What have I been doing lately (cosa ho combinato ultimamente)

What have I been doing lately (cosa ho combinato ultimamente)

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Sometimes life gets a little boring when I need to stay home almost all of the time. Fortunately I always have little projects. One you can see when you look at this page. I added a feature and did some rearranging. The addition is the ability to translate the entire post for those who don’t read English well (I’m looking at you Laura). As long as I was at it I threw in French, Spanish and German just for kicks. I know one person who reads my blog who’s fluent in German and don’t know about the other languages. The free version of this plug-in uses Google translate and I know that the translations, at least into Italian are, let’s say, imprecise. Still Laura can read the blog now rather than just look at the pictures. If I get any comments in the other languages in the next couple of months I’ll keep them otherwise I will narrow the number of languages to English and Italian. And I will hope that Google keeps improving the translation into Italian. Click on a flag at the top left corner. Hovering over a flag shows the language if you don’t recognize the flag. I also moved some stuff that was on the right side of the page to the left side since all of that stuff disappears when viewed on an iPad. This includes the place where one can subscribe by mail (hint, hint).

One way to relieve boredom for me is to cook. I like to do it and I like to eat the results. This week when I was at the great vegetable market near us named Verdura (vegetable in Italian) I admired a squash that I had never seen before and thought that I could do something with it.

Zucca Delica – I found that it originally came from Japan. You just about need a samurai sword to cut it.

I thought a hearty soup since it is winter after all. It’s a big and heavy sucker. I could use it as a weapon if need be. I also found that it is really tough in the sense that cutting it was a real challenge. I have a good quality 10 inch chef knife that I keep well sharpened and it was a challenge even with that. I tried using a vegetable peeler to peel it and found that was really not going to be a good option so I cut it into slices and roasted it for about 30 minutes in the oven so that I could easily cut off the peel and make it into chunks. Since soups are very forgiving you can add a lot of different stuff (of course there are limits) so I had half a head of left-over cauliflower and a couple of potatoes that were getting pretty old and for something green I had some tuscan kale as it’s called in the U.S. or sometimes called dinosaur kale. Here it’s cavolo nero. I always have broth available and the trinity of aromatic vegetable – celery, onion and carrots so I was all set. Fortunately it is really tasty. I say fortunately because I made a LOT of it.

The finished product

Next I made some chocolate chip cookies, a very American thing that it turns out seems to have taken root in Italy if not the world. I found a bunch of Italian recipes for these in addition to all of those from american sites. They look a little funny but they are pretty much what I wanted – a little crunchy rather than soft in the center. I can hardly wait to make another batch since I learned a lot from this one.

Kind of ugly but good. The chocolate ships here are a lot smaller. I’m going to make the next batch with chunks of extra dark chocolate.

And of course there is a little silliness. Since I am an early riser after I have breakfast I set everything order so that when Laura finally comes into the kitchen everything is ready for her breakfast. So I have a little fun with it from time to time.

We all need some silliness in our lives.

I mentioned in the last post that Laura had order a ton of stuff from the Coop supermarket. That includes our preferred beer.

There were 30 bottles total when delivered.

And of course a Baci quote:

Life is too important to be taken seriously.
La vita e troppo importante per essere presa sul serio

Oscar Wilde

That’s all folks. I’ll continue to lie low and wait for the vaccine.

4 Responses to “What have I been doing lately (cosa ho combinato ultimamente)”

  1. Cynthia Salamy Says:

    Happy New Year Joe and Laura! Always good to hear what you are up to Joe. And, the soup looks great. I always stay away from those types of squashes, as they are so hard to cut. I must say I’m a bit tired of cooking as many of us are, and now with this new strain of Covid, I’m tending to stay in more. I will have to look for some new diversions, other than playing Mah Jongg online! As you may know, it’s been quite confusing here in CA with people under 65 getting the vaccine even before 75ers have gotten it. I got my first shot last week and am still staying safe. (as I will even after my 2nd shot).
    Here’s another Wilde quote: Be yourself, everyone else it taken. Good advice.
    Take Care,

  2. Joe Says:

    And a Happy New Year to you, Cynthia. Having been vaccinated should make you even happier. I’m surprised that you’ve already had your first shot. I don’t know when Laura and I will be eligible but I’m hoping for March. We’re always staying safe with N95 masks on the relatively rare occasions when we leave the house – well, once or twice a week for grocery shopping or taking out the trash.


  3. Karen Chedister Says:

    Ciao Joe e Laura,
    Hope you are doing well. I look at your posts from time to time, all interesting.
    Wanted to let you know that Stanley Tucci is doing a Searching for Italy series on CNN.
    This Sunday is on Bologna. So maybe you can find it streaming.
    PS. Like Cynthia, I was lucky to get Pfizer #1 two weeks ago, #2 next week.
    You and Laura have weathered the storm!

  4. Joe Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m aware of the series but unfortunately it is not available here in Italy. I’ve had the same problem with videos for “The Daily Show” which I like. I did see the “teaser” video where Stanley was going gaga over mortadella and I agree with him. I hope that he has a chance to have some other outstanding salumi with crescentine – you can google “crescentine Bologna” to see what it’s like. There are a lot of food things here that either are unobtainable in the U.S. or are much superior in quality (and usually lower in price) here. In fact there is almost nothing that I miss about the U.S. other than probably the ease of bureaucratic interactions.


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