Mercoledi in Italia

Every Wednesday for the past two months, Ingrid and I have been meeting to learn Italian. This is like the blind leading the blind. Neither of us speaks the language (though Ing did take a couple years’ worth of classes in university) but we figured we could probably muddle our way through it. I borrowed a “Learn Italian in Your Car” CD from the library, bought some crisp, new exercise books, Ingrid dragged out her old notebooks and tests and we set to work.

So far, we’ve come along fairly well. I definitely enjoy this class way more than I would’ve at some kind of ‘structured’ course because we go at our own pace, it doesn’t cost a thing, we’re planning a field trip to the opera, and our classes always involve Italian food. And wine. Oh, the wine. Something about speaking Italian makes us really suck back the vino. I can tell, because my notes at the end of the evening are always misspelled with sections crossed out everywhere and tend be kind of shout-y when written in all-caps – DOV’E LA MIA NOCCIOLA? IL GATOPARRDO E ALLA SPIAGGIA.

But I digress. Thus far, we’ve cooked the stereotypical Italian fare: spaghetti with meatballs, pizza, lasagne, minestrone, etc. and some just-the-other-side of ordinary: roast pork with fennel, parmesan risotto. Last Wednesday, I chose something that qualifies as Italian only for the fact that it contains spciy Italian sausages. So, past-perfect conjugation of strong verbs and Lentil Stew with Sausages and Spinach.

Marc always helps make supper on the weeks that I am hosting our class (indeed, those meatballs he made are arguably one of the best things we’ve had so far), and this time he made almost the whole thing. Ing said she really like it. Marc said that we would definitely make it again but I’m not so convinced, though you wouldn’t know it from the two bowls that I ate. It was good enough but the lentils were a little too center stage. I would have preferred a tiny bit less salt, too. But hey, not every meal can be an epicurean masterpiece. One must have evil in order to have good. (Marc- this was far from evil, you did a great job and you are too good to me, cooking for my class like you do; I criticize only the recipe.)

Speaking of good and evil, we also disagreed on the wine we tried the other night: Wente, from San Francisco. I like it; it tasted a little of cherries but not too much. Marc did not like it, no. LUI NON HA PIACCIUTO IL VINO.

Comments are closed.