“You’re so good” – or so all my co-workers say when they see me prep my lunch at work. Generally it’s ‘just a salad’ – albeit a good looking salad with ingredients that would make a head of iceberg cringe. I don’t think much of it though, and this makes me realize that perhaps I have taken this food thing for granted. I add mozzarella balls and roasted red peppers to my bowl already containing a can of tuna packed in oil and a few other ingredients and I see now what they see – a really good looking lunch that perhaps they wouldn’t have thought to make!
In a way, I’ve avoided food most of my entire life. Not eating it or cooking it of course, but have tried to avoid having any professional involvement with food. The last thing I’d want is to be associated with the food business. An Italian in the culinary field. How unoriginal!! And then, it happens. You realize that perhaps you take more joy than most just by having a delicious cappuccino or making a tray of lasagna. Or you take some biscotti to your co-workers and all are in agreement, “these are better than the bakery ones, you should sell these!” – and you think, oh no, it’s happening. You’re affectionately known at your workplace as “the Italian that cooks.” And that’s a label that will never rub off.
Ironically, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to wear it pretty proudly! I’m proud of my heritage and my upbringing. I’m an eager learner when it comes to cooking and always eager to try new things. Though I admit, most are Italian dishes! People always ask me if I cook every day. To an Italian, it’s like brushing your teeth! I’m just wondering, how could you not cook every day? You eat everyday, right, so how can you not cook everyday? And I get it, I do. We all work, have lives outside the kitchen, have other things that take priority, but how can feeding yourself and your soul not be a priority? And it doesn’t have to be fancy, or three courses, or take hours to make. It just as to satisfy you. A grilled chicken salad on a warm day can do that. My goal with the Lazy Italian is to provide you with some recipes that you can make in a timely fashion that do not pull you away from your other responsibilities. You should look forward to cooking, not dread it. It’s a right, not a chore.
My other goal of course is to someday take you to Italy! Everyone should experience Italy at least once in their lives! The beauty, history, scenery, and yes, the gelato too!! The picture below is from “Soverato Dolci” – an unbelievable gelateria in a small city called Soverato, in Calabria, Italy. Such a selection of flavors! Definitely worth the calories! It’s a good thing the beach is right behind it, you can swim or walk it off!
What to Pack for Italy
Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia
Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.
Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!