Monday, June 28, 2010

There is no extra extra


Near Verona, Bonamnini sits surrounded by vineyards and orchards of olive trees.


They get a lot of visitors.


It's very easy to get a tour of the olive oil factory. First they show you the old way of crushing the olives with the large granite stones that would roll around and around to press the olives.


They explain to you the old way of spreading olive paste on these white circles then having them be pressed by that large machine. The machine would then spit out olive oil and water, which are separated. The oil left behind is extra virgin olive oil, the water they use to irrigate the trees and the pits of the olives they burn and use as fuel for heat and such.


Then she took us to the new olive press.


It's made out of stainless steel instead of granite. She explained that this is much better because the stainless steal doesn't contaminate the olives like the granite would have having been used for only one season.


After everything is pressed and separated the new way they store the olive oil in these large vats. Then they eventually bottle it and sell it.

Interesting fact: olive oil people are liars. The experation date on the bottle is not the date from which the oil was pressed, but the date from which it is bottled. This can make for not so fresh olive oil sometimes.

Another dirty lie: there is no such thing as extra extra virgin olive oil. Just like there is no such thing as olive oil light. There is only extra virgin (which is what our lady guide produces and is the very best) and olive oil. There is no spoon. Name that movie. Olive oil has had chemicals added to it to make it palatable. Extra virgin has not.


After explaining to use the process of bottling we got to the good part. The tasting.


Small amounts to start.


It's best if you warm the oil up in your hands first a little before tasting. It releases the flavors. Also, you know a good olive oil if when you swallow it burns your throat.


Did that sound official or like I just made that part up? I'll let you decide.


After the olive oil we got to taste a few of their olive pastes and some pesto made with their oil. Oh my holy smokes the pesto. A.MAZ.ING.




IMG_0043I came home with some olive shampoo, pesto and artichoke hearts stored in olive oil. I'm saving the pesto for the winter time since I can easily make it now with so much fresh basil around.

Can't wait to take my love here when he gets back.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sinbad and I rock the purple

Last night Sinbad the comedian came to post on his "Funny to the Corp" tour. And while this isn't really something I talk about a lot I'm a HUGE Sinbad fan. He came for a meet and greet at 1200 which I had to miss because of work. I tried to talk my co-worker into staying a little later so I could meet Sinbad.

"Can you cover for me?" I asked.

"Why? What's up?"

"I really want to go meet Sinbad," I said.


"Sinbad. The comedian. Have you ever seen First Kid?"

*blank stare*

I then proceeded to clock in.

We did get to go to his show that night though.

Cecilia and Melissa went with me. We had to wait in line for kind of a while outside. I didn't know there were so many other Sinbad fans. I'm not alone in my love.
Even though Cecilia only went because I told her a month ago to put it on her calendar and texted her about dreams I had about us not getting into this show and she felt like she couldn't let me down.

I'm pretty sure Melissa just went for something to do on a Wednesday night.

Unfortunately this is the only decent picture I have from the whole night. My camera broke a couple weeks ago in Copenhagen. All those beautiful pictures you see are Cecilia's. So I've been on the lookout for a new camera since the FRONT of my camera decided to fall off in front of that church in Copenhagen.

The other day I was walking through the PX and saw the majesty of purple wonder staring at me.

Y'all know how I feel about purple. It is currently charging and I'll give you an update as soon as I get a chance to use it.
Sinbad and camera pictures found via Google image search.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tea on Tuesday

The commissary stopped selling Lipton's peach tea. My mom has told me that she hasn't been able to find it around in the States either. Maybe they are cancelling it. Anyway I bought some from the Italian store.

On the side are the instructions. It's nice that they use pictures for us non-native Italian types. At first glance everything seems to make sense.

And then I saw this step...

A little fuzzy here but I think you can still make it out. Person equals peach tea? Man equals tea bag? Super heros are equal to the power of peach tea?

