Who licked the jelly!???!

Posted on February 18, 2011


Dear Macelleria,

Macelleria is the butcher shop. I like that when you walk in the man with the meat stained white coat holds a HUGE butchering knife and smiles as if you are his favorite customer in the world and says, “Buon giorno! Caio bella! Dimmi cara!” (tell me everything my dear=dimmi cara). I have been in here two times and when I asked for the beef I received a free pronunciation lesson! I realized that when T writes her “n” it looks like an “m” to me so sometimes I would be sounding out an “m” when I mean an “n”. I needed 500 grams of Macinato misto. Ground beef. Ma-che-na-to! NO MA-CHI-MATO! Three times later I got it! “Bravisimo!” he exclaims once I say it right. I love this old man. Everything is measured in grams and kilos. I do not know my grams and kilos I always have to double-check on the computer to see if I am close when I guess. It was about a pound of beef. By the end of this journey I will not only know how to use a 24 hour clock but I will be accustomed to these conversions. While shopping today to get the ingredients for my “taco dinner” I bought an avocado for 2 euro! That is expensive but when I make tacos you must have chips and guacamole! I also bought some mini “shots” of yogurt while I was at the supermercato. I really like these not only because it’s a quick protein boost but they are tasty and don’t require a spoon. They are tiny, about 100 grams, which is about 3 ounces but that is the correct portion size. Once I returned home I wished that I would have taken the long way home…the boys are going crazy stuck in the house!

Everything started this morning. It is day 5 of the boys being sick and at home from school. They are getting restless and “nervous” being inside the house for this long. They would not get along for anything today and there was lots of screaming and tears today. When I got up and went out to the living room they were literally on top of each other in a full on brawl throwing punches! I grabbed the bigger one off and I thought he might swing on me but luckily T came out to save us. Who knows what they were fighting about at 9:30 in the morning?! Again, Matteo also had wet the bed the night before so for the 3rd time this week I changed his sheets and re-made his bed. Poor little guy, I know that he gets upset when I know about these things so when he came in to see me making his bed he got mad and ran out. For how young he is he sure gets embarrassed easily.

After lunch the former nanny came over to see the boys. She never remembers my name either but we say hello and I clean the kitchen while she and T catch up and distract the boys. I cannot tell if she likes me or not or how she feels about me. She worked with this family for about 5 years! I have only been here about 2 months…this little woman has left some large shoes to fill. I took advantage of the fact that the boys didn’t care what I was doing while she was here with them so I went to my room to relax. I didn’t mean to fall asleep but about 2 hours later I woke up to T calling me out to the dining room to color with Matteo while her and Tommaso did some homework. Matteo did not want me to draw he wanted me to cut the paper with scissors into shapes so he could color them and then glue them onto another sheet of paper. Va bene. Whatever he wants; I do. Two minutes into this new activity he is already bored. We look at a few books but he doesn’t want me to read them in English, he just wants to look at the pictures. There are some English books and lots of Italian books. I picked up an Italian one and he grabs it out of my hands and tells me that it is in Italian not English! I tell him that I know…”lo so!” But he doesn’t want me to look at it since it is not in English. Fine. I think that I too am getting “nervous” cooped up in the house today!

By the time that I start dinner the boys are just finishing helping T make a crostata. This is like an Italian baked dessert tart in the shape of a large flat pie. Really easy to make and always a different marmalade or jelly filling. Last one was strawberry, my favorite. This one was a mixed berry. Not my favorite. I was happy that I wasn’t going to have to stop myself from sneaking bites since I witnessed the boys actually LICK the jelly before it was placed in the oven. I had my back turned to them chopping some tomato and T stepped away to grab the phone. I turned and yell at them to stop! Ewwww davvero??? REALLY? Two little tongue  indents in the jelly…and they are sick? Ya probably not going to eat this one at all. T gave them both a slap to the back of the head and told them to leave the kitchen. When they really are acting up (like this!) they get a smack no doubt. I think that I have only seen her smack them like this maybe less than 5 times. They have to really be acting out of hand to deserve the slap.

It was very relaxing and soothed me to be in the kitchen and cook. When I was in the states I cooked all the time and find a calming effect when I chop and cook. I asked T for her sharpest knife and she hands me this butter knife size pearing knife. Man, I miss my chef knives. She then takes out a “meat” knife that is pretty sharp and a lot bigger so I get my hands on it and resume chopping my pico. I could not find any cilantro or limes but the dinner was still a success! By the time that S gets home he is both surprised and excited for the “tex-mex” dinner, as he calls it. We don’t have any beers so he goes downstairs to get some at the supermercato. I tell him that it’s no big deal but I can tell that HE needs the beer! It is friday after all, we all have had a hellish week.When we finally sat down to assemble our tacos and enjoy the tortilla chips they cheers to “the chef”. It was pretty good for “mexican food in Italy” in my opinion. We ate in silence and I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad but then S tells me, “I am not sure if it is everywhere in Italy but in Rome, especially, if the dinner table is quiet it means that the food is GOOD and everyone is enjoying it!” I tell him that we have that saying at home too! I also thank them and tell them that I appreciate the silence. We ate everything that I made and they were happy which made me happy!

S tells me that there is a real mexican food place that is very close to our house that I must try. Yes! I cannot wait to find this place and have some real spicy dishes and some tequila! He tells me that it is called La Cucaracha! The cockroach?? Don’t matter me and Texa are going next week. Operation mexican fiesta is in effect. Shots. Si, per favore.

Feeling like a mexican,


Posted in: When in Rome