I love Italian food. Really, I do. Clearly, I must anticipate enjoying many things about Italy to have felt a strong desire to: (a) get married there, and (b) spend 3 weeks traversing the country with my brand-new husband, filling our bellies with good food and then attempting to hide the belly-related evidence from photographic record during trips to, say, the rocky diving platform outside of our hotel room on the Amalfi Coast (fat chance of that working, so to speak). In fact, I could actually say that the most anticipated part about my trip to Italy was going to be the food: Italy is the homeland of everything I value in my own culinary style.
In double fact, one unexpected bonus of the trip was finding my culinary skills expanded. Never mind that for 80% of the time I had no access to raw ingredients or a kitchen - by simply tasting authentic Italian food, perusing the menus, and spending endless hours nibbling, snacking, munching, and picking on various edible delights (or frights, as the case may be), I feel that I have expanded my repertoire and skill without ever picking up a knife. Greg and I had countless discussions attempting to understand exactly what it is about the good food we enjoyed that made it so good: the preparation, the recipes, the freshness, the quality of ingredients? (yes, yes, yes and YES). We picked apart the most treasured meals: "Is that fresh oregano or dried?" or "I think this is a bechemel and not heavy cream". We jotted down notes in a travel book so as to not forget the taste of authentic Italian upon return to the States. We eagerly anticipated many amazing meals to come forth from our own kitchen.
That said (and I do promise more thorough discussion of the trip and food to come), what did I make as the first meal as soon as I got home?
Grilled corn. And fruit salad. And the next day, a turkey stew that might just pass for chili.
"Are you mad, woman?" No. Just utterly, completely, sick and overwhelmingly tired of Italian food. I never thought I'd say these words in my life, but, please god give me something Americano! In the process of saturating my taste buds (as well as the mental capacity to endure yet one more vegetable-deprived, touristy and overpriced meal outside of some magnificent artistic structure - though I swear I'm not complaining), perhaps I discovered two other things: (1) a renewed interest and appreciation of the culinary merits of my own culture's food, and (2) quite an interest in what grilled corn cobs look like at 55mm and 1.4 aperture. I present to you the latter.
4 cobs of fresh corn
2 tbsp butter
- Start the grill preheating on a low heat setting
- Peel back corn husk and thoroughly remove silk
- Smear ~ 1/2 tbsp butter across surface of raw corn and sprinkle with salt to taste (squeeze of lime or a grating of pepper wouldn't hurt if you're in the mood)
- Bring husk back into proper position. Tie loosely with extra husk. Dip entire cob system into water and place on grill.
- Grill for anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on how tightly you wrapped up the cob and how hot the grill is. Sprinkle extra water on the cob every so often to keep the steam going. Cobs should be slightly charred and corn kernels should be easily pierced.
- Serve with equally American picnic fare
P.S. I promised discussion of the trip and I will indeed include some! I decided to post about different segments of the trip, along with food we ate and pictures, every few days. Thought I'd jump in with a recipe first, since I need to spend some sorting my 1200+ photos of the trip... at the very least, here's a teaser, and my comment of, wow, what an spectacular time: wedding, trip and everything.