Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In which we do our part for the Sicilian economy

posted Sat, 18 Sep 2004



This morning found us at the crack of dawn at the Catania market, where we snapped up incredible bargains in bra and panty sets. (I wear a size 1 in Italian, my sister wears a size 6. I have often wondered if one of us is adopted.)

Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, we also bought lots of food: fresh bread still hot from the oven, peaches, orzata that we thought was orchata like we used to get in Spain when we were kids but turned out to be sugar water but the bottle was really cool so it worked out, a bunch of different espresso-grind coffees for my Cuban-coffee addicted Harpo, antipasto (pasti? the pickled veggies -- and why are they against pasta anyhow?).


I like seeing all the crucifixes and pictures of Padre Pio everywhere.

We had to rest at the gelateria, where my friend Lenore, who looks so Italian (she is Italian and Polish) that when we were in Rome 12 years ago, total strangers would ask her questions in Italian, but she does not speak Italian, so would just shrug helplessly. I have tried to get by with Spanish, speaking it with an Italian lilt. So far I've gotten what I wanted, but maybe because I point at the same time.

Back to the gelateria. Oh. Right. Where Lenore would be proud that I actually ordered a flavor that was NOT Baci. When we were in Rome in 1992, I ordered Baci gelato every day. I had almost no money -- had just finished grad school, didn't have a job, and taken the remainder of my savings to travel -- so did not want to risk getting a flavor of gelato that I might not like.

As if that were possible.

But I had pistachio gelato for brunch and it was delicious. Jenny and Colleen each got the gelato served in a brioche, which looks rather odd, but really, is it so different from having ice cream in a cone? And brioche has a lot more fat than a cone does, so it might even be better.

Fashion alert: based on what we saw at the market today, really pointy-toed shoes are it for this year. Like the toes go out two inches past toes.

We returned to Colleen's villa (Colleen is a L&D nurse at the Navy base here) for some movies and a siesta. We are now preparing for a trip to Taormina, where we will see Mt Etna erupting (don't worry -- we are volcano professionals and know how to handle this), and will consider making further contribution to Sicily's economic development.

Recipe advice for the day. This is not related to Italy, but I'll tell you anyhow. If you make yogurt that doesn't yog, you can't mix in more milk and try the process again. Just trust me on this.

I'll post some photos here later, so check back.

BTW - they drive worse here than they do in Miami.

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