Late summer through autumn is when Piemonte goes into full-on food mode and I love it. I spent this afternoon with friends at Festival delle Sagre, a food festival in Asti, a town about an hour from Torino. It had been a cool and rainy morning and text messages flew back and forth about whether it would still be on, whether we should go. We couldn’t not go! It had been so much fun last year and if we didn’t go today, K. wouldn’t get a chance to go. We got word there would still be food stalls, and decided to go whatever the weather.
Around lunch time, as we were bundling into cars with our rain jackets and umbrellas, the sun came out, and stayed out all afternoon. (It’s raining again now.) It ended up being a warm late summer afternoon in Asti, filled with food and wine and conversation and laughter and a spin round on a ferris wheel. Me afterwards: “I’m glad A. and M. brought their kids, they gave us an excuse to go on the ferris wheel. Wait. We probably would have done it anyway, wouldn’t we.”
Things I have learned recently:
- Lugging home my work laptop on the weekend is truly useless. No matter how much I fully intend no really for reals to get some work done on Saturday morning, I will inevitably find something else to do. Like clean a kitchen.
- I say “a” kitchen because my procrastination is at a level where I will clean pretty much anyone’s kitchen rather than do work.
- Cleaning kitchens is more immediately satisfying than doing physics research.
- Having gelato in the afternoon is no barrier to going for granita at night. I’m about 80% certain at this point that I will eventually leave Italy with type II diabetes.
- Most alcohol makes my stomach churn unless I have unsociably tiny quantities. However, preliminary research suggests this is not true of sake. Further experimentation is required. Funding agencies: I’ll gladly take grants to study this. Call me.
- You will never go wrong by bringing a batch of cookies to a get-together. (cf my comments above about type II diabetes.)
- Turin is really pretty at night.
Remember how I was asking the other week for onion/garlic-free recipes? One suggestion (thanks CatherineRose!) was quiche, which I love in principle… but in practice I’m too lazy to make pastry for a base. Fortunately, this is a good cheat-y pseudo-quiche recipe, one of those ones where you basically throw flour and egg and some tasty things in a pie dish and pull out something reasonably quiche-like from the oven 40 minutes later.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a pie dish.
Fortunately, I do have several spring-form cake tins that are about the right size for the recipe.
Unfortunately, spring-form cake tins do not hold raw egg at all, as I discovered as I got raw egg all over my table cloth. No worries, I thought. I’ll just put this spring-form cake tin inside a larger spring-form cake tin and that will catch the drips. I put the pair of tins in the oven, and 30 seconds later was yelling something along the lines of “No f&#$ you, quiche!” as I watched the egg drip through the outer cake tin and onto the oven floor.
Fortunately it was at this point I finally realized I could scoop everything into a muffin tin that would hold the mixture perfectly to make a dozen mini-quiches. You know that “I meant to do that!” look that cats give when they know they’ve done something ridiculous? That was exactly my face at that moment.