My husband has been traveling for 10 days with the University of Dallas through southern Italy and Sicily. While he was giving sight lectures at historical and holy sights, I was wrangling 4 kids at home. Our fifth who still lives at home was on a trip in Texas–lucky girl!–and our sixth is in college. On my husband’s work trips, I used to feel very sorry for myself–the pity-party used to be intense as I managed 6 kids 9 and under. But now so many of them are self-sufficient at least being able to tie their own shoes. I was determined to be happy and see the 10 days as a sustained party. At least, I told myself, I would not cook dinner for 10 days. And so I did not.
Day 1: I set out a nice loaf of Italian bread, a block of pecorino cheese, a bottle of wine and another of Fanta. I had wine, they had Fanta. If anyone wanted something other than bread and cheese, they had to make it themselves.
Day 2: Pizza Rossa from the bakery section of the grocery store plus chocolate.
Day 3: My 13-year-old made pasta and marinara sauce. I ate more bread and cheese instead, plus pickles.
Day 4: Roasted chicken, potatoes, and chicory from the prepared foods in the grocery store. I love Italian chickory. My kids do not.
Day 5: Pizza from the pizza shop in Frascati.
Day 6: More pizza from Frascati.
Day 7: My 13-year-old cooked dinner again, this time roasting meat on a stick (they sell little trays of these sticks at the grocery store) plus more pasta.
Day 8: Chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce and broccoli. One kid made one and another made the other. More red wine for me and Fanta for them.
Day 9: In the late morning, I made a big pot of chopped veggies, esp. cabbage and carrots, plus red meat cubes. It cooked all day. We ate it for dinner. (I guess this is cooking dinner, but not at the dinner hour which is the really hard part).
Day 10: More beef and veggie stew. And more red wine.
All in all, it was magnificent! It turns out, not cooking in Italy is still a culinary delight!