Becoming a “Typical Italian”

Posted on August 27, 2011

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Dear Basil in Sardinia,

This might be the tastiest green basil in the world…! Simple pesto with pine nuts, olive oil and salt makes the best simple sauce. Everyone can find these four ingredients BUT the special basil here is NOT typical. The leaves are deeper green, smaller in size and just a different flavor. A little more bitter than sweet with an intensity that is strong but a perfect surprise for the palate.

Lately, it is all about the food and drinks. In this “playground for the rich” it truly is like a resort where all of the neighbors are friends and everyone smiles and greets you when they walk past your patio. It seems that our family is always eating or drinking outside and the same people seem to walk past us and tell us, “buon appetito!” Just like at home…always eating and drinking something! We hosted an “aperitivo” little gathering and I was so very excited to play “hostess” and “bartender!” I NEVER have to do anything it seems since my arrival when it has to do with drinks and food so I couldn’t wait to go to the store with them and help prepare for the party. We (I) decided that Spritz was the cocktail of the night and then I was asked to prepare some salsa and guacamole! They were for sure to think I was a mexican but no one asked me…I was surprised! I miss chopping and preparing food…it brings an inner calm and relaxation in me! I laughed when their friends asked me how I knew about the Spritz drink and secondly how I knew how to make it so well. It was my first time making the drink but I learn from watching and I have watched many bartenders make this drink so it was easy to pretend I knew what I was doing! One of the friends asked how I knew of such a “typical “Italian drink” and I responded, ” well I think I am becoming a “typical Italian!”  Also I learned how to make some crepes! T’s father has this ancient handheld Krups Crepe maker that is amazing! I got pretty good at it towards the end and we got fancy with some cream cheese and honey in addition to the fabulous Nutella crepes!

They have such a nice group of friends here it is nice that some actually speak English with me so I am not entirely left out the conversations. A pair of couples have brand new baby boys that are only one month apart in age. It is really pretty amazing that the brothers are married to a pair of best friends and then both had babies within a month of each other!? I hope that my sisters and I have kids within the same few months…my sister DID have a dream of this so anything is possible. The adorable boys are named Carlo and Matteo. Those of you that know me know that the selfish me wants to have twins named after myself: Alexandria. Alex and Andria…I thought a boy and girl or two girls. But there is a possibility that the twins were to be boys and I have a solution: Andrea! Andrea in Italian IS a boys name…pronounced On-drey-ah!!! Plus, all the hot babes here in Italy? Always named Andrea! Of course one of my boys will be named Lex..but I am still hoping for girls…so maybe a girl named Lex will still be okay!

One of the brothers took us out on the boat yesterday and it was unreal! The water is such a crazy hue…I took some photos and tried to capture the beauty but I am unsure if it is possible. The water is incredibly salty in some areas of the beach and instantly it looks like I dipped myself in salt when my skin dries. I swear I could sell the salt off my skin…it is THAT much!! I don’t mind but the real issue is that the water and the sun is turning my hair back to blonde…! On the contrary my skin is getting darker and darker which I really am enjoying and am clearly, “that little black girl!” Amy Winehouse goes back to Black and I go back to Blonde…

Until next time….

That Little Black Girl

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Posted in: When in Rome