Last night, for what my roommates and I have effectively established as "Ethnic Tuesday", we decided to try the Greek restaurant down the street, partially because Gillian and I had a serious hankering for hummus, and partly because the weather was so disgusting and nasty that we had little motivation to go any farther. I wasn't HUGELY fond of the meal that I ordered, but I must say that the warm, fresh pita they served, and the Greek salad I got as my side were phenomenal. Sam and I finished it off by splitting a baklava.....holysogood.
Then this afternoon, I went to my Wednesday lunch place, Trattoria Sergio Gozzi with Mary and Bethany. I was quite disappointed becuase they didn't have the soup I've gotten the past two times, but I was assuaged by the deliciousness of the soup I ordered instead, minestra di farina gialla or something along those lines. Not exactly sure what was in it, but my tummy was happy.
Wednesday nights always mean one thing: cooking class! The pictures I took this time turned out really yellow for some reason, so the food doesn't look so appetizing :/ I promise you, though, it was delicious! This week, were were studying the region of Toscana, or Tuscany, of which Florence is the capital.
Antipasti this week was trenutta, which is essentially just toasted bread with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Next up, for primi piatti, we cooked up a pappa al pomodoro, which is a tomato soup made with stale bread mixed in. Sounds weird, WAS TOTALLY AMAZING. I'm legit going to make it for my roommates next week, after Verona. We started by browning some garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan, then we added tomatoes that had been peeled and chopped. After allowing it to stew for awhile, we added about a liter of chicken stock, and then an entire loaf of Tuscan bread that we had sliced and toasted to simulate staleness. It turned out exactly like I eat my soup at home: tomato-soup-soaked mushy bread. I forgot to photograph it because I was so busy chomping it down, but it probably wouldn't have been very photogenic, anyway.
Our secondi piatti was (not veal!!) arista alla fiorentina, pork chop cooked Florentine style! We cut small holes into the pork chop and stuffed them with cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. The chop was roasted in a pan with olive oil for about 15 minutes on each side before the teacher added some white wine to the pan. From there, it cooked probably another 45 minutes.
Finally, for my favorite course, we made torta della nonna, which technically translates to "Grandmother's cake" or something along those lines. It is actually a custard-filled DREAM of a pie. We started by handmaking the pie crust from flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. The dough needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight, though, so the teacher brought out some dough he had made previously. Roll the dough ball out and line a pie pan. The custard filling was made from milk, vanilla, sugar, eggs, and flour. Heat in a saucepan until thick and creamy, then allow to cool. Fill the pie pan with the custard and then bake for about 45 minutes. Optional: Top with pine nuts and add a sweet liqueor, which we did.
Today was also my jeans-shopping expedition. What a complete and utter failure. Not only did I NOT find jeans (I am just too big for this country), but Sam got her shopping bag from Zara stolen while we were in H&M. How rude! I ordered a pair from Express instead, which my lovely mother will be shipping to me once again (thanks, Mom!). I'll also probably look for a pair while I'm in London; maybe the Brits actually have some junk in the trunk.
Just to prove I did actually rip my jeans and I'm not just a money-sucker!
Tomorrow, after my class ends at 2:30, I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland with Bethany and her roommates! Then I will be spending the afternoon prepping and packing for Verona, and securing my last minute spring break plans, which seem to be changing by the second. AHHH SO MUCH MONEY!
For now, I'm about to put a pot of coffee on before settling down to some history homework and Law&Order:SVU. You wish you could live my life. Boom.
P.S. Also, I will be making posts ASAP with pictures of me being an obnoxious Gator in front of monuments, as well as creepy photos that I surreptitiously take of local Florentines while eavesdropping on their conversations. Thanks for your suggestions! I live to serve.