Posts filed under ‘Books’

Separated at birth, aloo gobi and doughnuts

Ciao Bloggisti!

What I’m watching: Just finished watching Vieni Via Con Me. Those of you in Italy know what I’m talking about. Tonight’s episode featured specials guests Gianfranco Fini and Pierluigi Bersani. Speaking of which, the leader of the Partito Democratico bears a scary resemblance to Dharma’s dad, dontcha think? Separated at birth, people!!

 

Pier Luigi Bersani

 

Dharma’s Dad

Music of the day: I loved Avion Travel‘s cover of the song Vieni Via Con Me on tonight’s show. Actor Toni Servillo (singer Beppe’s brother) guested on vocals.  And just listen to that guitar!

Best read of the day: I’m trying to teach my son the English alphabet and he’s making great progress with Thomas the Tank Engine ABC. It’s very basic but there’s something about trains that keeps Diggy hooked. Any other suggestions for teaching bilingual kids would be most appreciated.

What I’m eating: Yesterday I cooked up a storm: a bit of Indian and Italian. My husband bought some cauliflower so I could make aloo gobi.

aloo gobi

It was good but not quite perfect. I didn’t have any cumin and I was a bit stingy with the green chilis as I’m a milk dispenser now.  My husband did manage to find some coriander/cilantro in the garden, thank goodness. It’s so fragrant and really makes a difference. I also made chick pea and potato samosas (which the kids actually ate!) as well as a dish with borlotti beans, pancetta and red wine.

Best moment of the day: Playing in front of the mirror with the baby. She’s such a giggler now! Oh, cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer was also a highlight, albeit on a different level. Very zen.


Where I’d like to go: To Tim Hortons, baby! In one month I’m going to be in Canada and you know my first stop will not be my Mom’s place but Timmy’s, to get a chocolate dip doughnut and a double double of course.

 

16 November 2010 at 2:14 am 1 comment

Waiting for Miss Panino

Ciao Bloggisti!

Hope you’ve been having a good summer. I got back a week ago from our holidays in Liguria. Lots of swimming, walking and, of course, eating! We went to quite a few sagre (village fairs featuring local gastronomical specialities, live music, etc.) and stuffed ourselves silly. And I discovered a heavenly ice cream parlour in the town where we stayed. It had the most decadent, delicious chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had. The shop also specializes in real Sicilian granita but I was too smitten with their ice cream to try one. Definitely next time!

So now I’m back at my unusually quiet home, organizing the last few things in the house while the kids are still at seaside with their nonni. My mom arrived from Canada this morning, laden with so many goodies that getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight will take a lot longer than expected. But how can I resist Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chocolate-covered almonds, cheddar cheese, banana chips, jackfruit chips, fluorescent orange cheese puffs, Sweet Tarts and my beloved Ketchup chips? My mouth is watering at the very thought! But I guess it’s a good thing to be distracted since tomorrow is D-day.

Yep, I’m still lugging that panino around. I know I haven’t been keeping you up to speed with my pregnancy but I’m no Dooce. I worked full-time up until the end of my eighth month and went on holiday soon afterwards. In the evenings I was too, too tired to have the energy to turn the computer on so I spent most of my time watching 30 Rock or reading (books such as the Baby Whisperer, Kurt Cobain’s biography, The Help, The Scarlet Letter, etc.). And just between you and me, I couldn’t really sit down for long periods in front of my computer because, ahem, my keister would hurt like mad. Blame it on the belly. But the hubster recently got me a new laptop so I can write anywhere now.

Another book I’ve been reading lately is the Canadian Medical Association’s book of Mother and Baby Care. Since I’m almost at Week 40, let’s see what they have to tell me:

By this stage, you will feel very ungainly, and will be bumping into objects. (Yes and yes)

Your skin will feel stretched and taut across your abdomen and may be itchy (oh yeah!)

Your belly will be so large that you have difficulty getting comfortable in bed (ok, I get it – I’m a freakin’ whale!)

But seriously, since I know that in max. 10 days my girl will be making her appearance, I’m enjoying my last days with the bump. It may be a pain sometimes but it’s by far the easiest way to carry a little ‘un. And there’s no way to describe the sensation of a baby moving around inside of you. I will miss it. For now, she seems to be in no hurry to move out. My mom, who used to be a maternity nurse, checked my belly today and said the baby’s head still hasn’t engaged. But tomorrow there will be a full moon and anything could happen.

Since I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write more in the next few days, here’s a very overdue and brief overview of my pregnancy.