I can't make it out. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Papa's girl

I'm a daddy's girl. I look just like him. I got my first gray hair at 16 from his side. My unwavering loyalty, popping joints, all or nothing attitude, strong faith, straight teeth, and bluntness? His fault.

I love him for it and couldn't have asked for a better father.

So Papa, thanks for teaching me everything good there is to know about love by showing me how you love God and Mama and Chris and Laura and me. And even though you think you missed out on a lot by being gone a lot for work when we were small I don't think you did. I never remember you leaving, I just remember you coming home. Thanks for holding it together long enough to marry me and my husband. Thanks for answering my tax questions. Thanks for not pushing me to be something I'm not. And for giving me gifts without strings attached. Thanks for acting cool when I cuss in front of you because sometimes I forget that we're not just bullshitting but that you're my dad. Thanks for fighting the good fight of fatherhood.

I love you.

p.s. sorry for cussing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Copenhagen eats

We've already discussed the churros, which unfortunately aren't native Denmark (or Italy) fair. Denmark is more of a meat and potatoes (and lots and lots of herring) kinda place.

The first restaurant we went to was:

Another thing that I love about the nordic countries is the hard cider. It's like drinking feel-good apple juice. This isn't my first encounter with hard cider thanks to my brother introducing me to Woodchuck.

We saw a ton of commercials for this Temp Cider while we were there. We couldn't wait to try it. It lived up to the sexy commercial hype.


I ordered a "Wild Burger" with high hopes. Because as much as Italy does culinarily well, hamburgers are not one of them. I'd probably say I haven't had a good burger (that my husband hasn't made) since I've been in Europe. That all changed in Copenhagen. It was perfectly cooked (medium), juicy, bacony, cheesy, and on a fresh roll.


They said that this burger came with a salad on it and they weren't kidding. I couldn't wrap my mouth around this thing until I took all the lettuce, rocket, pickles, and wedges of tomatoes off.

My salad looked similar to Cecilia's on the side of her chicken and potato. I stole a bite of her chicken and it was really nicely tangy and not dry at all.

On our fiasco quest to find the Little Mermaid, we came across a nut vendor. She was selling praline almonds. I have an intense love for praline nuts.

Come with me for a moment down memory lane. When I was probably 12 or 13 my family took a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to see some military family friends that live there. They took us to an open air market where they were selling praline pecans. I ate almost the whole portion. I would have eaten the whole thing if my parents weren't still regulating what I ate. Sometimes I wish they still regulated what I ate. I wouldn't get as many tummy aches for sure.

Cecilia and I split this package because it was about 1 pm and we hadn't had lunch yet. That and they were warm and delicious in a cold, cold country.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Copenhagen and Malmo

Sometimes I forget that there are places in Europe (in fact I think it's most places in Europe) that are caught up to 2010. Copenhagen is the best of old world beauty and new world conviences.




One of the main sights that we wanted to see was a statue of the Little Mermaid sitting in the harbor in honor of Hans Christian Andersen. At the train station buying tickets we asked the vendor the stop for her. He said, "I'm pretty sure she's in China." We laughed. So he went to check and came back to tell us that, indeed, she was in China.

Sure, ticket man. We'll find her on our own.

Once we got to the stop where the Little Mermaid is, we asked a local to point us in the right direction. Again she told us that she's "on tour" in China. When we got there we still got to "see" her though. Through a live feed of where she is in China.



One of the other best sights we saw in Copenhagen was Tivoli Garden. It's an amusment park/awesome place that is full of restaurants and rides and flowers and most important: churros.



I wish that I had bought 8 things of these little wormies. I wanted to go back so bad the next day just to buy churros. But the park cost about 20 euros to get into and Cecilia said, "I'm not paying 20 bucks so you can eat churros." Harumph. Some people are so unreasonable.






On Sunday we went to Malmo, Sweden. It was so cute. Even though we didn't venture far from the train station and pretty much spent the whole time shopping, Sweden is a place I'd love to go back to soon. Maybe actually see more than these marching guys in the middle of a shopping street: