Monday, 19 September 2011

The Fear

I suppose I knew in the end that the day would come. It wasn't really a surprise. I had already come up with my coping strategy, but sadly even the best laid plans fail.

A's foodie Dad has announced that he and his foodie girlfriend would like to come and visit us in Milan for the weekend.

That I have no problem whatsoever with. They are very welcome, too. I told them so. And then craftily I added "and A will cook you something really tasty."

But they weren't having any of it. They know he can cook and they want to try something English. 

 "Well maybe I'll make a dessert," I tried to fend them off. No luck there either, they've already eaten my cakes before.

*Insert four-letter-word of your choosing!!!*

You might think I am overreacting but the pear-puddle-pudding (pear crumble) and the milk soup (leek and potato) speak for themselves. I cannot cook under pressure even with idiot-proof recipes.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

7 Things

I have a confession to make: I cried at the airport before flying back. I wasn't really expecting it, but it does seem that the longer you stay away from 'home' the harder it gets. Obviously first and foremost I miss my family and friends, but there's not much I can do about that except for Skype and email and Facebook. There are a few things I miss though from England that I can only get hold of in Italy at great expense. When I pack I always try to pack some large bags of pasta for my family in order to ensure that there is space on the return journey.

The funny thing is that everbody's list is different. A friend once received an "emergency" parcel from her brother when we were in Mother Russia. I went over to her house to help her eat it. Imagine her surprise to find tins of Heinz baked beans and an enormous Christmas pud. The beans were a welcome taste of home, but Christmas pudding in June?

Another friend kindly sent me off to Belgium with a pack of "emergency" Rich Tea Biscuits.  Again, not something I eat very often, but I imagine something he himself misses when abroad.

I went on holiday to Minorca this year. So much fun and so relaxing. It was a bit of a shock to find it was an English colony though. Perhaps I should have known, but I've never been on holiday in Spain before on account of me being a language snob (I have to know the local language). We didn't even take a phrasebook - epic fail - but that is a (funny) story for another day.

Jealous Much?

In the supermarkets, even the little corner shops, I found every iconic British product under the sun. Not just marmite, but Coleman's mustard and Dairy Milk. You name it, they had it.

Unfortunately My only souvenirs of Spain are PG Tips and a small pot of nuts.

 Here are 7 things you should consider putting in your luggage if you are coming to visit me.

1) Peanut butter or Marmite.

2) Tetly tea.

3) Cheddar.

4) Lemsip, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Anti-histamines or other cheap drugs.

5) Baking powder.

6) Muffin cases.

7) Ground almonds (you can't make a Bakewell tart without it).

Have I missed anything?

Oh yes, if you bought a magazine or paper for the plane you can leave that here too. A particularly enjoys the Economist although I prefer National Geographic.