Thursday, May 25, 2006

a first post

While I was in Italy, people loved talking to me about food. I would tell them that I wanted to learn to cook well for my future husband, and that would get them really excited. They would explain their recipes to me.

This afternoon I invited my 13 year old brother to make eggplant parmigiana with me. We spent some quality time together.

I've been in the mood for it for a couple weeks now and so yesterday I went and bought the ingredients.

We had a great time making it. I cut and breaded and fried the eggplant. And got the sauce ready. Jason chopped fresh tomatoes to put into the sauce. He grated the mozzarella. Then together we layered it in a 9x13 casserole dish. Sauce on bottom. Eggplant. Sauce. Mozzarella and parmesian cheese. More eggplant. Sauce. Cheeses. Eggplant. Sauce. Cheeses. It looked and smelled really good. We resisted the urge to dig in, and put it in the oven instead, to melt the cheese.

It smelled really good and after a while it was finally ready. I was excited to eat it and to share it. I called everyone to the table for a nice family dinner.

"I'm not eating that," Tyler (10) announced.


While I was in Chile, my family instituted the "thank you bite." That meant that Tyler and any other picky eaters were required to eat at least one bite, in gratitude towards whoever had prepared it. He didn't even want that.

"I just want a little bit." "Yeah, me too." "Can I just taste it?"

"But. Guys." I started dishing out little pieces and everyone except Tyler and my dad came to the table. The neighbor kid was over, too, and he wanted to taste just a little bit "in case I don't like it." I had worried that there wouldn't be enough because there were so many people eating, but, oh, yeah, we didn't even touch more than half of it. Mom wanted us to save her some, and it wasn't going to be a problem.

Blessing on the food.

I took dad two-bites worth. And then the moment of truth came. People started tasting their food.

And what happened?

"It tastes kind of like pizza," the neighbor kid said.

"Or lasagna," someone else said.

Everyone loved it. Tyler changed his mind and wanted some, after all. Dad had expected it to taste like zucchini (which he doesn't like), but came back wanting more because it tasted like lasagna. They all fought over seconds.

Heck yeah, I cook well.

1 comment:

Cicada said...

Okay, so it's taken me a while to make it over to your blog and now I find out you even have my linked. What a sweetheart. The fact that your name is "Dimmi" though has already won my approval of you. It brightens my day every time I see it. [blissful sigh]

Anyway. A post mentioning Italy and food is also great. Food was a way I could really communicate with people in Italy, too. When you see the old women starting to get depressed, you just ask them how to make something and suddenly they brighten up and tell you all about it. Wonderful.

I think one of my favorite experiences was looking through my apartment complex for a cheese grater. No one was home, but finally I got to one apartment where a woman was home, and when I knocked on her door, of course she said, "Chi e?" I replied that it was her neighbor, and she opened the door a crack and asked, "Cosa vuoi?" I explained that I wanted to make a recipe for my friend that she had never had before but I needed a cheese grater. Suddenly this woman flung open the door and said, "Si! Si! Lo stavo usando, ma un momento e lo pulisco per te!" She ran into her kitchen, cleaned her cheese grater and came back to lend it to me.

What a great people!