June 12, 2010

Cherries and Gelato

Posted in Trek through Italy at 4:21 PM by goingbeyondzebra

I’ve had lots of new experiences these past two days! Instead of talking about EVERYTHING and have you suffer the misery of an eternally long post, I will try to hit the highlights. I will be making another post most likely about the book I just finished as well, so be sure to be on the lookout!

Yesterday (Friday) started out with my first taste of coffee in a real Italian Cafe. The Roberts came in the morning and picked me up from the Harrell’s (where I am staying for the moment) to take me out for some coffee and go to the Market. I ordered a Latte Macchiato, which came as a tall glass of warm frothy milk, and a small pitcher of coffee which you poured into the milk and stirred together. It was fun to swirl it all around and was good, though I would have preferred something a bit more coffee tasting I think.

Then we hit the market. Market happens every Friday in town, and tons of vendors come and set up booths to sell their wares. You can find everything from shoes, to soap, to fresh produce. It was AMAZING! I had to kick myself because I forgot my camera, but I will have more opportunities to take pictures of it I know. I kept seeing all these wonderful items that I wanted to purchase, and had a hard time reigning in my desires, knowing that I am going to be here for a while and will have plenty of time to buy things.

When we finally hit the fresh produce area, I thought I was in heaven. I never imagined that Italy would have such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables! There were pineapples and kiwis, amazing looking peppers and eggplant. I cannot wait to start cooking regularly over here since it will be so much fun to pick and use such fresh and wonderful looking foods. Here, I finally caved in and bought a kilo of cherries for about 3 Euro (or around $3.99). I am eating some while I write this and they are absolutely delicious.

Mrs. Robbie also took me to a few of the permanent shops, such as the butchers, the bread-makers, and CHEESE! My excitement continues to build as I look forward to tasting the many of varieties of cheeses that they have here. There is one non-permanent vendor who makes his own cheese, and I am determined to get a picture of him, he looks like quite a character. He is older, wears this little, almost fedora type hat, a vest, and has a thick, curly mustache. Quite a sight! At the butchers the meat was enough to make your mouth start watering right away. The scariest looking dish though? Rabbit. They have rabbit just stretched out, skinned, laying there in the butcher case, eyes and all. Yum?

Afterwards, the Roberts took me back to their place where we lunched on wings, fries and focaccia bread. Then back to the Harrells for me for a while, till I once again went to the Roberts for my first official OM meeting where they talked to Tiffany (the other girl who is here to write) and me about some of the things we will be working on while here. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful except for two things.

1. Mrs. Susan (Harrell) asked me to make my Bruschette recipe for us for dinner. My first time cooking in Italy! It was lots of fun, though it turned out a bit differently than when I make it at home.

2. I got to actually see and talk to my boyfriend, Mark, on Skype for the first time since I left! He wore a cowboy hat for me, which he has always refused to do, and he looked very cute 🙂

Fade to today. I slept in quite a bit later than I intended. However, the Harrells were nice enough to save me some of the pancakes and bacon that they had made, so I ate mine for lunch. I got to talk to Mark again and wish him good luck on his race, he ran a 5k this morning (I’m so proud!), and then I just kind of hung out till around three.

There are around 6 or 8 people who have been arriving the past few days from Georgia to help this coming week with the Sports and English camps that OM is organizing. At three, the Harrells, the Roberts, the Georgians, a few other OM people, and I all gathered “downtown” for a walking tour of the town and to learn a bit about Italy and the town’s history. I actually remembered my camera this time!

We started at a Waldensian church, which was very beautiful. I do not have the memory or space to relate the history of the Waldensians, but look them up because it’s pretty interesting. So, I keep trying to upload pictures, but it’s not working. If you are friends with me on facebook though, I will have them there so feel free to give them a look!

Next on we went to my favorite part, a Gelato shop! The man there was very nice, and the Gelato is actually made there in his shop. He had this cool wheel contraption that had the different Gelato flavors inside. You would pick one (or two, or three, or…) flavor(s), and he would step on a pedal or something, and the wheel would spin till that flavor was facing him so he could scoop it out for you. For an ice cream lover who is descended from a long line of ice cream lovers that stretches most likely even beyond the Emerald Isle, this was heaven. Dark Chocolate and (though I didn’t know it till I got it) Dark Cherry were my choices, and I was fully satisfied with the end result.

We then meandered around, visiting a few of the shops, and eventually stopped for coffee. I picked cappuccino, and I was much more satisfied with the flavor, although there was no fun pouring and swirling to partake of this time.

Separate ways were then pursued, dinner, then regrouping at Forterocca (The Rock and one of OM’s offices) for some orientation, worship, and discussion of next week. Back home and here I am! Writing for all you lovely readers of mine.

The End! Tomorrow I get my first experience at an Italian church, which I believe will prove to be very intriguing.

That’s all for now. Be sure to check back later for a blog about the book The Princess Bride, which I will try to write tonight, but may not till tomorrow since it is getting a wee bit late.

Farewell to you all! Here’s wishing you a happy zebra of a day,

Robyn

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