Monday, January 22, 2007

Porcini Chronicles: The Working Woman’s Guide to Great Food

I’ve been working at an elevated pace since coming back to Milan from my luxurious, 3-week Christmas vacation. The day after I came back I started a new job instituting changes for the Erasmus program (that’s an EU-funded university student exchange program) at the U where I’ve been teaching English Composition and Scientific Writing for the last 2 years. I’ve also kept my Saturday English course at the Politecnico in Como (no George Clooney sightings yet) and am holding on to some favorite private English students. They are more fun than work, but… I’m pretty tired.

Needless, to say since I added the 9 to 5 to this work combo, I’ve been a little stressed. Aside from the boost in activity which is largely positive, there’s potential for loss here. There’s no more time to go to different Milan neighborhood markets on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to get the freshest arugula, mandarins and porcinis. How will I find the time to make bolognese sauce over homemade pasta for Tuesday night dinner? Homemade bread? Summer vegetable terrine? and Bagna cauda?

Well, the answer is that this blog is going to get strategic. In the coming weeks and months, you will find tips on how to do much of your cooking for the week on Sunday, great recipes for brown bag lunches at work and more. For the sake of conviviality at work I’m going to have to have lunch out at the most profoundly disappointing restaurant in Italy at least a couple times a week, but otherwise, it’s hummous-tomato sandwiches with mint, tortilla española with arugula and prosciutto and carrot-orange buttermilk bread. All portable and good at room temperature. Recipes to come soon.

I think it’ll be fun. Not least because this Saturday, after finishing class at the Politecnico in Como, I happened to walk past a big Saturday market that I hadn’t known existed before, so I’m doing my veggie shopping there from now on!


Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Welcome to my 9-7 world! I am looking forward to some tips - I have given up almost entirely bringing my lunch and grab the off-sandwich...but I could use a resurrection.

(Congrats on the new job, that sounds like fun!)

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I am looking forward to your strategy because if it's one thing that used to bug me about having a full schedule, it was not having any time to shop and cook decent meals! Dare I say how many fastfood and takeout dinners that I had? No. It would be too embarrassing to live down... ;-)

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bolognese freezes beautifully :)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Ms., Are you still in Milan, where do you work? I'm up in the Greco-Pirelli neighborhood at the Bicocca.

Hi Rowena, You seem like such the expert that I'm not sure I'll illuminate you on much...BTW I don't believe that about the fast food!

Hi Tracie, You hit the nail on the head. Cook in quantity and freeze. That's my strategy in a nutshell.

6:29 PM  
Blogger J at said...

I'm looking forward to reading your ideas. :)

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm exhausted reading your schedule. Yet, I know you'll pull it all off with flair and creativity!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Susan, yes, I'm still in Milan - I live in the Isola-Porta Garibaldi area and work there, too. We should meet up!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi J., I'll try to make it interesting.

Hi Moon, I'm feeling pretty tired right about now!

Hi Ms, I'm more around via Padova, sort of between San Raffaele and Bicocca. Let's have an aperitivo!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Sounds like a great plan, Susan, I could use some brown bag lunch ideas, thanks so much!

4:16 AM  
Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Congrats on the job and I look forward to reading your ideas.

6:47 AM  

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