If food and travel are the two things that drive me, then 2015 had probably been a dream year. The year began with feverish preparation for my first ever solo cross-continental tour to Australia and ended with my first ever European sojourn. They say, the run up to a wedding is nerve-racking for the bride. Venue, flower, transport arrangement, shopping, invitations, and the overall numbness of leaving your home, your parents, your city and the life that you were so comfortable in. But for me, there was one thing that overshadowed all these emotions: the excitement of planning for my European debut.
After weeks for debate, discussion, differences in opinion and fights, my then fiancé now husband (whom we shall conveniently call P) reached on a consensus. Italy it was going to be! So for 3 months leading to the wedding, I would be seen wide awake late at night, surfing TripAdvisor rather than wedding photographers and make up artistes! I drew up my customary excel sheet and together on hangout video chat we would jot down daily itineraries, transport and accommodations, a rough budget (which, I daresay, was bang on target!) till the wee hours of morning. We got our tickets, booked our hotels and patiently waited for our visas. In the meantime I had almost memorised the places to visit, things to eat and areas to amble in each city. I would probably take 10 seconds to answer what saree I was planning to wear for my wedding, but I could tell you all about the videos of Rick Steves like a seasoned elocutionist.
December last year was probably the best month of my life. And since the year so far has been a far cry from it, I’ve planned to relive the last leg of the last year in my following posts where I’ll try to take you through my journey across the length and breadth of Italy, region by region. And since you can’t think of Italy without thinking of the rich gastronomical culture associated with it, I’ll whip up in my kitchen something fancy or something humble that champions the spirit of the region I’m talking about. In most cases, the ingredients used to create these recipes would be the ones that I carried home from the wonderland (a meagre 8.9 kilo suitcase I took miraculously became 27.3 kilo at the time of return!). So watch out for my 6-part Italian extravaganza as I happily relive arguably some of the best days of my life!
Part 1: The City of Canals and Squid Ink Pasta with Prawns and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Part 2: Fashionably Milan and Risotto Alla Milanese
Part 3: Under the Tuscan Sun: Pisa, Siena, Florence and Pasta in Mushroom Cream Sauce and Truffle Oil
Part 4: Amalfi Blues: Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi Town and Limoncello Cake
Part 5: Of Napoli… and Pizza Margherita
Part 6: To Rome, with Love and Baileys Dark Chocolate Gelato