I May Not Be in Italy Anymore, But I Sure Am Eating Like I Am.

26 Dec

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So you may have noticed I haven’t posted much in the past few days…the simple reason for that is because I have returned to the U.S.A.and my life here is just less exciting then my life in Italy. I had such as amazing and enriching experience in Italy and I was definitely not ready to leave and head home, but my parents who were desperately missing me and had previously bought me a nonrefundable plane ticket felt a bit differently. So here I am back in the USA and although I miss Italy more with each passing day I am trying to make the most out of the situation and incorporate the things I learned in Italy into my life here in America.

Of course adjusting back to my American lifestyle has been a bit challenging and I am definitely experiencing a bit of culture shock. Over these past few months I have become quite relaxed and laid back. During my time in Italy I simply enjoyed life and in general rushed less, initially I hoped that my new new relaxed outlook would carry over to my America life ( After all I sure can use a more laid back attitude, especially being in school with a tough upcoming semester) but since being home and once again immersing myself into our fast pace society, I am finding myself relaxing less and stressing more…guess I’ll just have to return to Italy again soon in order to refocus! Then there are the small day to day things I miss about Italy, like being able to walk out my door and walk down the old and charming cobblestone lined streets, the concrete pavement here in America doesn’t seem to have the same effect on me. I miss sitting at a restaurants for hours and not being hassled to pay a check and leave and I miss not having to tip, if only I could get away with that here! As a non legal adult (not yet 21) I am especially missing the night life in Italy, going out dancing and drinking wine made for a far better night that staying in and ordering take out and having a movie night! I am also really missing my Italian friends, who would check in on me, take care of me, and invite me over for amazing dinners filled with authentic, fresh, delicious food, the hamburgers and fries here in America aren’t exactly comparable.

So I guess you could say life is quite different here, but I am doing my best to try to combine my Italian life with my American life.For one I try to talk to my friends in Italy, via skype, email, or facebook, and though it’s tough with our busy schedules and the time difference, their friendship is important to me and therefore worth the effort. I am also still studying/speaking Italian and although it’s tough here especially because I don’t have many people to practice with and most of the time I end up talking to myself, I know putting in my time and work will be well worth in the future when I return to Italy. As far the food, well I haven’t stopped cooking since I returned home, which my family is quite happy about. I have been trying to use all the techniques I learned in Italy to make traditional Italian dishes.

With the holiday coming I decided it would be the perfect time to demonstrate my skills learned in Italy while also allowing my family the opportunity to taste authentic italian items.

I made schiacciata, a typical bread in Italy similar to a pizza without cheese. I made schiacciata topped with caramelized onions, fresh rosemary, a bit of salt and pepper, and crispy bacon (typically in Italy you would find speck or pancetta on top)…quite delicious and addicting! 2012-12-24 11.59.03

Then I made a crostata di patate, similar to a quiche, made with potatoes, sauteed onions, eggs, scallions and a bit of salt and pepper. A very light and delicious dish which is quite diverse and can be served as a breakfast item, appetizer, or main dish.

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Then I made crostini di polenta con una salsa con salsiccia, toasted polenta rounds topped with a slightly spicy tomato sauce with crumbled sausage! (I apologize for the poor image quality, but they were quite a hit and by the time I got a chance to snap a picture the crostini were nearly all gone)!

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Of course I also had to demonstrate my pasta making abilities as well, so for primo piatto I made fresh tagliatelle served with my homemade bolognese sauce made with ground pork and beef !

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For secondo piatto I made galliene ripene,  roasted cornish hens, stuffed with a butternut squash and sausage stuffing.

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And for dessert in addition to our several typical italian Christmas items (which were all purchased while I was in Italy), Ricciarelli, an almond paste cookie, panforte, a typical italian cake from Siena made with fruits and nuts, and Torrone, a hard nougut type candy made with honey and nuts.

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I decided to made lo strudel con mele. Apple Studel, although this may be a dessert typically associate with german baking, it is also quite popular in Italy!

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So although I am anxious to return to Italy, for now i’ll have to eat my tagliatelle con bolognese and pretend I am back in Italy while consoling myself by knowing I will one day return.

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