Buon giorno!

September 25, 2009

It’s Friday, and I think I just blew some snot into my caffè. Gross. Oh well, I guess that will just give it a slightly salty flavor.

I’m readying myself for another weekend with a long to-do list, which I’m sure I won’t get through. In fact, most of the to-do’s are left over from last week. This morning, I’m looking through the many photos from Italy, again, trying to determine what I want to put on the wall above the dining table. I’m thinking the warm tones in most of those photos would work in the room. I have a photo on the wall now, but it’s not working for me. Too dark.

The photo above is from Firenze. I like the mixture of fresh fruit and overly processed junk food offered. You don’t often see that in America, so you don’t feel so bad if you reach for the Haribo and Sprite, because tasty-fresh apples and oranges aren’t available at the local gas station.

I’ve been reading a new book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler, which isn’t really a self-help book like you would think from the title, but actually an insightful look into how the food corporations make the food we crave and why we crave it. There’s lots of talk of testing on lab rat testing, fat, sugar, and salt (To the point, sometimes, where I do not want to hear those 3 words again. I get it!!! already.), and reward. The one thing that really disturbs me is the talk of the food companies trying to make food that melts in your mouth. The food is described as almost pre-chewed and reconstituted just so it takes a few less chomps to make it melt in your mouth and disappear, thus taking the work out of it for you. Really? I’m so lazy that I can’t chew 10 more times before swallowing? Maybe not lazy, but apparently this is something people react positively to in their food. Come to think of it, those Lay’s potato chips do melt nicely in my mouth. Speaking of Lay’s (don’t they have the slogan “bet you can’t eat just one”?), another theme that pops out in this book is the fact that the food companies want you addicted to their food. Anything less than addicted just won’t do. Seriously.

So while I’ll never give up my M&Ms and Ruffles with French Onion dip, admonish those who, *gasp*, eat American cheese, or become one of those people who notes the calories of the Chili Cheese Coney with tater tots and an Ocean Water trying to make myself or others feel guilty about what is being enjoyed in the moment, this book is reinforcing my need for home-cooked meals, restaurants that I trust not to feed me frozen, pre-cooked food that can be picked up at my local Safeway in the freezer section, “shopping the perimeter” of the grocery store, or better yet, shopping the Farmer’s Market, and just in general enjoying some yummy food. Food, not reconstituted, addictive, melt-in-your-mouth, chemically-laden, overly preserved… un-food? Not sure what you call it at that point. Filler?

Hmm, I have went from “I need a picture” to soapbox in one post this morning. I guess I’m making up for my lack of posts this week.

Til next time… Ciao! (yes, I’m trying to learn Italian, too)


Back to Domestic Goddess, or maybe just Dreaming Domestic Couch Potato

September 9, 2009

This picture posted on Flickr inspired me for the outdoor dining space. Of course, I don’t have enough room for all of those beautiful umbrellas, and Raju might kill me if I paint the side of the house (ala one of those HGTV shows we watched once upon a time, of course, she also cut away part of the deck; damn did her hubby need that margarita maker they won when he came home). So I’m paring down a bit and going with what seems to be leaning more toward a French feel with the red and blue and the Tolix chairs. Either way, it will be better than what it is today.

what it is today: clean slate or barren waste land? cup half full or half empty?

Of course, we’ll need more plants, and brighter colored planters than are in the mock above. Shortcuts – I just wanted some greenery in the picture.

The current plan is to put in the tall, skinny evergreens, similar to the ones in this photo from Florence (center of the pic) in a row down the fence. That should give us some privacy and kill some of the ambient road noise. So I guess we’re bringing a little Italy back in. Maybe I can call this “Euroblend”?