My first week was filled with roaming around Perugia, trying to speak Italian, and cooking in my very tiny kitchen. This week was Settimana Italiana Intensiva (Intensive Italian Week). Every day from Lunedì al Giovedì (Monday through Thursday) I had a morning lecture section from 9-12 PM, with a short break. Then at 3:30 PM, I had "Survival Italian". My mom and I joked that my professor would drop us off at a random bus stop, hope off of the bus, and say "Get home". And it turns out, we weren't too far off!
Each day we had to go to different place and learn how to apply the vocabulary and grammar we learned in the morning session. For example, on Wednesday we took the Mini Metro--the local subway--to the large grocery store, Coop. We had to walk around and find different grocery store items, like melanzana (eggplant), carciofo (artichoke), and radicchio. It was nice, because I was able to figure where the Mini Metro station is, how to buy a ticket, and which stop to go to get to the grocery store. These lessons came in handy when I ventured there by myself on Friday to buy cleaning supplies for our apartment. I made it there and back without using Google maps, getting lost, or getting mugged!
I've been cooking most my meals this week, as I am too insecure about my lack of ability to speak Italian to go to restaurants! Plus, I bought a lot of groceries before I discovered all the great restaurants and bars, and I don't want to waste that money. I did, however, go out a few times this week. I had the best sandwich of my life, some amazing truffles, and lots of wine.
My most recent cooking adventure started because it's cold and Perugia is amazing. In Italy, the apartments aren't heated all day, and when they are heated, the heat isn't as high as it is at home. So, because it's been cold all week, I've been craving soup. One of the most amazing things about Perugia is that there is a different farmers' market every day! The biggest one, however, is on Saturdays. It's MASSIVE! It's the last stop on the Mini Metro, and it is never-ending rows of fresh produce, leather shoes and bags, and Porchetta sandwich trucks. My friends and I were walking around the market, trying not to get too overwhelmed, when I spotted a stall with HUGE ripe tomatoes for only 0,99 € per kg! So, I decided to make some Roasted Tomato Soup. It was fun to make real food in my kitchen for the first time. I loved searching through the cabinets to see what pots and pans we have, and using the oven for the first time!
To see the recipe, check out my cookbook I made for a class, and more, become a site member! There are more pictures and videos on my Facebook page!