Come on in…

food-italy

I love to prepare food for family, friends and neighbors. That is the Italian in me, like a shepherd dog trying to herd them all together around a table, that is my alltime favorite thing to do. I love to plan special dinners and they are not special because of the ingredients, no, they are special because of the company. 

You see the Italian way of eating is a little bit different. There is no real breakfast, it’s mostly just a cup of coffee, accompanied by a cookie or a something sweet. The most Italians have breakfast on their way to work in a bar, where they order an espresso or cappuccino with a small cornetto or other pastry. Italians don’t see the need to sit down for breakfast, it’s just a quick stop before the day starts.

Lunch is suppose to be the main meal of the day, no matter what Olive Garden tells you. Lot’s of Italians still drive home during lunch hour to eat with the family. It’s mostly a two course meal and starts with a form of pasta or risotto. The second course “secondo” is either a fish or a meat dish with vegetables or salad. Desserts are not typical during the week, they are reserved for the weekends.

Dinner is a much lighter meal. Cold cuts, cheese and bread, soups and salad, vegetables and fruits, nothing too heavy before bedtime.

The Italian dinner, that we so often see in movies or advertisement, is reserved for the weekends and special occasions. That’s when the Italians invite family and friends, drink wine and sit and eat for hours. Times have changed a little bit and many people in larger cities can’t return home for lunch anymore and are forced to have their main meal in the evening, so the whole family can sit at the table and discuss the day’s events.

That’s what its all about, sitting together enjoying a meal and that’s what I love. Not the everyday thing, when I have to throw dinner together after a long day, but the special get togethers. Planning is half of the fun. I can sit there for hours, surrounded by cookbooks and you will see me write and re-write shopping lists for days and I drive from store to store, because nothing seems to be out of my way. Then there is the actual cooking. Music in the background, cutting and chopping food, juggling pots and pans as needed and all of it with a big smile on my face, knowing, that we all will be sitting down around a table soon with lots of talk and laughter, that’s my alltime favorite food.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

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10 thoughts on “Come on in…

  1. The last time I was in Italy, everything stopped for the afternoon meal. Even gas stations closed down, so we were forced to stop for a three course meal. We only made it through the first course! It was a delicious soup that was an entire meal in itself. This was thirty years ago, it is shocking to realize, so perhaps things have changed. https://grieflessons.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/my-good-sisters-stroganoff-shepherds-pie/

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  2. I wish we could go back to the time when lunch was the big meal of the day as I’m sure it used to be that way in most places, especially in hotter countries. Big meal, then a nap, then back to work until sunset. I mean, who wants to work through the hottest part of the day? Not me, I wanna rest. But alas, we no longer work and rest by the sun’s dictates, we have our own system now. I guess we’ll adapt. Who knows? ^_^

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    • You are so spot on. We had lunch ,then there was rest time for a few hours, even the shops were closed until 4 or 5 pm. That’s when life continued, when it wasn’t so hot anymore. I still have some of the old ways in me. I could never get used to the American breakfast and take it only for lunch on weekends. Try to cook small and healthy meals for dinner during the week. Big lunch/dinner weekends around 3 pm :-).

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      • Believe it or not, the big breakfast thing is a relatively new idea. It used to be just breakfast and a fast bite for most Americans too, until someone, somewhere came up with the idea that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I think it was the farming association, you know, bacon & eggs being the mainstay of breakfast. Then everyone was all about getting a healthy breakfast.

        Most people I know usually have a drink and a bite. Like this morning, I had some coffee and a cup of oatmeal. I think we’ve realized that shoving breakfast down our throats before we’re hungry in the name of “health” was doing more damage than good. I know I don’t wake up hungry… I don’t get hungry until nearly noon.

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        • I am not hungry either, eat a banana so I don’t take my medication and vitamins on an empty stomach. I think eating a big breakfast makes you hungry for the rest of the day and you eat more. Bacon and eggs for breakfast every day can’t be healthy. We think alike 🙂

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