27 June 2010

eat like liz

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world starts to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore. . .

-Dean Martin, 'That's Amore'

So I was going to start a little segment entitled 'eat like liz,' just adding onto my regular posts some info about what delicious Italian delicacies I'd had to eat recently, but I've had some truly awful meals with the host family I've just moved in with (it's confusing, but I'm still in Cassano d'Adda, teaching at the same camp, just with a different family).

Last night, the rest of the family had horse. HORSE. Stringy, nasty, horse meat. Creeped the hell out of me. Today, lunch was comprised primarily of cheese, with the secondary ingredient being starch. Watery rice with cheese, Potatoes with cheese, softball-sized chunks of cheese, that sort of thing. I want to die right now, I'm so full of cheese.

But anyway, I have eaten some delicious things. Friday night, for instance. Liudmila made pasta fredda (cold pasta) with pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), arugula, and mozzarella chunks. You obviously cook the pasta first, then while it's still warm, I think you mix in olive oil, the arugula, and the tomatoes, and then as it's cooling in the fridge, you toss in the mozzarella and let it chill til it isn't warm anymore. Pasta fredda is one of my favorite things to eat here. Make sure you use a small, chunky pasta, like farfalle, rather than linguine or spaghetti. That's how you do it.

Second course Friday night was something fried with a mix of veggies in the middle. Pretty good. There was also some grilled eggplant. . . beware when cooking eggplant: it is very bitter and tough unless you soak it in saltwater or are careful about how you cook it (I don't know specifics). This eggplant was fairly bitter, but interestingly seasoned.

After that, there were some little bagel chip-type things, with spreadable cheese. Our options were gorgonzola (I declined) and some tiny, single-serving Babybel cubes seasoned like fried onions, mushrooms, and blue cheese. If they don't have those in the US, I'm not going back.

So, more about this new host family: the student is a kid named Andrea with whom, in all honesty, I have not gotten on well this past week. We've just kind of had this rapport where we've been constantly bitching at each other in our respective languages. On the way back from the pool, for instance, I had to pull him out of the way of a bike on the sidewalk. He grumbled in Italian something which I guess meant, "It wasn't going to hit me," and I was like, "Yeah sure, thank me later," and then he said something else which sounded a little meaner so I was just like, "Okay, next time I won't do anything. In fact, next time I'll push you." I imagine it would be pretty funny to an observer.

Naturally, I was a little concerned when I discovered, an hour later, that I'd be moving into young, pudgy Andrea's house the next day. But so far he's been great. He's got twin siblings, Francesca and Simone. . . or are they cousins? I'm really quite confused. There were two adult men here when I arrived, but I discerned pretty quickly that one was an uncle, so I assumed the other was Andrea's father, but later the uncle (Marco?) told me that the father wasn't home yet, so I have no idea who this mystery man is. He speaks with a lisp, and the twins call him Papi, but he calls the mother, Luciana, Mamma. And Luciana kissed her husband goodbye when he left for work this afternoon, but then she started prancing around in her housedress and the mystery man gave her a very affectionate kiss on the cheek so I really don't know. And the uncle also has some sort of speech impediment, and seems very concerned with my well-being, and likes to rest his hands on my shoulders. So I don't know. Maybe they're all inbred? Could explain the lisps and the weirdness and the twisted family tree.

It was so much simpler when it was just Liudmila, Alissa, Yuri, and me. Four people to one bathroom was doable. Eight, not so much.

No plans for today. No plans for yesterday- I slept in, napped, and laid out next to the Adda River. I guess I did go out to Inzago with one of the camp directors and her friends. There was a 40's and 50's festival which was prety amusing. But I already miss Liudmila taking me to the train station, out to the mall, around town- I'm just bored. But I think the rest is good, and I'm going to be grateful for it later. Besides, I should be resting up for round 2 of tae kwon do tomorrow. Later this week, we're hoping to see Eclipse in theatres.

Oh ps, my Olympus 550 WP (the WP standing for waterproof up to 10 ft) turned out to not be quite so waterproof. Help?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Horse meat is unfit for humans to eat. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 48, Issue 5, May 2010, Pages 1270-1274
Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk
Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau, Ann M. Marini http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6P-4YF5RB0-1&_user=10&_coverDate=05%2F31%2F2010&_alid=1317753422&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_cdi=5036&_sort=r&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=4&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=2f8a2c55a559e5963d0f1e02b682319c
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - prohibited as well Phenylbutazone, known as "bute," is a veterinary drug only label-approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use by veterinarians in dogs and horses. It has been associated with debilitating conditions in humans and it is absolutely not permitted for use in food-producing animals. USDA/FSIS has conducted a special project to for this drug in selected bovine slaughter plants under federal inspection. An earlier pilot project by FSIS found traces less than 3% of the livestock selected for testing, sufficient cause for this special project. There is no tolerance for this drug in food-producing livestock, and they and their by-products are condemned when it is detected. Dairy producers must not use this drug in food-producing livestock and if it is found, those producers will be subject to FDA investigation and possible prosecution. http://www.saanendoah.com/prohibiteddrugs.html
Horse Owner Survey Shows NSAID Use Trends
In a recent survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and
inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always
consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers
were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs, in a project
sponsored by Merial, the maker of Equioxx (firocoxib). http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=14073
99 percent of horses that started in California last year raced on bute, according to Daily Racing Form. Bute is banned in the United States and Canada for horses intended for the food chain. That’s a permanent ban.
Nonsteroidal Medication (NSAID’s)
Phenylbutazone (Bute), flunixin meglamine (Banamine), and ketoprofen (Ketofen) are the most common NSAID’s used in horses while aspirin and ibuprofen are the most commonly used NSAID’s in humans. These are very effective in eliminating discomfort and are usually the first line of therapy in minor musculoskeletal pain.
NSAIDs The systemic NSAID group includes phenylbutazone (Butazolidin) and flunixin meglumine (Banamine), which are 2 of the most widely prescribed drugs in equine medicine.
Volume 25, Issue 3, Pages 98-102 (March 2005)
Dr Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, DACVS (Associate Professor)a, Dr Sam Jones, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Associate Professor)b

Are horses used to make pet food? Answer
Horses are not raised for food in the United States so they are not generally used in commercial pet foods. http://www.petfoodreport.com/aboutpetfood.htm