I'm a pharmacist. Accidentally. I never made a conscious career decision to push pills for a living. Now, I'm a professor who studies the enigma that is the pharmacist and struggle to be self-directed. I'm also a mama. Enter the blog - an excuse to procrastinate. Fascinating? No. Endearing? Perhaps.
This is the second in a series of emails I sent to friends and family while abroad. We did a month long trip to Italy with the girls. And survived. Our theme was eating and beaching. Enjoy! I'll follow-up with a travelogue and tips on traveling with kiddos (with only carry-on!) in the next little bit.
Come stai? Noi siamo bene. (Extent of my Italian...notice the conjugated verb...).
We are thoroughly enjoying Italy con bimbi. The girls travel well. Their schedules are shot, partly due to jet lag but also 9pm dinners. It seems that kids here don't sleep 7-7 like our kids. Naps are longer and dinner is later. People here were surprised by our schedule at home but noted it may better suit children and cold climates (and digestion). I think I agree.
Long days make for tired kids.
We have been lost everyday on account of there being no way to tell the road you are on. Why? Because the grid is two thousand years old and everyone here knows where they are going. They don't need street signs.
The beaches are amazing. Blue-green water, white sugar-like sand, naked kids, topless women and men in speedos. While Dave hasn't embraced the bikini brief nor I the toplessness, Orin and Brynn are often nude and loving the freedom.
White sand and an even whiter family
Of course, food is at the heart of Italian culture. For our hosts, Kraft Dinner is a Grimm Fairytale - a myth to guide culinary decision making. "Basta! What eez thees Kraft Dinner? But eet eez not food! Ow can eet be? Surely you do not eat such, how you say please, garbage! But I thought you love food! No, you do not. Not if this is food. Please, you hate food."
Before eating baby a baby octopus Orin asked, "is it dead?"
Also, Canadians and Americans don't come to Sardegna (you should! It's gorgeous!). As a result, the locals assume we are German. Most have never heard a child speak English, making Orin a novelty. One kid from Vincenza was so taken with Orin's English that he made up a language to speak with her. Something like, "Abag bogapy toles." She said "Yeah." Then they played with the turtles.
Beautiful beaches all around the island
Finally, on the topic of the bidet, Orin says that you should try it. It feels nice on your bum.
Today's recipe: Peperonata. In Italy, peperonata is a staple comfort food. Made from peperoni (red or green peppers...not the deli meat), it is a vegetable stew made with sauteed tomatoes, onions, peppers and other veggies, depending on your region. In Sicily, for example, I'm told they may add capers, olives and sugar to the red pepper mix. In La Marche, where Dave's family lives, they may use green peppers and onions. In Vincenzo and Bologna in the north, they may use red peppers, eggplant and even potato. Here is a link just in time for pepper season in Canada. Serve with crusty bread or rice. Adapt to your own tastes.
Today's word: "Scarpetta" means little shoes and is used to describe the act of wiping your bowl or plate clean with bread etc. Asked what it was called in English, I could only think "rude". Italians are masters of happy eating. We are not.