Monday, May 17, 2010
Last Wednesday was Italian culture day (not officially, just here at our house). We read Strega Nona by Tomie DePaula, and I Vivaldi by Janice Shefelmas, as well as books about Italian culture and the people of Italy. We listened to some Verdi, and when that got a bit heavy for the kids we switched to Vivaldi and listened to The Four Seasons. D was outraged that Vivaldi chose to write Summer in a minor key. Why, he demanded, would someone write about the best season of the year in such a despondent and tragic sounding key? Hmmmm... something to ponder.
We also looked at some art of the Italian Renaissance in our Art Up Close book, which I absolutely love but haven't spent nearly enough reading with the kids. We looked at the Mona Lisa, and Primavera by Botticelli.
The best part of the day, however, was spent making homemade (from scratch!) pasta. When we spent our first Christmas together, DG told me of childhood Christmas' past when his mom and aunts would spend hours making homemade ravioli. He used to love helping with this tradition as a wee tyke. After we were married I bought a pasta machine, complete with fancy ravioli attachment, envisioning the creation of our own Christmas pasta-making memories. Six years later it was still sitting in the box, collecting dust in the basement - until Wednesday, that is, when we dusted off the machine, assembled it ourselves sans directions, and put her to long-overdue use.
We thoroughly enjoyed rolling the dough through the pasta machine, watching it come out a bit thinner each time. I cut the dough into strips by hand, because I couldn't figure out how to attach the linguine cutter. But I must say (pat on the back) it was delicious. We rounded out the meal with a garden salad and a nice chianti, which we devoured sitting outside in our olive garden, overlooking the Italian riviera...okay just fantasizing about everything from the chianti on, but we did finish the meal with some yummy gelato from Whole Foods.