Una Buona Notte
Traveling is fun because you can try new things all the time. But damn! Sometimes you just want a burger or pizza or in this case a heaping plate of carbohydrates - Italian style! Two weekends ago was another "stay-cation" weekend where we lounged in the pool, caught up on errands, and enjoyed a family style meal together. (Catty used this time to craft together a paper mache piñata - above.)
After a long day of swimming, the ladies and I decided we needed to catch up on our calorie intake. So we headed to our usual grub spot - 8/1 - for morning glory, fried rice, shrimp and broccoli, fried shrimp, and omelets. Morning glory (pad pak bung fai daeng) is a must-have at this joint! The best way I can describe it is: sauteed spinach with garlic, chili peppers, oyster sauce, soy sauce and some soy beans. Except the spinach is actually morning glory. It is delicious, although I have to pick around the chilies because boy those are hot!
Some of the male farang teachers are in a soccer league in Surat,so the girls decided to show some support at one of their matches. And by "support" I mean we went to the pitch, drank beers, and talked. Happy Sunday to us!
Monday night was a great way to end a weekend and start our long work week. (This week would feel particularly long because we had big plans for the upcoming weekend...post to come!) My lovely roommate Haley and Ness put together a beautiful Italian dinner for us to enjoy and escape Thailand for a little while . With a box of wine in hand, we were greeted with bruschetta topped with tomatoes and mushrooms as an antipasto.
Now, a salad may seem trivial to anyone back home who can get sick of seeing "house salad" or "caesar salad" on a menu. But when this bowl of greens was dropped on the table, my mouth dropped with it. Salad isn't a common thing here, so having crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and red onions tossed together with balsamic vinaigrette was an absolute treat!
Next up: gnocchi al sugo dolce. Haley made home made gnocchi and really I could stop there. But the sauce that went on top...that was amazing as well. It had a perfect amount of sweetness in it and I probably could've eaten 6 portions of it.
With the gnocchi checked off my list, I couldn't have been happier to see more carbs approaching in the form of parmigiana! The only carbs I get here are white rice, white rice, and oh, white rice. Pasta is sorely missed by this American girl.
As if the three previous courses weren't enough for these ladies to whip up in southeast Asia, they finished the evening presenting us with not one, but TWO homemade cakes! A torta della nonna and torta di cioccolato. Fabulous! I can barely bake at home even when Sarah Lee only asks that I place a pie in the oven, so I was floored at the fact that they could A) bake like this and B) bake like this is a place where I can't even find unsweetened milk. Bellissimo, ladies!
Not only did this meal make me miss home, but it made me miss living in Italy! Every night was spent with wine, pasta, a beautiful atmosphere and beautiful people. So when I walked out of this adorable porch area, I half expected to drive past the Duomo and stop for an espresso on the way back to my four-floor apartment over looking the Arno. (Oh yea, and Daft Punk showed up as well...)