Step aside Julia Child — there's a new chef in town.
Most the time, I enjoy eating out in Rome, but that only gets me so far. I do have a budget, after all. So, every now and then I'll cook myself a meal or two.
When I first went into a grocery store, I panicked a little. There are no aisles. There are kind of just rooms with one aisle. There's one freezer section that's smaller than the cereal section back home and the eggs are near the bread. The first time I went to the grocery store, I got two kinds of items: ones with names that I both understood in Italian and knew how to cook, and ones this man I followed around was picking up. I found the most delicious hard bread that way so there's method to the madness.
I’ve eased myself into the whole cooking thing. (At home, I mostly “cooked” breakfast food or food made for the microwave.) Oh, I should mention that there are no microwaves or toasters where I’m living. I also have an old gas stove with stovetops and an oven that needs physically lit.
In light of these complications, the dishes I started out with are above.
Just like my hard bread appetizer, my life is full of trial and error here in Rome. You live and you learn, just like anywhere else. And, I think I've learned a lot.
I’ve learned that I'll save three euros if I order a tequila and orange instead of a tequila sunrise. I’ve learned that if you just try to speak Italian to the native people, even if you fail, they'll appreciate and teach you.
I’ve learned that I will always feel lost walking the streets because they all look the same most the time, but I then I realize I actually do know where I'm going and I need to trust my instinct.
I’ve learned that the things I miss most about home aren't things at all. They're people. I don't ever wish I was home, but I wish they were here. I can show them what I've learned. But, there are some lessons I still have to learn on my own here in Rome.
My next cooking adventure: perfecting the salad.
My next learning adventure: I guess I'll wait and see.