Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sloth and Gluttony

After working hard following playing hard with nostri amici, Martello really needed to spend the weekend after their departure resting. With Purim quickly approaching and our guests in need of some of her homemade sweets, earlier in the week Trofie Wife prepared some Purim moscardini (from the trusty Italian Jewish cookbook; here’s a link http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Italian-Jewish-Cooking-Traditional/dp/0060758023/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237489596&sr=1-1), which, being chewy and chocolately—not to mention, a cinch to make (what’s not to love?) were a hit with all involved parties.

According to the oversized dictionary, a moscardino (the i makes it plural) is a dandy, which I guess is another name for a cookie. However, moscardini are also small octopuses—clearly not an ingredient in a pareve Purim dessert! (And no, the dandy does not have eight appendages.)

Martello was surprised to arrive home in the wee hours of Saturday morning to Trofie Wife having freshly made—from scratch, dough and all—calzones. Consequently, Trofie Wife was just as impressed at having prepared them! The so-called Jewish-style calzones marry anchovies with cheese, but I also prepared a non-anchovy version for Martello, who has not yet been won over by the pungent wee fish.

We finally made it out of the house Saturday night for a late dinner. Trofie Wife was surprised to have her order of some sort of fried fish and vegetables arrive literally on fire. Nothing on the menu indicated that this sort of thing was going to happen, and many of you are well acquainted with my aversion to said natural element (though, I’m getting a bit better with it as required by our kitchen equipment here). The flame finally dissipated, but not before I had managed to knock over an entire glass of water (landing on the table, floor, and possibly Martello) due to the shock (the waitress was likely amused, but we didn’t understand her joking comments).

Although we had planned to spend all of Sunday in Genoa, the exhaustion got the better of us and for the third or fourth time running, we missed the opportunity to take the old-timey train through the mountains on the city outskirts (outskirts in a different direction than those in which we live). Instead, we finally managed to walk over to the heavily-guarded synagogue. Martello found it quite disappointing architecturally as it was reconstructed—possibly totally rebuilt—in 2002 (we were hoping for something closer in design to the charming old ones still standing in the Venice ghetto). Now that we know where it is, we can work on the next steps of making it to some sort of service or event there (provided that they consider moving Saturday morning services to about 4 p.m….). 

We continued our exploration of a new part of the city, climbing into neighborhoods atop hills (with some pretty nice real estate) and at least finding our way to the old-timey train depot (which doesn’t really have any old-timey trains, just the same old graffitied Trenitalia cars). We capped off the evening by riding the short, short subway from one end to the other (the end on yet another city outskirt is supposedly “architecturally notable” but Trofie Wife didn’t notice much about it…).  

From our investigation, there appeared to be condos in this castle. Yes, condos! 

I should also mention that Sunday, March 8 was La Festa delle Donne, or International Women’s Day. In a move that Trofie Wife finds pretty progressive for Italy (not to mention the United States, force-fed the fake “Mother’s Day” (and “Father’s Day”) holiday by the card industry’s $2.49 (more for the oversized ones) forces; birthdays are when everyone should be celebrated for their individual merits), rather than have an appointed “Mother’s Day,” mothers are lumped with all women and are celebrated together on this day (we realized something was up when we saw a lot of prix fixe menus up all over; usually you don’t go out for brunch in honor of women’s rights (in the States, IWD is pretty much acknowledged only in feminist circles), though that sounds like a great idea!), while La Festa del PapĂ  (Father’s Day) is on March 19, coinciding with La Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day, you know, earthly daddy to Jesus; apparently the Italian holiday designators didn’t see fit to denote it as an inclusive Men’s Day for all men, but that’s usually every day around the world, so no bother). For La Festa delle Donne, vendors hawk mimosas and you see women toting them around all day. Apparently fathers receive red roses on their day, but I don’t recall leaving the house that day, so I couldn’t observe. (For anyone concerned about Trofie Wife’s disdain for these parental celebrations and psychological effects on said parents, note that I am in possession of three sisters who can carry out these duties in a more conformist manner, should they choose (and they do).)

All in all, it was a lovely, relaxed weekend.

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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