An Artichokian Metaphor

I am currently in a love-hate relationship.

Right now it is mostly based in hate since artichokes and I are not in good favor with one another.

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Recreating Memories in the Kitchen

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but recently I learned an Italian phrase that I had never heard before: “fare la scarpetta.” Roughly translated “to do the little shoe,” the terms refer to the act of taking a piece of bread and soaking up the remnants of gravy or soup or whatever meal leftovers remain.

Upon investigating, I learned that the “shoe” reference is a metaphorical description of the bread. Like a shoe being dragged in the mud, the bread soaks up the sauce and becomes saturated with flavor. Continue reading

An Old-School Italian Cook

My aunt is a stereotypical, older Italian lady. She won’t leave the house without lipstick. She yells at her husband whenever she teases him. And of course, she can cook a mean gravy.

Most of my memories with my aunt come from visiting at her house by the beach in Rhode Island. Although she lives only 45 minutes away, 45 minutes of travel for Rhode Islanders is a long way. Because of this, I usually only saw my aunt and uncle a few of times a year. Once on Christmas Eve for the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes and then maybe a couple of times in the summer when we wanted an escape to the beach.  Continue reading

A Well-Rounded Diet

I have to admit: going into this week I anticipated that my diet would be on carb-overload. Staying with my Italian relatives, I figured that most of my meals would consist of oversized portions of bread and pasta. Although I have nothing against these food items, especially since I shun the pasta bar at the school dining hall and D.C.’s Italian food scene is nothing like that grandma used to make, a part of me was relieved to see some diversity in my diet during my first few days of vacation.

Like most foodies, I go through periods of food obsessions, and right now my obsession is grapefruit. In the drawer of my aunt’s freezer is nearly half a dozen plump grapefruit waiting to be segmented and juiced. For the past few days, my morning meal has been as simple as cutting up the citrus, sprinkling with sugar and finished with a couple of slices of jam-slathered toast. Even if grapefruit has a reputation as a diet food, I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying it all the time.

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A Vacation Long Overdue

Of late, it seems that any break on the academic calendar could not come soon enough. Last winter, I had five papers and one sit-down exam standing between me and winter break, and this past week I had a to-do with countless things tasks and lots of added stresses making me extremely anxious for a vacation.

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La Carne Non Più: Meat No More

This is one of my favorite stories to share, so please forgive me if you are someone who is hearing it for the bagillionth time.

As many of you know, last spring semester I studied away from the Georgetown Hilltop and relocated to the hillside of Fiesole in Florence, Italy. During those four months abroad, I commuted from my homestay to attend classes at Georgetown’s Tuscan villa, Villa Le Balze. As a homestay, I lived with another female student from the program in the home of a local family. My host mother was the sweetest, tiniest woman, and, as could be expected, she was an incredible cook. Every meal at Flavia’s table reminded me of those Sunday mornings as a child spent with my Italian great grandmothers. Continue reading

2011: A Year in Review

Dear readers,

Are you there?  It’s me, Bethany.

I know it has been nearly five months since I sat down to blog, and there really is no excuse for it. These past five months have been some of the most challenging, amazing and rewarding times in my life, but writing that does little to relieve the fact that I did not share these experiences. Although I did contribute to the food blogging world with my posts for Small Kitchen College, I failed to keep up-to-date on my own personal blog. This failure is something I resolve to change in 2012. Continue reading