Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shopping for Dinner

On Saturday we had six colleagues from school join us for dinner. The menu included meat loaf, a Middle Eastern carrot salad, marinated cucumbers and onions, a potato pie with pesto, and a macedonia (fruit) salad.

My first stop was the butcher across the street. The butcher ground together 1.5 kilo of turkey breast and .5 kilo of pork. Next stop was the grocery on the corner where I got a dozen slices of pancetta, sliced super thin... almost like bacon in the USA. Then it was off to the open air market down the street. At one stall I got some fruit for the macedonia. At another stall I bought some Parmesan cheese to use with the meatloaf. Another stall was the source for the red peppers and cucumbers. My final stop was to get some parsley, and because it was close to market closing time, the vendor gave me the bunch for free.

These are the turkey meatloaves ready for the oven. They are made with onions, red peppers, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and bread crumbs. They are topped with the pancetta.

This is the potato pie, ready to serve, with pesto and pistachio nuts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Roman Photo Location Revealed

Saturday’s mystery picture was of EUROMA2, the new “centro dello shopping” that opened this past Spring here in Rome. It has 230 stores and boasts of 4,000 parking spaces. It is open until 10 pm every night, including Sunday.

Some of the places in the food court have interesting design features.
I was happy to find a SUBWAY sandwich shop!

It is hard for Italians to be away from their soccer game. The food court has several TV monitors so that your boyfriend can watch the game while you eat your MacDonald's french fries.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lunedì Letterario

Four Seasons in Rome
On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
by Anthony Doerr

from the author's website:
On the same day Anthony Doerr’s wife gave birth to newborn twins, Doerr learned he’d won the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr’s subsequent year in the eternal city, reading Pliny, visiting the piazzas, temples and churches of Rome, attending the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II, and raising twin babies. “To call this a travel book,” said Kirkus Reviews, “is to sell it short: it is delightful, funny and full of memorable scenes. Don’t leave for Rome without it.”

I enjoyed every page. There were many Doerr family experiences that I related to because they were similar to experiences I have had during during my first four seasons in Rome.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quiz: Roman Photo Location

This picture was taken in Rome this afternoon. Do you know where it is? Do you know what it is? Leave a comment with your guess. Answer will be revealed on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bread Strike in Rome

Tonight we are having crackers instead of bread with our dinner.

Italian consumers stage "bread strike" over prices
ROME, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Consumer groups tried on Thursday to persuade Italians not to buy bread for a day, and to cut down on their consumption of other goods and services, to protest at price rises they say are not justified by raw material costs. Baking and handing out free bread near Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office, protesters called the 30 percent rise in bread prices over the past year a 'rip-off' and demanded a moratorium on price hikes and lower taxes on staple goods.

"Basket of Bread" by Salvador Dali, 1926
(I had a print of this painting in my college dorm room.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lunedì Letterario

DELIZIA! The Epic History of the Italians and their Food
by John Dickie

This book is a fascinating history of Italy, from the Middle Ages to the present time, with a focus on food. Reading it was like sitting at a table with the author and having meal after meal of delicious food. I am often attracted to books with an interesting structure. John Dickie has divided the book into six historical sections and then proceeds to describe a meal in three different cities for each section, Each meal includes the historical context, gossip, myths, some recipes and lots of food! The experience of reading DELIZIA! was mouthwatering. (I wish some of the meals were as easy to prepare as Rachel Ray's 30 minute creations!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Today is the Feast of the Holy Cross. On Saturday evening the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosiers) had solemn vespers in their church here in Rome, the Basilica of San Giorgio in Velabro.

The vespers concluded with a Ritual Blessing of the Four Directions.
The congregation sang the following in Greek, Latin and English between each of the blessings:
Holy God, Holy and mighty one,
Holy and immortal one, have mercy on us.
As we turned to the East
(in Indonesian)

Jesus, our Savior, the people of the East have seen the glory of your cross shining through the witness given by Francis Xavier, Andrew Kim and companions, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. May the radiant light of your Holy Cross bring joy and peace to all nations of the East.As we turned to the South
(in French)

Jesus, our Savior, the people of the South have seen the glory of your cross shining through the witness given by Augustine of Hippo, Benedict the African, and the martyrs of the Congo. May the radiant light of your Holy Cross bring joy and peace to all nations of the South.As we turned to the West
(in English)

Jesus, our Savior, the people of the West have seen the glory of your cross shining through the witness given by Rose of Lima, Elizabeth Ann Seaton, Oscar Romero, and Isaac Joques. May the radiant light of your Holy Cross bring joy and peace to all nations of the West.As we turned to the North
in Portuguese)

Jesus, our Savior, the people of the North have seen the glory of your cross shining through the witness given by Francis of Assisi, Helena of the Cross, Maximilian Kolbe and Odelia. May the radiant light of your Holy Cross bring joy and peace to all nations of the North.

Friday, September 12, 2008

della Porta Kites

The della Porta kite is one of the oldest recorded Western kites. In a book published in 1589, Giambattista della Porta described a "flying sail," possibly based on traditional Chinese designs. He suggested using it for lifting fireworks or lanterns at night, and even for lifting kittens and puppies.

On Thursday we took our versions of the della Porta kite to the front pitch to see if they would fly.

There was not much wind on Thursday afternoon, but we were able to run and get the kites into the air.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why Are Our Shoes on the Tables?

Today was the first day of school and our shoes were on the tables! Mom and Dad would never let this happen at home.

As we began our journey in 5th grade, we made contour line drawings of our shoes. It took a lot of concentration to keep the pen on the paper and not lift it up until we were finished with the drawing.