lundi, juillet 06, 2009

Pre-Departure Musings

Bolenghi - specialty of the mountains near Vignola

I had a letter to post today and had to take the car for it. This is life in the country. Fresh air and space, but consume more petrol. After 2 years in Italy, I weigh as much as I did when I was 9-months pregnant with my last child. Baby Girl is 6 - but she wears a good 10 years. Anyway, I said goodbye to my Lancia Phedra today. Time to change the car for a totally new but more basic one. It's the crisis, the company wants us to downgrade.

And I am always sad when I have to say goodbye to my car. I do spend alot of my time in it, without a car you can't do much living where we are living. And with all the shopping, activities etc, I've become a chauffeur of sorts.

Asparagus Risotto at the Tre Lune

Yesterday, Hub was another man. He woke up relatively early for a Sunday and offered to bring the children to do Tree-top climbing (again). He didn't complain even once during the journey (we didn't follow the GPS this time and took a better route) and on the way there, he stopped at Albergo-Ristorante Tre Lune at Giuglia (MO) and ordered me a Bolengho. I suspect he's being sweet as we would be leaving in a few days and he'll not see us for a month. Sob sob.

Eldest Son walking on a tight rope

Anyway the hotel-restaurant caters mainly to elderly clients visiting the mountains for fresh air and looks pretty charming from the outside. Inside it has a pretty dining hall and the food was pretty classic and good.

The last week had been hectic - with last-minute shopping for gifts to bring home. I still need a luggage and since I want another Samsonite, I need to hunt high and low for it in this ulu place. With pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to bring home, I cannot risk softer luggages. And I've my eye on those 4-wheel ones too.

Grilled Gambas in Garlic, Chilli & Tomato Sauce, Squid Ink Tagliolini

It's also time to clear out the fridge and freezer. Clear out things the Hub wouldn't eat and replace them with things he would eat in our absence. Bought nearly 3Kg of Argentinian Entrecote and had them cut into thick pieces and frozen individually. And while making space in the freezer for the meat, found a big box of Argentinian Gambas. Add that to the packet of fresh Squid Ink pasta in the fridge - you get Grilled Gambas in Garlic, Chilli and Tomato Sauce served on a bed of Squid Ink Tagliolini. Awesome.

I apologise to the various families whom I've vaguely promised to meet with in the last 2 weeks - and failed to do so. I couldn't manage to finish packing and am still in the midst of doing so...

e fly off on Wednesday and will be back just before school starts again. As we leave Europe, I just had another thought. Lately, with the hot weather, I've been seeing a number of ladies cycling in their underwear and even one woman of a certain age mowing her field in her bra! I love Western Europe for this. We would see them and be amused by it, but that's it. We respect a woman's right to walk around half naked if she so wishes. Ciao!

vendredi, juillet 03, 2009

Indian Fasting Menu

Indian Fasting Food

Eldest Son was invited to a play date with his friend Ameya and at the same time, I was invited to lunch at their home with the 2 terrors Babies. Sh informed me that she would be preparing a typical Indian fasting menu and I was pretty glad since God knows I should be fasting since in a few days I would back home binging for nearly 2 months.

Honestly if that was called fasting I could understand why apart from Gandhi and P's dear Hub, I couldn't really think offhand of any very thin Indian. I think like any self-respecting Asian, we love to eat too much to resist making an occasion out of the simplest of meals.

Back where they come from, fasting food includes peanuts and other dried nuts and fruit, varai, rajeera, sago, potatoes...

Fasting often takes place for various religious or spiritual reasons, though it doesn't necessarily mean abstaining from eating, but simply abstinence from certain foods e.g. non-veg, cereals. Because of the dietary restrictions imposed by fasts and their frequency, a whole cuisine of fasting food has emerged, particularly in Maharashtra, making the fast a feast - as I would discover today.

We had spiced potato and sago patties, peanut curry, varai (couscous-like grains), pan-fried potatoes and fresh watermelon. Needless to say all good and not very dieting material.

Henna Art

We spent a few hours chatting after lunch and the Babies got their palms hennaed by Sh who's quite the expert. That stopped them from slapping or strangling each other for a while - great idea.

This morning I bumped into Jan at Armani where I went to finish up shopping for gifts to bring home. Got Baby Girl 2 great bikinis which would go nicely with my own 2 from La Perla yesterday. With this, unless I go to Esselunga or the Grande Emilia in the next 4 days, I suspect that I would have seen the last of my lady friends for the rest of this summer. Bis September!