Monday, May 28, 2012

food ungratefulnes

I've been whining about not having certain food products readily accessible for some time now, and I read a friend's blog entry about how lucky she felt to have so much fresh, wonderful produce available here in Italy and realized I've been an ungrateful little Christine.
I can make reasonably convincing ethnic (anything not Italian) dishes with the things that I have on hand, and the things that I can fortunately get from the restaurant from Manuel's dad, Miky, who now likes to surprise me with things like cilantro.  It's been a great learning experience for me in the sense of learning to adapt recipes to fit the foods that I have here, and a great lesson in appreciating what I do have fresh and wonderful.
Seafood is fantastic here, and though I can only eat a fraction of what comes from the sea right in front of me, I still appreciate plates of sauteed mussels from nearby La Spezia, and homemade tian (which I happily can eat, and in large quantities), or anchovy tegame, by Manuel's grandma.
pepperoncini from Flavia's dad

Tian made by Manuel's Gram

Mussels from further down the riviera, sauteeing at the Cantina for someone else's dinner
I can't get a jalapeno, but Manuel's cousin's girlfriend's dad dropped off a huge bag of dried pepperoncini from his little farm on the hillside.  Lemons can be plucked off a tree.  Eggs from the lady down the road.  On festivals, people bring heaps of asado to us for dinner.  Maybe a bagel is something I'll dream about until November, but focaccia certainly helps ease the pain.  When you stop thinking about all the things you don't have, all the things that are different, it's easier to see the incredible bounty of things in front of you.

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