We are moved in to our apartment and are settling in. I think I mentioned before that the apartment was basically furnished but contained nothing more. That is we have all the parts for the bathroom but no towels, soap, etc. We have a kitchen with a 4-burner gas stove, electric oven, sink, and refrigerator and a clothes washing maching. The washing machine isn’t hooked up yet and the stove requires a match to light it as the pizo-electric lighters aren’t hooked up yet either but they are here. The kitchen does not have anything else. There are no pots and pans, no plates, no glasses, no cups, no silverware, no…well, you get the point. Fortunately there is a well stocked hardware store right across the street from us so with a visit there and to the local supermarket (where they seem to sell everything BUT the kitchen sink) we now are much better equipped. We have 6 dinner plates, 2 soup bowls, 6 glasses, 3 coffee cups, a small sauce pan, a moka pot (can’t do without a coffee pot even though there are 3 coffee shops we can see from our front door), 3 large soup spoons, a vegetable peeler, a stove ligher, and those things I brought from home (chef’s knife, paring knife, cork screw, scissors). That’s it. That’s our kitchen equipment. Below is a picture of our kitchen equipment (unpictured are my knives, the peeler, the scissors, the corkscrew and the BIC lighter).
The bowls were an add on because the other day June wasn’t feeling too well and we thought a simple soup for supper would be good, so while shopping we bought the two bowls, oh yes, and the 3 spoons. We also picked up some chicken stock (I think that is what it is…Italian, you know). Then while June rested I went next door (literally) to the produce shop and picked out some nice looking vegetables. So a little mirepoix, some diced mixed vegetables and we had a nice soup for supper. Consider it poor planning but when the next evening rolled around we hadn’t thought to further equip our kitchen nor to shop for other groceries so for variation we went across the street to a fresh pasta place and got some noodles and I again made vegetable soup with the unused vegetables from the last night but adding the enhancement of some noodles. Again, it was a pleasant meal. But then accompanied by the good wines they have here it isn’t difficult to make a good meal.
Today we went with Rae, a current student who’s program ends in May, to the flea market in Carmagnola, a short trip by train. It was a smaller market than Rae had anticipated and we didn’t find anything to add to our kitchen stock. After returning home I realized that I was hungry and thinking through our food inventory we had more left over veggies <sigh>, some leftover uncooked fresh noodles <hummm>, some local salumi <good!>, some local soft cheese <good>, butter, and eggs. So of course it hit me! Mac & Cheese! What we needed right now was comfort food. I boiled water and cooked the pasta (spaghetti). I drained it added small cubes of the soft cheese, some butter, a dollup of milk and a pinch of salt. Done! Now to eat it…plates or bowls? Bowls. And for silverware we only had spoons so time to tuck in. Have you ever eaten spaghetti with a spoon? It is an interesting way to slow down your eating. Bowls were a good choice as I picture having to chase the spaghetti around a plate with a spoon. With a bowl you have sides to gain purchase on those slippery noodles.
The lesson of the day…it is comforting to know that we won’t starve and that we can make do with kitchen equipment that would have fit in my backpack on the Camino. Also we are finding that even improvised meals can be delicious.