Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dinner and a (Platonic) Walk

We went to the Asian market and discovered that they sold nothing but Ramen-style dried noodles for soup, Asian sauces like soy and teriyaki, and various other things in packages of which we could only guess the contents. But they did have cheap hot sauce, so we got some. We went around the corner to a produce market and got some bell peppers--red and yellow was all they had--and a purple onion. It was 1,80 Euro, doesn't seem too bad for fresh veggies. Then we went back to Asia Market and got teriyaki, hot sauce, and two big cheap Moretti beers (Note: There is nowhere that we have found to buy cases of beer, it appears only to be sold individually here).

So we walked back. I had the daunting task of figuring out the directions for the rice in Italian, and then making good rice (which can be very tricky; rice is a much more exact science than one might think) without a measuring cup. I tasked Johnny with chopping the peppers, onion, and the remaining humongous chicken breast we had gotten the other day. For the rice, I eyeballed what ended up being a little too much water, poured a little peanut oil in and sprinkled some salt into the pan, and then poured what was probably the exact amount of rice I wanted.

I prepped the other pan with a little more of the peanut oil while Johnny finished chopping.

First, I threw in the peppers and onions and a few of those nefarious peperoncinos to make it spicy. I kept stirring to make sure nothing burned. The rice was going strong, and I slowly became aware that I had, in fact, used too much water. No big deal, though. I just made sure it didn't boil over. When it seemed like the rice was nearly done, I threw the chicken in with the veggies and then poured the teriyaki 'juice' on top. I say juice because this was not your typical viscous teriyaki. It had the consistency of soy sauce.

If I could have photographed the smell in our kitchen, I would have. And I would have blown it up and framed it and carried it with me everywhere. But here is the finished product.

We settled down to the table, cracked open our giant Morettis, and went to town. And this meal was delicious. Not to pat myself too hard on the back, but I was proud of this one.

We decided we were bored of sitting in the house and wanted to get out for a bit. A few of the French were going to walk around the city, so we decided to go meet up with them. Our timing was perfect. I'll show you why:

Sunset over the Ponte Vecchio is a "can't miss" event in Florence. I am now lucky enough to be one of the privileged few to experience it. I'm not going to bother trying to describe it because the pictures speak a thousand words.

We walked around to actually cross the Ponte Vecchio (most of those pictures were taken from the Ponte alle Grazie, the next bridge down the river). There was a man performing cover songs on the bridge with a guitar and an impressive throng of listeners. He was very good.

We went to one of the bigger squares and got some gelato at a corner shop. And guess what? This gelato was totally the BEST gelato in the world. The guide book says so. It has to be true.

I ordered three flavors in a cone - tiramisu, pistacchio, and amaretto. It was delicioso! Johnny got some fruity stuff, raspberry we think, and I can't remember what else. The five of us sat in the square and listened to another concert going on around the corner with cover songs as well. The weather was perfect. We headed home around 10. And now, here I am.

Tomorrow, we have class again at 4:45. Boo that. Sometimes I forget I'm here as a part of an academic exercise. It is quite inconvenient.


1 comment:

Ross Weinreb said...

dude...gelato is the best thing in the world...i dream to one day have some italian gelato...congratulations on your tasty treat