Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Student Abroad

It started with the trip to the Accademia, which I already chronicled. I won't retell that story, so read below if you're interested.

On the way back, we passed one of the many street markets Florence has to offer. Nothing worth noting, but I stole a quick photo.

Class was the same old, same old. Half of the people in class, if they show up, leave at the break. The entire class doesn't pay particularly close attention to the lectures. And for decently good reason. The professors don't seem to agree. One frequently cuts the other one off, and he is relatively hostile with the student responses. Not so much actively hostile, but more passively aggressive with the way he scoffs or rolls his eyes no matter what anyone says. At the very least, he'll show a frustrated cringe at the side of his mouth when he is displeased, which seems to be constant.

Of course, we Americans maintain our studiousness, as you can see. As it turns out, American law school is much more difficult and demanding than any other law school. The international students treat it as if it were undergrad, where nothing particularly matters.

After class, we made our typical train ride home to the Santa Maria Novella train station. We stopped at the market to pick up a lemon and some more wine for the apartment. The lemon was for the sword fish we bought yesterday. After consulting with Melissa, I had a basic recipe for how to prepare the pesce spada, and all I was missing was lemon. On the way, we caught the sunset yet again.

I'm afraid they might stop being so spectacular if we see them every day. Though if that's the worst of our problems, I certainly won't complain.

The basic gist:

No measurements: put water in pot, pour rice in pot, pour a dab of peanut oil in pot, sprinkle some salt in pot, turn heat on, put butter in pot. Watch rice cook.

Pesce Spada
Thaw. Coat bottom of pan with peanut oil. Put a dollop of butter in pan. Put sword fish in pan after removing bone and skin. Turn heat on low. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and spicy peperoncino powder on fish. Let cook. Put a little more butter on fish. Flip fish. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and spicy peperoncino powder on other side of fish. Let cook. Flip fish. Repeat.

Rice: "I am finished cooking."
Me: "Okay. I'll turn off the burner."

Pesce Spada
Turn off heat. Squeeze lemon wedge on fish. Flip. Squeeze lemon wedge on fish.

Distribute rice evenly. Distribute sword fish evenly. Enjoy.

The rice was absolutely perfect I think. It was moist, a little sticky, and flavorful. The fish was a little bland, I may have overcooked it a tad. But it was decent. We added some cayenne pepper sauce to give it a kick. That did the trick. All in all, I'd say my first time cooking sword fish was both a success and a learning experience. What more could a man ask for?


Jon said...

Next time see if you can get fresh fish that hasn't been frozen.

Nina said...

Are you really in Italy? Or are you just finding pictures online and posting them....
I haven't seen one picture of you in Rome yet!!!

Sam Says said...

If you buy fresh fish here, it still has all its scales and a head with eyes. That was more than we wanted to handle.

As for you, Nina, I swear I'm here! Haha. There are a couple pictures on Facebook, but I usually try to stay behind the camera.