Even if the butter was emanating from bags of popcorn, the scent of the fat made me think of all the wonderful French things made with the glorious churned milk. Crossiants, pain au chocolat, sole meunière, beurre blanc. Each of these heavenly items sparked memories of my few days in the capital of France. Continue reading
Some girls dream about their first house with a white picket fence, a large yard for the dog and the kids to run around, and a front porch complete with a rocking chair. While this image seems absolutely wonderful, my idea of my first home is very different. For me, images of a fence or a yard or a porch do not cross my mind. Instead, my dream home is based around what my kitchen would like.
When I was a little girl one of my favorite “toys” was my play kitchen. Though it was relatively simple compared to the ones today with battery-powered microwaves, light fixtures, and ovens that chime, I adored everything about it. I could spend hours placing plastic fruit in the blender for “smoothies” or flipping “eggs” in the fry pan to serve my dolls for breakfast. Playing in the kitchen, I felt like a mother, the person the family could rely on to literally put food on the table. Perhaps an early sign of my future love of cooking, those moments with that kitchen are some of my favorite memories of childhood. Continue reading
During my time abroad one of my favorite things to do when I was not traveling or studying in class was to go down into the city and visit the San Lorenzo market within the Piazza di Mercato Centrale. Selling genuine Florentine and other Italian products, including leather jackets, handbags, Pashmina scarves, jewelry, and even aprons adorned with David, the market at San Lorenzo has something for everybody. Continue reading
Did you know that United States government once placed a special tax on colored margarine? Or that Thomas Jefferson smuggled rice from Italy into the United States, a crime punishable by death? Or that the school lunch program is one … Continue reading
I have a secret I have to admit. Although I now feel like the reigning queen of all things Italian, including food, there was once a time when the idea of something wrapped in a tiny package, stuffed with cheese, and covered in sauce had no appeal to me.
I remember very clearly an evening at the dinner table when I was perhaps four or five years old. On my plate was a serving of ravioli, and there they rested for some time. Because my mom believed in the “you-either-eat-this-or-nothing” philosophy, I had very little choice but to succumb to the pressure of taking a bite of the Italian cheese pillows. I cannot recall what I thought after those initial bites, but I do remember the aftermath: me, isolated in the living room with a grape freeze pop watching as my mother cleaned up what remained of my dinner…on the floor. Continue reading
I have read a lot of reflections written by sons and daughters about their favorite memories and words of advice from their fathers. From Luke Russert recounting the three lessons of life from his dad, the late Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert, to Robert McCartney in the Washington Post immortalizing his father’s legacy, it seems everywhere I looked this week I found stories of fathers. With such overwhelming regret within me for having to spend my first Father’s Day away from my dad, I thought a great gift to him would be my own written account of what he means to me. Continue reading
Flavia would be proud of my apartment’s pantry. My love of Italian food is no secret, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that my D.C. kitchen is all but stocked with Italian staple ingredients. Considering items like … Continue reading
I absolutely love summer. The sandy beaches, the seemingly endless hours of sunlight, and the late nights sitting around bonfires are just some of the highlights of the season. But perhaps my favorite aspect of summer is the refreshing and delicious bounty of food that accompanies its arrival.
Melting banana splits and scoops piled in a waffle cone. Hamburgers on the grill with potato salad and an ice-cold beer. Marshmallows on an open fire, toasted until golden brown and then smushed between two graham crackers and piece of chocolate. These are just a few of summer’s delights, and all of them are among my favorites. Yet though these reflect some of the season’s guiltiest pleasures, summer also offers some of the year’s healthiest ingredients. Think luscious, juicy berries; sweet and buttery corn on the cob; red-as-lips ripe tomatoes; fragrant basil that perfumes hands for hours. Continue reading
The great thing about living in such an active, thriving city like D.C. is the seemingly limitless number of opportunities to spend one’s free time. The difficult thing about living in such a dynamic, bustling city like D.C. is trying to actually figure out how to spend one’s free time.
This past weekend was my first, homework-free two-day break in the city. With no required reading to do or five-page essays to write, the weekend was all mine. But how would I pass the hours of my Saturday and Sunday in the District? Armed with the Washington Post Weekend Guide and an earlier Post article about its D.C. summer bucket list, I spent my Friday evening planning my two-day escape. Continue reading
The first time all of us at the Villa heard about chocolate salami, none of us knew what to expect. It was the second week in Florence and already we had grown accustomed to overeating at lunchtime because of the incredible three course spread. To this day, it is still a great wonder to me how any of us managed to finish off multiple bowls of pasta, followed by plates of meats and cheese, while drinking glasses of wine and then still have room for dessert; but if you could have seen the desserts at the Villa, you would have found the room, too.
During this infamous dessert introduction, our Resident Advisor announced that the day’s dessert was a popular Italy treat often enjoyed alongside a cup of hot espresso. When pressed whether or not it would be something with Nutella, a torte, or perhaps even cannoli, she said we would just have to wait and see. So when the time came to line up at the buffet and pick up our plates for dessert, all of us were confused by the site of a treat that resembled processed meat. Fittingly enough, our RA said that was precisely why the dessert was called chocolate salami. Continue reading