Ok, so tonight my actually have been the best night ever (well ok, in Italia for sure). I had planned on keeping it low key; maybe learning some practical conversational Italian or catching up on some extra reading for class (I know, I'm nerdy). But Isa took me to get a new hair straightener that will work in Europe (ended up being 70 euros! yikes!) and then made dinner, of course at like 10:00 pm. Adriano was out with his friends and Amelia is back in Perugia at school, so it was just my Italian parents and me. Antonio decided we should watch a movie while we ate dinner, and instead of being ghetto like Americans and eating on the couches with the coffee table, he actually set up a full dining room area in front of their tv...mini table with table cloth, chairs with pillows on them, and the coffee table to act as a serving table. It was adorable. We watched Nuovo Cinema Paradiso with English subtitles for me of course and I could actually hear where the subtitles didn't match what was actually being said!!! So I guess I'm learning something. And if you haven't seen that movie, I HIGHLY recommend it. It was great!
But the highlight of the evening was THE FOOD!!! And Mom, you are gonna be SO PROUD OF ME. First of all, I have taken your advice and I'm doing plenty of smiling, saying "thank you" (or grazie), and I literally do try everything on my plate. You should have seen me eating my plateful of white pasta with half cherry tomatoes in it at lunch...if you know me, then you know why that's funny in various ways.
Back to the point. Tonight's dinner consisted of by far some of the best food I have ever had in my entire life. I didn't even ask what it was (I have found it's better that way) and bit into this delicious pockety thing and went directly to heaven. It was AMAZING! And now Mom, get what was in it. More or less, from the patchy English/Italian/French/Spanish we have going on in this house, it's a crispy outer shell made of I think flour, salt, and...something else I didn't get. Butter maybe? Something. And it makes a pocket that is filled with...now here's the kicker...and I'm like 70% sure on these ingredients....ricotta, mozzarella, tiny pieces of ham, parsley, and eggs. Yeah...so it's basically a bunch of cheese and eggs. If you know me, that's REALLY funny. And I had like 3 of these giant pockets and they were SO GOOD! Isa's going to teach me how to make them before I come home, and she said she has the best recipe in Italy, of course ;-)
To compliment this dish, she made tiny zucchini made exactly the way my mother makes it (or at least it tastes the same) and ensalada with this insanely good French vinegar, rose salt (it's pink and in huge rocks you have to mash up!) and oil they pour out of an old Canadian maple syrup...metal thingy. Oh, and mint! I'd never had pieces of fresh mint leaves (picked from Isa's garden) in a salad but it's divine. And wine...good heavens so much WINE all the time!! I usually pass it up for water, but tonight's event was too perfect to pass up. It was phenomenal. Isa will turn me into a master chef before I find my way back to the US. Seriously my favorite food ever.
OMGOSH I forgot to talk about Isa's garden! Her REAL garden, not the one in the house/courtyard. Her real garden is this piece of land outside of town that has a like jenky old house on it next door to a way old Italian couple with like zero teeth and ADORABLE brand new baby kittens (they offered to give me one, but I knew getting it back to the USA would be tough work). The garden is pretty awesome with all sorts of trees with the best cherries EVER, walnuts, and what looked like a lychee once it was peeled but tasted wayyy better. And I like lychees! I ate like 20 right there. Lettuce and other vegetables grow inside a gated traditional garden, and outside there are bathtubs and huge pots filled with herbs and spices (one smells EXACTLY like pesto which she makes from scratch) and flowers and everything else. It's pretty much a paradise, and she picks most of her vegetables and salad making stuff right from there!