One of the nice things about being an au pair is that it’s cost neutral. This is largely in part because your host family has to feed you. This doesn’t mean that they’ll feed you well. I feel I got really lucky with Madda. She cooks very well and makes a point of using fresh ingredients and creating balanced meals to keep the kids healthy. It’s not very complicated cooking, but it’s very good because of the delicious ingredients. She’s been teaching me how she cooks the dishes, a lot of quick tips that I’ll be able to use to make quick good Italian food when I get back. Shown are some pasta dishes she’s made, one is sauteed tomatoes in olive oil and fresh garlic with “squeaky cheese”, and the other is fresh clams and tomatoes in olive oil. When we ate that meal Anzo (host dad) brought up that we had giant clams in Washington. Apparently the clams we eat at home are some of the biggest clam varieties. I told them about how we’d dig for clams at the beach and made chowder and clam patties out of them. I also have a picture of fresh homemade focaccia that was dripping with olive oil, and Madda making homemade pesto. There have been other dishes that were very good, I haven’t taken pictures of everything. There have been very good fresh fish dishes, roasted zucchini/eggplant dishes, and sauteed chard dish. All very good and pretty simple to make!
Posts Tagged With: cooking
So, finally, I have arrived in Pescara! I managed to meet up with Maddalena and get taken to my new home. Here is a deluge of pictures of my room and the view/deck. I will have more of the rest of the apartment later.
It’s sooooooooo pretty here, so much prettier than pictures led me to believe. Sure the actual city is a strange landscape of modern Italian apartments, but the beach is breath taking. Miles of perfect sand filled with pizzerias and “Palmas”, the large beach umbrellas that litter the place. There is an amazing walkway along the entire thing and it is quite the scene, rollerbladers and everything.
So many leathery Italians! The tan is beautiful but man are they leathery looking. Also, men in banana hammocks. I didn’t realize that was actually such an explicit dress code. We took a walk down to the family’s palma, you rent one for the entire summer and nobody else can use it, so I can know where to take the boys tomorrow, my first real beach day!
This job is going to be such a weird combination of stress and challenge that I can already barely deal with, and the amazing fact that I’m just going to get to go to this amazing beach everyday filled with beautiful men and pizza. Communicating with the boys is really hard, I’m hoping we can all become a little less shy and start working on that pretty quick. I realize it’s the very first day and I’m barely functioning but it still makes it quite daunting.
Oh, did I mention I was greeted with pasta, mozzarella, prosciutto, bread, and fresh cherries when I walked in? So good/perfect/what I would’ve wanted in my Italian dreams. The family has fresh bread, cheese, etc. delivered to their apartment from a farm service. And I get to eat it all summer. Yup. I’m pumped. I think she’s making dinner now so we’ll see how that goes! I’m super tired and need to go to sleep but I’m fighting jet lag like a champ!
So it looks like I’m going to start this blog early, as I’m basically in full travel mentality already. It’s allowing me to reflect on my own community. Today I went out of my way to get Thai food that I was craving badly. In the u district there are countless places to get Thai food, but my favorite is the Thaiger Room. They are a favorite by many I presume because around peak dinner time they are very busy with a full restaurant and what looks like many to go orders. I normally avoid peak dining times and get food around 9pm, but today it happened to be about 6:30 when I decided to get food. Clearly I’m rambling, so to get to the point, they were very busy, but working very hard. I got apologized to many times for having to wait, even though I didn’t call ahead of time and I was getting it to go. The girl in the grey tshirt (that I had to sneakily take a picture of to avoid being seen as a giant creep) was working furiously at getting everyone’s delicious stir fries out to them in a somewhat timely manner. I can’t imagine working as hard as she was in the steaming heat, that is so much more intense than my job as a barista and even that I find to be a pressure cooker.
So while I was sitting at the bar admiring how are these people were working while still so artfully cooking their food, people had the nerve to walk in and complain rather loudly about the service. I can’t and will never be able to understand how people can be so self absorbed and unconscious of the hard working people around them that they can complain they they’re not instantly handed the food they want when they walk in the door. One lady walks in, surveys the room, goes back to writing a text and doesn’t even make eye contact with the host and she rudely asks how long the wait will be, all the while he’s trying to hand her a menu and use really good customer service skills.
This blog post is basically a request for people to sit back, enjoy the atmosphere of a place, and try to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Clearly if the place is that busy they’re doing something right, and just because you’re not getting 5 star service doesn’t mean you have the right to talk down to anybody. I’m glad I’ve worked in food service for six years just for the fact that it taught me humility.
A brief review of the actual food: delicious! I’ve eaten here a lot over the past three years and have very little to complain about.
I even left a tip on this to go order, which is something as a broke college student I hardly ever do. Love you Thaiger Room! I always recommend you to people in the u district.