i have taken the sage advice of my friend at work and am giving way to the insidious, slothy pull of reading week's manifest. no school work! as she so wisely noted, there's no point getting ahead, it's not like there won't be more school to replace it. better to enjoy my reprieve and luxuriate in my 12 hours less of class time this week. so i'm indulging myself by watching the wire and knitting and having a grand time slowly and fastidiously compiling my list of restaurants/gelaterias/bakeries/trattorias/cafes/markets and food emporiums for my upcoming reverse colonial conquest of florence. my sister planted a most wonderful seed, and i've started an active campaign of cajoling, pleading and entreating to see if we might be able to pay a visit to dario cecchini's butchery/restaurant in chianti (on our way to a day-trip in siena, perhaps?). cecchini was featured in bill buford's excellent book (reviewed in a previous post in this very blog) "heat". he's known as italy's most famous butcher, and he sells lardo and guanciale in his store, along with choice cuts of prime florentine beef. apparently there's always a free-for-all antipasto spread at the shop, with whipped lardo (!!!!) being a featured dish, to be lashed onto crostini. he recently opened up a restaurant, and on weekends, he does a 70euro steak-only tasting of three different types of cow, grilled over a wood fire. since bistecca florentina is on my must-eat list, why not at a place that makes a point of specializing in it? there's also no corkage fee if you bring your own wine.
tonight for dinner i made my award-winning falafels. it's nice to know that i've mastered a dish by the age of 28. it feels good. mind you: i've only got the falafels themselves down. the lemon sauce had to be charmed from the boys at square boy (who wouldn't let me pay!) and the tzatiki and tahini sauce remain elusive. i made them in my brand-new toy, a 14 cup cuisinart. which i love! a food processor with a sharp blade! how revolutionary!!! originally my sister had bought me a 7 cup one for christmas, but i was concerned about the size, so i brought it down for an exchange this past weekend. i was only going to go one size up (11 cup) but then they had the 14 cup for only $100 more. because i had a credit from the one that i was returning, i only paid $100 US for it (total cost was $186 US), whereas they retail for $346 CDN at sears. i can taste the savings! plus it'll last me for life.
tomorrow is a regular work day, but then my sis is dropping off the wee kidlets to be babysat by me while she goes to a hockey game. i have to babyproof the house somewhat (read: stack some full water jugs by the stairs so little ze can't take a tumble). we're eating stromboli with genoa and calabrese and provolone and basil and roasted red pepper and a caesar salad. the kids are going to eat grilled cheese sandwiches.