Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cooking in an Italian Construction Zone

The first few days here, I ate out, the house being a
construction zone and everything had a fine layer of
centuries old dust over it. It simply wasn't very
appealing to think about cooking with dust, and I
mean MAJOR dust.
After a while, eating out got old.
And spendy.
So I was inspired by something I ate in the local restaurant
called polezze. (Rape greens)
So I got a handful of the stuff along with some of the olio nuovo
or new olive oil which has just been pressed in this last month.
I set about washing down the kitchen counters and cleared a space to work.
I boiled the polezze just as Nunzi,
the frutta vendolo (fruit and vegetable seller) lady told me to.
Saute a few cloves of garlic in the new oil,
drain the polezze...sautee that up for a minute or so-
and done!
This is the color of extra virgin
olive oil that has just been pressed.
The taste is unreal.
It was so good, just garlic, oil and greens...
great chick dinner.
I was very happy.

I get very enthusiastic about some things, well,
maybe many things, and I tend to move into
extreme mode.
I liked the polezze so much, I went back to
Nunzi the next day and bought every bunch of polezze
that she had.
That went home to the frig.
Then I got sick.
About 2 or 3 days into this cold that had me
stationed on the couch, I lazily thought,
" I better cook the polezze..."
So I did.
Nunzi told me however that it tastes kind of bitter after several
I didn't think so , it was fine second time around.

The mound of polezze in the fridge didnt seem to get
smaller at all.

I let it sit.

Now 10 days later, it is kind of smelly.
I think it is time to toss the polezze.
And, I haven't cooked again.
It's back to depending on the kindness of
people here to feed me or
eating cold pecorino cheese and a pear,
standing up in the kitchen,
which has now become
a dustbowl again.
The only thing going on the stove is a pan
of boiling water for coffee each
morning...I am content.

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