29 August 2008

Day 2, Rice is still nice...

This is day two of my new rice integration program. And it is going swimmingly. This morning, being Friday, the fish market was brimming with fresh-caught loveliness from the sea. We bought some gleaming fish called Oslic and I brought it home to make (drum roll please) soup! I can't get enough of soup for some reason. The fish soup came out incredibly delicious. Aromatic. And quick too. It took only about 20 minutes from start to finish. I added a bit of rice at the end. I meant to take a picture of the whole thing, but I couldn't wait to tuck in.

28 August 2008

Rice is nice.

It was a big night for me. Because last night, I ate rice for the first time in many years. Yup. Rice was one of those things that I just couldn't eat in Canada. Don't ask me why it bothered me so much, but it did. And I tried them all: different brands, different cooking methods, organic, conventional, etc. So I had to give it up.

Until last night. I heated up a bowlful of turkey soup that I had made earlier in the day. And I added about 2 tablespoons of cooked arborio rice...a Croatian brand that is produced in Italy.

I added some olive oil to the soup, and stirred in the rice. A touch of salt. And I hesitated. I breathed in the beautiful aroma of rice (yes, rice does have a beautiful aroma). And I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to eat it. But I was brave and had a spoonful. I waited for 10 minutes. Nothing happened. So I ate a bit more, then a bit more until the bowl of soup was done.

When all went well overnight, I had another bowl of soup with rice for breakfast this morning. And again for lunch. And I just had another bowl for dinner.

And it is all okay. Better than okay. It is great. Fantastic. Wooo-hoooo!!!!!

27 August 2008

Angel breath cheese

Ok. I wasn't planning on doing multiple entries today, but I just had some Italian ricotta cheese, and I HAD to write about it. I was at one of the grocery stores buying rice and salt and I came across a refrigerated section of Italian cheese. Mozzarella, gorganzola, pecorino, mamma mia! Then I spotted one of my most favourite cheeses in the world: ricotta. Except, as I explained earlier, I couldn't eat ricotta or any other cheese in Canada.

I took a chance and bought a small container. Brought it home, and I just ate a spoonful. It was fluffy and pure white and tasted like puffy clouds blended with angel breath. It was that good. So good that instead of eating the rest of the container, I had to sit down and write about it while the taste was still lingering beautifully on my tongue. And now that I've written it all down, I will head back to the kitchen and take my time with the rest of that Italian goodness.

Bliss. Oh bliss. Oh bliss. Oh bliss. Oh bliss.

Side of vitamins......

I've been eating these little snack-sized plates of veggies, fruits and cheese. But I think of them as little dishes of vitamins. Tiny tomatoes bursting with taste, dewy grapes from Dalmatia, and tender young apples with a rosy skin. And that ain't cottage cheese. That's fresh cheese, made this morning by the wonderful woman at the market. And that cheese is mixed with that same wonderful woman's fresh sour cream. Then I snipped fresh-picked chives into the mixture and added a pinch of sea salt. You can't beat it with a stick!!!!

I added a fork to the picture to give a sense of size. These are small plates of yumminess. But eaten several times a day.

26 August 2008

and one more writing space...

This is around 9am and the light coming through the windows is soft, along with the late summer breeze fluttering the curtains. Birds are chirping. Coffee is brewing. I tried to show the height of the ceilings (around 14 feet). Ahhhh, I could certainly get used to this....

My writing space

I just have to post a picture of my writing space. It is a dream come true. We are renting the main floor in a grand old villa with a beautiful terrace that overlooks a lovely garden. After so many years of having views that consisted of apartment building ventilation systems and garbage truck pickup areas, this is just incredible.

The room is massive and has very high ceilings. That monitor sitting off in the corner looks miniature....but it is a 32" screen!

25 August 2008

Market Bounty

Here's what I got from the market this morning...

