Monthly Archives: March 2009

Serve It Forth

My friends Colleen, Brendan and Barbra were just here from New York for a very fun visit. More on this in a bit. But for now, I want to mention Serve It Forth, Barbra’s beautifully written food blog. She of giant doughnut fame, took advantage of the eating opportunities in Rome and I’m happy to share a little bit of her witty work here…

This has to be one of the most useful signposts in all of Rome, communicating two things every tourist needs to know:  How to get to the airport and how to get to the gelato.

Read the full post on Serve it Forth >>


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Italian exam

**UPDATE (April 1, 2009)**

We passed!


Today we have our final exam in Italian class, the oral section. Paul and I have each prepared (and by this I mean spent about 20 minutes scribbling down notes) a short verbal essay on our given topics: mine is Carter, his is a brief bio, what it means to be Paul.

We’ve already taken the written portion and expect to find out today whether we passed. I’ve decided that if I did well, I’ll treat myself to a manicure. If I didn’t I’ll probably need a manicure to make me feel better…

Wish us luck!

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Paul’s position

If you need Paul on any given day, after the 6 o’clock hour…


His activities include:


Quick Books


Poor guy, and he thought he came to Italy to work less and enjoy the lifestyle.

Maybe the baby will be a financial wiz and we can pass this chore on to her…just as soon as she learns to hold her head up.

work station

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And from Great Grandma…


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Grandma was here…

baby booty

up close

home from the hospital outfit

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Mama Mia

She did it. My mom made it all the way from Poulsbo, WA to Rome…with an 82 pound Golden Retriever. Thankfully, the hard part was over once they arrived. After that it was sightseeing, eating and strolling. (Plus we both got new boots–thanks Mom!) Think she enjoyed her first trip to Italy and can’t wait to see her again later this summer. By that time she’ll be a grandma!

Mom in Parioli


Piazza Novona

Famous Via Veneto

New boots

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Last year at about this time, I walked into my monthly meeting with the Martha Stewart Living magazine editors. When Martha arrived she brought an Irish Soda Bread that she made. With butter that she made.

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Baby’s first gift outfit

From my aunt Idehra in Washington state…all the way to Rome!

Onesie and skirt

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A ham with a stand

It’s here. No, not the dog, not my mom…the ham. Paul’s pride and joy now lives in our cucina.

All the delicious details:

  • Type of ham: Pata Negra
  • Purchased in Madrid, Spain
  • This pig’s diet: acorns. According to Ryan’s Spanish friend *Jose, the fat in this ham is actually more like olive oil–unsaturated–than regular grain-fed pigs.
  • Ham stand and knife on loan from Ryan
  • Desired thickness of each slice: “paper thin”
  • Level of difficulty to achieve PT slices: 9 (on a scale of 1-10)
  • Similar to Italian ham, Prosciutto. However, one does not put a protective layer of salt on Pata Negra (*nearly threw us out of the car when he heard the question). Instead a layer of fat is preserved and replaced on top of the ham after every cutting, then a kitchen towel. Fancy.
  • Price: approximately same as Baby’s college tuition (inflation included)


proud paul

at home

This is certainly not the end of it. Look for more updates to come…

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Carter has arrived

Crumpled. That’s the best way to describe how this dog looked when I saw him at the airport. Tired, stiff, dehydrated and worst of all, having no recollection of me! Seven, eight years together ring a bell, no? Hmpf. Instead he preferred my mom, his surrogate of four months. (I told her she would never be left alone with Baby for fear that she’d never recognize me again either!) But it’s been a couple of days, several walks in the park and lots of hugs later and my normal dog is pretty much back. There’s even a smell to prove it. (Bath is coming next–wanted to avoid further tormenting him for the first 72 hours or so.)





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