Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bonbons and the rest...

Oh, yes this is the life. I spend all day lounging sipping a fine Chianti while Italian gods feed me bonbons and waft me with large palm fronds. Yeah, not so much.

Life here has tumbled into this less than ideal routine the past few weeks or months as the semester gears up and various work related problems arise that were unexpected. I'm not quite sure how to rectify it or if it can be rectified. Suggestions gladly accepted.

A quick run down of our routine:
We wake at 6-7am with the girl

9am Get out of the house for a few hours while it isn't so cloyingly uncomfortable. This is when the good stuff happens. Today we got to go play with Z and C and introduce them to the Park at Villa Strozzi. Yesterday, it was Mercado Centrale for some present buying.

Return for She, Who Must be Obeyed's siesta around noon until about 2 or 2:30pm (during which I work) although today I worked in the morning, while Doug worked with Ila.

Then packing/cleaning/doing laundry in a semi cooled apartment while trying to keep Ila entertained.

Around 4 or 5pm we brave the heat and humidity to find boxes or buy groceries (remember this is without a car). Did I mention the high yesterday was 102 degrees F, it is already up to 100 degrees today and average humidity for August is 66%?

We eat dinner, I go back to work and Doug gets Ila off to sleep. It seems I am rarely off work and in bed before 1am, and even more rarely getting to sleep before 2am. I'm not getting a hell of a lot of sleep.

Those few hours in the morning, those are what I look forward to each day. A chance to explore this great city, although I do it alongside throngs of hot, sticky tourists. Oh wait, I guess I'm a hot sticky tourist.

For our last week I feel I need a goal each day, something that makes me feel like I've experienced something that I wouldn't in the US. But what to do?

A few days ago, as we explored a warren of streets West of Santa Croce we stumbled upon the gelatari that is listed everywhere as the must go to, Vivoli. It is rather an unassuming place, with no outward display of its renown. I hadn't bothered to find it before, quite happy with our local gelatari, plus I assumed it would be heaving with tourists and very expensive. It was effectively empty, the prices more reasonable than those at Grom, the other big name gelatari, so what the heck! By the time I'd decided to go try their take on a couple of my favorites (noccolia and pistacchio) Ila had fallen asleep, so she didn't get any. My intentions were honorable, there are two spoons there!

I just couldn't wake would have been cruel, plus I would have had to share!

I took the smallest little cup out into the piazza ....a sweet, quiet little piazza that might become my favorite, and took my sweet time over some of the creamiest, most scrumptious gelato ever! Their name and position as number one is well deserved. While I savored my little indulgence I decided that perhaps the goal/challenge/experience that could be done easily and would bring me great try a new gelato flavor every day. It doesn't have to be from Vivoli, but somewhere with gelato made specifically for that gelatari. I take my duties very seriously.

She gets her own Frutta di Bosco and Pesche

Yesterday from Vivoli: 1/2 a scoop of Fichi (Fig) and 1/2 a scoop of Riso (Rice)
It supplemented for breakfast. I know, rice gelato. It seems like a very bizarre choice, but imagine the richest, creamiest rice pudding and you can begin to conceive of its delightful flavor. The fig was my favorite though, little seeds along a refreshing fruity flavor. I am convinced that our yard in Tucson is not complete without an Italian Honey Fig Tree. And of course have fantasies of harvesting and making fabulous fig preserves that would be eaten along with a slice of apple and some Parmigiano-Reggiano. Oh God, I think that might be heaven especially if topped off with some homemade fig gelato. Think of all the fiber. It has to be good for you, right? Our rainwater harvesting efforts maybe able to provide for the initial water investment. Maybe while I'm waiting for a first fruit I could explore the use of Mission Figs, I'm reliably informed they do exceedingly well in our climate, certainly the ones on campus that are now gone were very yummy. I digress...

Today we stopped by another gelateria in the San Frediano neighbourhood on our way back from the park at Villa Strozzi and Gelateria Damiani did not disappoint. The choices were spectacular. I had a little taste of pompelmo rosa (pink grapefruit) which even tempted my anti grapefruit taste-buds, but settled on 1/2 a scoop of Pinola (pine nut) and 1/2 a scoop of Boreo (?) which was a rich chocolate and cherry. I'll be honest, despite my chocolate addiction I'm not keen on chocolate ice-cream and while this was rich and creamy, I preferred the pinola.

Not sure about tomorrow, but for now there is a short period of the day where I feel like I'm sipping Chianti, being fanned by Italian gods, and being fed the sweetest fruits of human creation. Let's just call it Gelato Time and hope it gets me through the next week.

1 comment:

  1. More gelato! I want to hear about all the different kinds.