And here's the awesome osso bucco soup I made. I set the flash on my camera a little wonkily (if that's a word) so the picture looks a little odd. But I assure you that those orange things are not peaches....they are good old orange carrots. Really.

Fast food snack

There are guys who set up these little kiosks on the sidewalk where they make popcorn, boiled corn, and roasted corn. The roasted corn is a special kind of corn that has only 8 rows, and has these big nobby sort of kernels. It is best roasted until it is a little charred as this makes the corn sort of chewy and brings out this incredible nutty roasted flavour. Divine! Just gotta make sure a toothpick is always handy because that black stuff gets stuck in your teeth, and well, looks sort of funny.

Whipped Cream

Okay, I'm still in 'I-can-eat-dairy' heaven, but I'm starting to understand that whipped cream is not a food group. And it should not be eaten by the spoonful for breakfast.

22 August 2008

Chicken soup yum!

Today I prepared my own homemade chicken soup. And it came out beautifully tasty, hearty and nourishing. I put fresh chicken, onion, garlic, two tomatoes from my sister-in-law's garden, plus one of her small cabbages, a bunch of parsley and just a touch of celery root. Then I 'italianized' the soup by adding one beaten egg after the soup was done. Those little yellow rags in the soup: that's the egg.

I added a small dish of sides: one fresh purple plum, one chunk of cheese that is similar to a thick and dry ricotta, a handful of tiny tomatoes, one small apple and half a piece of corn. All the food is in season. All of it is locally grown. All of it is delicious.

Something else that makes this incredible: every single food item I've just listed is a food item that I COULD NOT eat in Canada. None of it. These are all foods I thought I would never be able to eat again ever for the rest of my life. I'll explain more in detail in some other post, but just let me say that every bite of nourishing food I take is a complete and utter miracle. A MIRACLE.

21 August 2008

Meat logs from heaven

I encountered the Croatian version of 'fast food' at an outdoor market. This particular specialty is called cevapi which I believe translates into something like: little meat logs from heaven, or something similar. They look like stubby meatball logs and are made from ground beef and pork and some sort of magic spices. Grilled until they are springy to the touch, but very juicy inside, they are then served in a flat round bun that is sort of the consistency of pizza crust (that thick kind you can pull apart), with a side of fresh cut onions.

Now, I can't eat gluten. :-( Sad, but true. So cevapi is off limits to this foodie because they grill the meat and the bun together. It makes for a deliriously crispy bun, but it also coats everything in gluten. But all is not lost because my valiant hubby stepped in to offer his fast-food eating services. Between huge bites of meat, onion and bun, washed down with ice-cold beer, he assured me that this fast food is the best he's ever eaten.

19 August 2008

Coffee & whipped cream

Ok. Now that it looks like I can eat dairy products once again, I decided to go ahead and try making a cafe delicacy they enjoy quite a bit in these parts. It is called: coffee with whipped cream. Not that artificial petroleum food-like foamy product that comes out of an aerosol can. Nope. This is 33% fat heavy cream, with no additives or preservatives. I got it fresh at the market this morning and was told to consume it by tomorrow.

So I whipped it up. Very buttery. Not sweet at all.

I first made my espresso in my little mocha maker. Then added a big tablespoon of whipped cream to the cup. Stirred it up a little so that it got frothy. Then sat out on the back terrace in the shade and slurped it all down.


18 August 2008

Holy Cow!

I ate fresh cheese today. And sour cream. And whipping cream.

And I am not doubled over on the floor. I am not sick to my stomach. I am not on my way to the hospital. Instead, I'm just sitting here, feeling fabulous and loving life.

Eating dairy again after all these years. What a concept.

13 August 2008

33C, 43% humidity

It's hot, but dry. So very enjoyable. I've been telling myself I'll get a blog up and running, but there are lots of fresh figs to be eaten, and only so many minutes in a day. Hmmmm: fresh figs vs blogging. That's a tough one. Fresh figs wins every time for me.

Anyways, here are a few pictures of me, and food. Surprise huh?