In case you haven't visited the IMBB? website recently you might have missed the website's cool new looks. But that's not all, Ronald has added a great event notification feature that will keep you posted an all the food blogging events out there.
In the past, I've mainly used the series of Is My Blog Burning? events to prepare Italian classics, taking the chance to share those recipes that I love but don't prepare all that often. So, when Linda announce the theme of this 18th edition would be frying I was pretty much set to follow the known path and knock up one of the many fried recipes of the Neapolitan tradition. And I would have, if I hadn't started being obsessed by Southern-style fried chicken.
It all started a couple of month's ago with the fried chicken cook-off on the eGullet Society's forums. For one reason or another I didn't join in, but the idea stuck in my mind. A few weeks ago, reading a short detective story I stumbled upon a character obsessed by the fried chicken his grandma used to make. At that point I had started getting pretty fixated on fried chicken myself. Although I did have a few fried chickens in while living in the States in the '80s I had never cooked one myself. So what better than having THE perfect excuse for knocking up a batch of fried chicken? Sing with me (and Madonna):
Like a virgin, frying for the very first time, like a vi-i-i-rgin, put your chicken next to mine
Janis wanted a Mercedes Benz. Others dream of owning a Ferrari. I honestly couldn't care less for cars. But I do care for kitchen appliances. So you can imagine that it was not without some emotion that I took the chance to cook on what one of Italy's leading food and wine magazines defined as "the Ferrari of stoves": a Molteni stove.
For those interested in fine restaurants Molteni stoves are surrounded in an aura of legend: they were and are in many of Europe's top kitchens. Big names like Ducasse and Bocuse have their own impressive made to measure stoves. Plus, don't they look just great?
As a parent I have to admit that there are times when all the efforts one makes to set rules or habits for my son seem to run up against a brick wall. A tiny brick wall maybe, say 95 cm high, but an incredibly stubborn one. And then, out of the blue, suddenly you not only see a result, but you notice how your kid has become even a greater stickler than yourself and start complaining. Call that gratitude.
Being the food obsessed conscious person that I am, one of my greatest fears would be to see my son turn into a soda guzzling, McDo Hamburger chomping teenager I often see around. So you bet I wasn't too happy when a few month's ago my son Saami started showing a love for those ignoble little things that are called fish fingers. OK, he often left the foul breading on the plate, but still, if he wanted fish he'd get some real fish. Off we went with trouts, char, mackerel and more. Saami loved looking at the fishes, especially when I opened their mouths and showed him the teeth and tongue to scare him. Not that it made much of a difference when it came on the plate: some got eaten, some less, but without too much enthusiasm. Fish fingers seemed to have won.
Until a few days ago. Home late and with little inspiration about what to cook I looked in the freezer and found two forgotten fish fingers. Hey kid, what about those? I wish you could have seen the look of disgust on his face. Luckily his answer was just as significant: "Dad, I don't want any fish fingers. I want a fish that tastes good." (actually in German: "Papa, ich will keine Fischstäbchen. Ich will ein lecker Fisch.") The next day he got a large fresh trout, simply pan fried, and happily ate most of it in the blink of an eye. Guess I won't be disowning my son just yet.
Now, if I could only get him to see that dark Valrhona chocolate is better than Smarties I'd be a really happy dad...
A while back I was tagged by the Italian blog Peperosso for a meme inspired by the Observer's list of 50 things foddies should do: make a list of ten things you think every food lover should not miss. This 10 things meme was intriguing. I gave this some thought
straightaway... then I took my little job-related pause from blogging,
and so I got a chance to think some more. I got tagged for another few memes following that and so in the next few weeks I'll try to catch up with the backlog of writing my dear friends have lovingly dumped on me. Just kidding, deep inside I enjoy this... sure do.
After all this time I ended up with two lists. One is inspired by the way I feel about Italians and their food loves, prejudices and unfamiliarity with what goes on outside our borders. The other puts together ten Italian foods that you just have to have tried, especially if you are a foreigner traveling to Italy, but don't feel excluded if you happen to be an Italian. I'll start today with the latter. The former will be up in a few days.
IMBB XVII: Earl Gray infused apricots with cardamon pastry cream tart
Let's just tell it how it is. Italian cuisine and tea just don't mix. In Espresso-land offering your guests a cuppa, be it even a lowly but ever so strong builders' tea, will inevitably mark you as either: a) a weird foreigner who still has not understood Italians -if you had you would have those espresso cups ready- , b) someone suffering from gastrointestinal problems, or c) a snooty intellectual snob. One of them will probably hit the spot. The average Italian household or neighborhood bar usually will have a few filter bags laying in the cupboard, but better not ask for the expiry date. Should you should be so brave to ask for a cup of tea prepare to drink it with lemon: milk and tea are viewed with suspicion.
Between you and me, I've always liked my tea, Darjeeling if possible, and yes, maybe I am an intellectual snob after all.
Though I know it is bad blogging etiquette to excuse oneself for the lack of posts, given the interests some of you have taken, I thought a little thank you note would not go amiss. I have very much appreciated all the messages, private and not, which I have recieved from fellow bloggers and readers. Sorry if I did not reply to all of you, my inbox is simply overflowing at the moment. The last two months have been hellish as far as work and "future decisions" go, and I've not had much time to cook, let alone blogging. Although things are still somewhat hectic I just missed blogging too much not to start writing again. Posts will probably be a bit slow in the next weeks but you should see at least two-three new posts every week from now on. Thank you again and... buon appetito!