Friday, February 29, 2008

What's For Dinner

With all of these hectic schedules, it's a miracle Antonello and I have actually had a chance to have lunch and dinner together this week, much less prepare the food we eat. In fact, it hasn't been easy at all: two days this week, when I only had an hour for lunch between lessons, we met at the Chinese restaurant near my work and ate springrolls and tofu stir fry, and the ever-popular fried ice cream that you find here.

Toward the end of the week, though, I was able to get a bit done (especially on Wednesday, when I only worked half-day), and I prepared a few meals that were meant to last longer than just one meal. I was proud of myself for thinking to marinate some feta in advance in order to make baked feta: a deliciously simple warm and tasty meal that makes a really quick dinner, in situations like these, where we both work long hours. It's the easiest thing in the world: just take blocks of feta and add thinly sliced onions, sliced red peppers, sliced tomatoes, oregano, hot pepper, and olive oil--marinate it all together closed in a sheet of plastic wrap for a little while, and then, once the plastic wrap has been removed, wrap it in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven to cook for about half an hour at very high heat. It comes out all steaming and smelling amazing, and opening each packet is like a little gift. The cheese is soft enough to spread a bit, but still consistent enough to eat with a fork, and it's delicious with bread and salad. Oh, it's also a really good campfire food. Anyway, it was the perfect thing to make during this busy week.

Two other meals I made were cicerchia--a plan-ahead soup, like lentils, but with the strange cicerchia pulse that might be hard to find outside of Italy, simply because it probably doesn't have much export value. A cicerchia is something of a chickpea, but not nearly as soft when you eat it. It's one of those things that makes you wonder WHO could of thought of eating this strange looking food, but it is normally pretty tasty in the end. Also, for tomorrow I planned ahead and made marinated eggplant. Although it takes a bit more time, it's a great thing to have in the fridge, and it's simple and delicious.

Also, I've stocked up on cheese, so that will be good for next week and for tomorrow's cheese-of-the-week. Hopefully, with creative planning, next week won't be hard to organize in terms of meals, but I'm still not looking forward to another similarly busy week. I'm ready to go into hibernation--that sounds rather nice, actually. Wake me up when spring comes.



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