Friday, August 24, 2007
Days go by
The I-pod alarm starts playing music at 6am but at that point I had only 3 hours of sleep and needed an additional 3 more. We didn’t have to be at work until 10:30 anyway. I get up at 9 and do my morning thing. We go into the kitchen and set up our stations. An hour later, it’s lunchtime…you guessed it…Pasta & bread and …oh geez I’ve already forgotten. Sunday’s lunch service differed from the week’s in that we have the dinner menu available at lunchtime…minus the amuse. I’m doing (or I think I’m doing well) well at my station. I recognize the antipasto items on the tickets and produce them to kick out at the same time as other first course items from other stations. I’m proficient with the Palpo and Terrine orders.
Palpo is our octopus and fennel salad dish. The fennel salad consists of thin slices of fresh fennel, sectioned orange, kalamata olives, sprouts, salt, pepper and olive oil. This is served on top of a portion of octopus, which was first boiled in a court bouillon then grilled. It is then cut into bite size pieces and marinates in our olive oil. For plating the octopus is heated then plated and the fennel salad set on top and the plate is finished with more olive oil and fresh ground black pepper.
The Terrina is layers of dried tomato slices & fresh buffalo mozzarella. Breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top then the terrine is placed into a hot oven. Breaded and fried rounds of eggplant accompany it. The plate is finished with olive oil. The dried tomatoes are made by slicing roma tomatoes into 3rds lengthwise. The slices are sprinkled with salt, sugar and black pepper then drizzled with olive oil. It is then placed into the oven at 90˚C for 1.5 hours and allowed to dry. This concentrates the flavour, and makes it yummy.
Lunch service goes smoothly and I stay back to get on the Internet while Gen and Patrick head to the apartment to take naps. I read email and find that I am SOOO a PC user. The Mac my boss has is driving me batty, Not only am I unfamiliar with Mac, there is only ONE button on the mouse! And the fact that it is in Italian did not help what so ever. I end up logging into my email 3 times because when the window minimizes, I don’t know where the huff it goes! I also spent a good amount of time waiting for the connection to send out some photos. When I head back to the apartment, Gianni and Danielle are in the TV room on the PlayStation and Gen and Patrick are napping. I take the time to write for the blog and shower. Patrick had put some laundry into the machine in the morning and allowed me to toss a couple items in. After family lunch, we hung them on the drying racks to air dry…no there is no electric dryer here. In fact it is rare to find one in any household in Italy. When Gina lived in Torino she demanded that she had a dryer. I think the neighbors thought she was nuts.
I received a call from my friend Paolo from Torino. We talked about his visiting me at Coltibuono as well as me returning to visit him in Torino after my externship is over in November. Paolo now lives at Corso Monte Cucco - his parent's home which I had stayed at 10 years ago. It is so nice - like a hotel. I was surprised to hear they had lived there as long as they had and the place looked brand spanking new. There is plenty of room and he says Nausica (his girlfriend) and him would love to host me. Nicolae had told me about a Slow Food Festival in Torino in November which he attended the previous year, and Paolo said he would look into the dates for me.
It was when I noticed Patrick checking to see if the laundry was dry when I asked him if I could take the laptop into the kitchen office to connect to the Internet and post on the blog. What I should have done was go over how to make the connection. Gianni already had his PC laptop plugged in but I was told that you could have two connections. I didn’t know which wire to yank and ended up pulling the wrong one. When Paolo’s computer said “no signal input” even after I replaced the wire I yanked I panicked . Turns out I didn’t’ notice the time before I headed out and I had to turn around to get dressed for dinner service. I told Patrick about what happened and he went down to the office with me to help me 'fix' it...turns out it only needed a little time to reset. Dinner service goes by smoothly...truth is, I am finishing off this post on Friday at an internet cafe...if you can even call it that. It is actually 3 computers set up at the front end of an Indian shop which also has long distance phone booths and a grocery in the back...i don't even recall any details about Sunday's service. The days seem to run into each other here I rarely recall what day of the week it is let alone the actual date. But I did take note of whomelse I spoke to that day...John. I finally figured out how to text/call the US directly (okay fine, I didn't figure it out myself, I had got it wrong initially and dialed 011+ instead of 001+). I had first texted him but didn't know if it worked so I ran him and we talked for about 20 mintues before he decided it would be less expensive if he called me. It was nice to hear his voice again...it has always had a calming effect for me.
On a Mac, to right click with the one-button mouse, press the Control key and then click the mouse. The menu will pop up.