Friday, December 19, 2008

My psycho family, Xmas

Tonight I’m going back to Italy for a little Christmas vacation! Yay!
Yeah, well, a little less yay, since apparently the Panther and Bro’s wife have put on a huge fight yesterday. The Panther actually spent one hour crying over the phone with me yesterday night.
The whole thing is about my nephew, a cute kid aged 2 everyone is in love with. Of course the kid can be a tornado when he’s playing, but he’s really no brat, and he’s not spoiled.
Recently, kiddo decided he no longer wants to live with his parents and his big sis, instead, he wants to stay with his grandparents (aka, my parents, the Panther and the Sponsor). He actually spends there a lot of time, because my sis in law finds it convenient to drop him all day long at the Panther’s, but even I have to admit that the Panther does NOT spoil him. Like, she won’t let him have snacks between meals, he’ll have to eat what she has cooked for him, and very very little telly is allowed (usually no more than half an hour a week, and even then she checks out the cartoons he’s watching).
I explained this, because we all were a little puzzled when he started showing that he did not want to stay at his parents’ place anymore. And then two days ago the Panther figured out the reason. Apparently she and the Sponsor had stopped by to pick up Sis in law and head to a reception together, and as soon as little kiddo pouted a little saying he wanted to come as well instead of going to bed (it was 9 o’ clock sharp), she started beating the crap out of him and then she locked him in the storage room in the dark.

Now I sure believe that kids do need rules, but this? This is total BULLSHIT!
Anyway, on the next day (yesterday) Sis in law called the Panther telling her she was bored and asking if she could pay a visit. The Panther (needless to say she was furious) told her no, so Sis in law asked her what was up and the Panther told (according to her) all she thinks about her. Which is no nice thing.

So I don’t really want to butt in to this thing, but I’ll sure keep an eye on how things are between kiddo and his mom over the next days, because I do care for him a lot…

On better news, tons of snow came down on the Alps, and on Monday I’m taking the Sponsor to ski, just the two of us, and I’m soooo looking forward to it!!!

Well, that will probably be the last post of the year (unless I get around to post on December 31st), so have a VERY MERRY XMAS and a haooy new year everyone!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Kitchen and I

When I first read Banana Yoshimoto’s novel «Kitchen» I still wasn’t that much into cooking and baking. What I mean is I wouldn’t mind preparing dinner when the Panther was too busy, but I did not either spend any time on food blogs or watching Jamie Oliver shows. (By the way, we’re talking about the second half of the 90s, so Jamie himself was about 20 and probably not yet famous. About the blogs, I’m not even sure they existed already, but you get what I mean right?).
“Kitchen”, however, really struck me, and I kept re-reading it over the years. It is true that when you live in the kitchen, you really know the heart of the family.

One of the common places about Italian people is that we’re all about food. It is not really true, but there are some things that often strike people from English-speaking countries (I know there are exceptions). I grew up without ever eating take-away or delivery food. Or anything bought ready to eat, for that matter. Almost every single day of my life I ahd a dinner (and often a lunch) that either I or someone else at home (mainly the Panther) had cooked. Even now I have a very hard time explaining KS that we are not going to order a pizza or take away, and that he is instead going to help me peel that three potatoes I’m tossing in our minestrone. What I’m trying to say is that somehow I find inacceptable (for myself) not to cook something for dinner. Mind you, I don’t think the others should cook: it’s just that I cannot avoid it.

My first job in a kitchen was in a pizza place in the UK, probably in 1999 (but it may be 1998), and I remember it a something completely crazy and out of control: the place was run by a bunch of Italian guys who were completely crazy (and totally keen on partying until 6AM), andtwisting pizza dough over your head while screaming was not only acceptable, but also encouraged.
While in business school, I lived for a while (almost one year, but I would go home on weekends) at my boyfriend’s parents place. The unspoken agreement was that, since I was the one who came home earlier, I would cook dinner. At this time I started taking an interest in baking, although I was totally unskilled (as at today, I still find it hard to cook in someone else’s kitchen).

Nowadays, Jamie Oliver is my celebrity crush. Every evening I cook dinner for KS and I, and we have guests for dinner at least once a week (but most of the time more often that that). I even bring over a packed lunch at work, and since I’m kind of always trying to shake off a few pounds, most of the time it’s minestrone or some other kind of homemade soup I bring along.
Although I’m vegetarian, I cook meat and fish for KS and for our guests. What I like most is baking. Baking warms up the house in winter, it doesn’t impregnate the kitchen with the smell of food as much as cooking on the stove, and it gives such wonderful looks to the food!!
I am however, waaay better at preparing appetizers and main course, real food I mean, than cakes and desserts. Yet, in September, I had decided I wanted to bake a special birthday cake for my beloved Seb, who happens to be a great rugby fun. This is what I managed to do…

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December thoughts

I know, long time no posts, nothing really funny happened though, I’ll try to recap a few things.

As I told you, on November 10 I drove to Milan to make final arrangements about the job there, and the partner told me “We’ll email you a contract over the week”.
I waited, waited, waited, then gave his assistant a call, waited some more, and finally emailed him. I guess I need to get back in track with the Italian ways: “within the week” in Italian usually means in a month or maybe more.
So this morning I finalmly got a mail from the Italian partner promising he’ll send me the contract in a few days. I’ll be happy when I’ll have it in my hands, but it’s better than nothing I guess. I should begin working there in the beginning of March, so I plan to move in the end of February. Of course, there’ll be the horrible apartment hunting thing to do, but I don’t want to think about it now.

On better news, KS and I are going to London in 10 days to see my friend Gaia and her boyfriend Mark, and I’m sooo looking forward to it! Can you believe I have lived in the UK for almost 2 years and I have never been in London???!!
On even better news, KS and I are visiting his sister in La RĂ©union (the island next to Madagascar) in February… thanks to our respective jobs (and to my trips to Italy at the time the Panther was ill) we both have enough points with Air France to flight for free, and since we’ll be staying at KS sis it will really cost us very little money… I’m so excited about taking a break in the sun before moving!!

As most of you I’m trying to figure out Xmas presents, I already got those for the Bro’s kids (paymobil zoo and a drawing board), the Panther (Nike running shoes personalized, present I’m buying together with the Sponsor), a CD player for the Sponsor car (together with the Panther) and KS (ski trousers).
I have something in mind for the Bro, but I need to get it, and I still have no clue for the Granparents…

As you have probably heard about the situation in Thailand, for once I am not overworried about Andrea The Hunter: incredible as it is, he has kept in touch since the beginning of the protest, so I know he’s fine and I’m talking to him almost every day. The whole protest has not prevented him to party like crazy… Which means he’s fine…