FIRST TRIMESTER

Found out the big news on Xmas day. Was more nauseous than in the previous pregnancies. So much so it was hard to hide my condition at work. Started cleaning up the house to make room for baby. She’s going to take over the old kitchen. Had a bad stomach flu, which always happens when I’m expecting. I was also DOG-TIRED, all the time! But I did have enough energy to go on a trip to Liguria, Nice and Piedmont, where Bellie had her first skiing lesson.

SECOND TRIMESTER

Felt much better. No more nausea and my energy levels (and my appetite) went up. Could start to feel baby kicking! And found out we were expecting a little girl!! The search for a name began. Started explaining to Diggy that he was going to be a big brother. Was not immediately impressed. Asked if he could punch and pinch her. Must keep an eye on him. Major cleaning and renovation work at home.

Went on a lovely Easter vacation to Tuscany and Rome. Hubby turned 40 and we threw a big party for the old guy. Started doing yoga and prenatal exercises at home. Bump started to show and I was at that awkward stage: I could barely fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes but I wasn’t big enough for maternity wear.

THIRD TRIMESTER

Felt really good during most of this trimester except for one thing: my swollen feet! But it’s normal with the heat and humidity of Milan. I would get massages and do reflexology but it was only when I was in Liguria that my feet miraculously recovered. We finished up renovations and prepared the baby’s room. I forgot how annoying it is to wash and hang onesies, tiny socks and bibs. Bellie went away to summer camp for the first time and we travelled to Carnia to visit the site.

The still nameless baby was kicking up a storm, which would provoke cramps and other fun things but nothing serious. I still had enough strength to do some major spring cleaning all over the house. Doctor confirmed that baby was going to be a big girl! It was really busy at work in this period but I managed to wrap everything up before starting mat leave at the end of July. Little bro came to visit. And finally… the panino and me went on holiday!

Now we’re in the home stretch. I thought that with all the activity and travelling that went on over the last nine months, she’d make an early appearance. But it looks like she’s a late bloomer, just like her brother and sister before her. That’s ok. I don’t mind waiting a little bit longer.

Will keep you posted!

23 August 2010 at 10:51 pm 4 comments

Desperation Poutine

Ciao Bloggisti!

Well, here we are, week after my rant about Italy and I’m still peeved! This time for a problem at my daughter’s preschool. It’s a long and complicated story, too boring to explain in detail but basically they decided to close the school for three days because water was leaking from the roof. And even if my daughter’s class isn’t even in the same building as the school with the water leak, they magically found a bit of condensation in their classroom (it’s been raining non-stop here for four days straight) and the mayor declared their classroom as unsafe as well. How nice! Especially since there’s a long weekend coming up. That way the teachers can add three more days to their vacation!! The funny thing is, my son’s daycare is in the same building as my daughter’s class and they’re still open. Hmmm….

Ok, enough of my complaining! Let’s talk about something infinitely more interesting. FOOD! Since I’ve been feeling homesick of late, one evening I decided to make one of my favourite Canadian comfort foods: poutine. Quoi?? You don’t know the celestial concoction of  french fries, gravy and cheese curds? It was one of my go-to meals when I was a university student in Montreal as it was cheap, filling and the perfect cure for a hangover. There’s even a so-called Italian Poutine, made of fries, shredded mozzarella and bolognese sauce that you’d never actually find  in Bologna but which I didn’t disdain either.

However, the other evening I wanted the real thing. I happened to have some leftover homemade chicken gravy and decided it was the perfect time to take a walk down Canadian culinary lane. I wanted to do things right so I fried my fries instead of baking them in the oven like I usually do. The only problem was that I didn’t have cheese curds. Hmmm, what would be a good substitute for curds? Why Asiago, of course! So I carefully assembled my Desperation Poutine: first the french fry base, then the Asiago and finally the piping hot gravy. I closed my eyes and took a bite.

poutine

My first thought was, “Meh”. After all that work, all the expectations, my poutine was a bit of a disappointment.  As you can see, the Asiago didn’t melt, which is what happens to curds upon contact with the hot gravy. Perhaps the cheese I used was too aged or too cold. But that stringy, cheesy goodness which is essential to the whole poutine experience was missing from my invention. But I haven’t given up hope. Now I have to try and find cheese curds here in Italy or book a flight back home asap!

Help a Canuck girl in need! What Italian cheese would be the best substitute for curds?

1 May 2009 at 12:11 am 12 comments


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