the temperature here is in celsius!

The next batch didn’t burn however the cookies were too close together and after ten minutes I took out the pan and noticed that my cookies resembled more of a cake than cookies.

I lowered the heat and put less cookies on the pan hoping that lucky batch number three would be the winner, I checked on them several times but than noticed that our toaster was smoking, not knowing what to do I pulled out the plug, and threw out batch number three.

Finally I gained the strength to go back to my cookie making adventure, unfortunately though after 7 failed attempts I had gone through all of chocoloate chip ingredients and had nothing to show for it, so I decided to get creative and use ingredients I had on hand in the apartment (the idea of going back to that grocery store wasn’t an idea I had yet warmed up to).

I decided to make oatmeal raisin cookies, that  surpisingly gave me no trouble at all. The only hassle was that because I was using a small toaster oven I had to use a small pan which fit four cookies on the pan at a time, although the cookies took relativly no time at all to bake (maybe 10 minutes) they were too fragile in their hot and soft condition to remove from the pan, so after making four cookies I had to shut off the oven let the cookies cool for twenty minutes, remove from the pan, re-grease the pan, pre-heat the toaster oven and spoon out the dough, to give you a better idea of this, 8 cookies took over an hour to make.

16 cookies later I was exhausted and made up my mind to never make cookies again, next time I will have no qualms about buying a pre-packed box of cookies and pretending that I made them myself.

So when I started this week, an adventure involving seven batches of chocolate chip cookie dough and a smoking toaster wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but hey the weeks not over yet, so heres to hoping for another post worthy adventure…maybe this one will be less of a hastle!


One Response to “Not Exactly the Type of Adventures I had in Mind”

  1. Franco October 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Those cookies look great. You are in Italy, don’t get frustrated !!
    Say hello to your family in Como.

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