A Remarkable Moveable Feast

It would be fitting that as I watched Woody Allen’s new film Midnight in Paris the only thing I could smell was butter.

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


My First Kitchen[s]

Julia Child's Cambridge, MA Kitchen

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

Abhorring the Debauchery

Courtesy of Kessler/MTV/PictureGroup

I am having a very hard time right now keeping my anger inside about the Jersey Shore cast. So now I have to get it off my chest.

I previously wrote about how I successfully managed to avoid watching any episode of Jersey Shore on television, and even after it transplanted itself onto the Italian airways, I still avoided the debauchery. Unfortunately, however, the same cannot be said for the poor people of Italy. Not only has the MTV program started to broadcast into Italian homes, the cast of the show has also literally landed on the boot-shaped peninsula.     Continue reading

Adventures of Getting Lost

My sister loves to tell “epic” stories. Whether she is describing her long waits in the driveway of her best friend’s house or the latest gossip from her high school, my sister is a true Italian as she raises her voice to elevate the drama and gestures her hands to emphasize her points.

It seems that not a day goes by when Jackie does not have at least one story to share. The other day, after coming home from a lacrosse game, she proceeded to skip all the details about the final score or her playing time, and instead she talked nonstop for more than five minutes about how she and her best friend became lost in the opposing team’s school and had to ask countless times for directions to the bathroom. She said that the two of them asked multiple times where they could find the bathroom, but repeatedly the instructions failed them. It was only after the third attempt that they finally found their desired destination, a spot the rest of the lacrosse team had seemed to find rather easily. Continue reading

Arrivederci, Italia!

Orson Welles once said, “There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” No offense to Mr. Welles, but I think he forgot the emotion “anxious.”

After waking up Thursday morning at 4:30 to the sound of my alarm, I climbed out of bed for the final time in Italy. Outside my window everything was dark and eerily silent; only the occasional sound of car zooming by disturbed the silence of the morning. As I slowly lifted myself out of bed, the reality of what was to come began to sink in: in less than 24 hours I would be back in America. Continue reading

Charlie and His Diet

My host dog is, or is supposed to be, on a diet. In light of the fact that all he seems to do all day is lie around, it doesn’t surprise me that he has a weight issue. But, as always, there is more attributed to his poor numbers on the scale than just his lack of exercise. The other culprit: Flavia’s delicious dinners.

Perhaps if Flavia was not such a good cook Charlie would be in better shape. But alas, Charlie is only two years old and already he has been advised by his veterinarian to start eating healthier. The problem for Charlie is that he really has no control over what he eats. Though I am sure he has no qualms about enjoying whatever it is in put in his bowl, he has no way of recognizing that the food he is consuming is contributing to his poor health state. How is a dog expected to lose weight when he is constantly being fed food too good for him to refuse? Continue reading