Oh you beautiful Rome

IMG_0455We are back again at home, actually already since last week. Munchkin and I had a couple of wonderful days in Rome where we spent some time with an old and dear friend from study time. Oh man, I sound like a grandma… We ate lovely food, munchkin and I went every morning out to hunt our breakfast and we did it like the Italians: order and drink your cappuccino at the counter and have an Italian croissant. After the second morning I ordered in Italian.

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We two strolled through the Vatican, Lepanto, Trastevere. Ate artisan ice cream and pizza and at the end of the day my friend and I chatted with a glass of red wine in our hand. On our last morning I got much earlier up to get some produce from the nearby market where the Italians buy their produce. It usually opens at 6am but I was there at 5.45am and they were still putting up the stands. I had a schedule and my boy was still asleep when I’d sneaked out of the apartment to go the market. So, I didn’t have time to wait for them to be ready and open. So what do you do? Well, you just start to ask if you can buy stuff anyway and since we are in Italy you do it in Italian. I managed and when I was asked if I would cook so early I just said: aeroporto pronto. I even got some bonus fruits. I’ve to admit I was a bit proud of myself.

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The weather was more or less fantastic. It rained a little but just a little and otherwise we had sunshine and around 18C. Munchkin played the Italian and babbled happily with big gestures and offered his binkie to every Italian on the bus and metro.

M didn’t have quite as much fun as we had and spent his week in the US where he had to attend meetings but he didn’t forget us and brought some goodies with him home too.IMG_0540-0 We know we have been on a trip when our refrigerator is suddenly filled with a lot of cheese, eggplants, artichokes and nuts. Munchkin and I are responsible for the cheese (5kg) and M for the nuts (about 5kg too).

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Munchkins 4-legged hairy brother Ecky stayed with our friends who visited us last week and got to enjoy Parmigiana. An eggplant lasagna. We love it. It came out good but it’s best in Italy.

We have cooked a lot but often I was too slow to take pictures and when we prepare soups we don’t have exact measurements. But one of our favorites at this time of the year is kale soup. With kale I think there is only you like it or you hate it. We both love it. It can be lovely raw, thinly shredded as a salad or cooked as a thicker soup. Our kale soup doesn’t contain much more than onions, kale and potatoes. If you are eating meat, cook it with some smoked meat and be more cautious with the broth that you don’t end up with an all too salty soup.

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Kale soup/stew (4 persons)

  • 750gr fresh kale
  • 5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into smaller chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into very small chunks
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • broth powder (If you like meat, add a piece of smoked meat and be more cautious with the broth otherwise you might over salt it)
  • water
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

First to the salt mine: cut the leafs off the big stems before you cut the leafs into 0.5cm wide stripes. Wash them with cold water and drain well in a colander.

Take your biggest pot. The kale is very voluminous at first but then it’s going to wilt and suddenly it doesn’t look that much anymore.

Over medium heat warm 3 tbsp of oil in the pot and sauté the onions until they are brown and soft. Add about 1.5 liter of water, 1 tbsp of broth powder then the potato chunks and finally the ready kale. Put the lid on and wait until the kale has wilted. Stir it every now and then. If necessary add some water. The soup is ready when the potatoes are done and all the kale has wilted and it’s stems are soft.

Season it with salt and pepper and eat with a buttered slice of bread.

Trondheim last week

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Waiting for the snow

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