USA Post #8 Gulfport, MS

I left Richbourg School Friday April 12, soon after the Gnocchi class.

It was a very strong emotion when many students hugged me at the same time. But after 5 days of very hard work, I was finally able to continue my vacations.

Next stop, Gulfport, Mississippi, for a quick visit to Julie and Josh and their children: only 24 hours visit but it’s home!

At last I could take care of my asthma, I could sleep, I could relax, I could enjoy some family time.

I love chatting a lot and I love playing with the kids, but I was really knocked out so I wasn’t the usual Teresa.

We went out for dinner in an fascinating unusual place which looked like abandoned but it wasn’t at all. I can’t remember the name, of course, but they have a parking for cars and also a pier for little boats. We had a pretty good bbq with mac&cheese and potato salad.

Believe it or not, Josh made me taste some pecan beer and I liked it. For a not drinker like I am it is a great step!

Would this experience make change some of my habits? I don’t think so.

The best part of this short visit was Saturday morning breakfast: Chef Gwen and Chef Sam cooked pancakes, absolutely my favorite!

It was hard to leave but I was grateful for being able the visit.

Josh drove me all the way to Mobile Airport but when we got there I found out my flight had been cancelled due to weather conditions and it had been rebooked on the following day.

What?!? Why didn’t American Airlines notify it? What could I do?

Going back home in Gulfport, of course!

We went out for dinner in an Italian Restaurant in Biloxi.

What an experience to check out how different is Italian Americanized food.

The food was good but the way to order and how they serve it, it’s very different.

First of all, chicken served on the top of pasta, then pizza served on a stand, spaghetti with meatballs and the salad served with the pasta.

I knew many of these differences, what I didn’t know it’s that all is precooked and reheated when ordered.

It’s something I can’t understand.

The following day was Julie with the kids to take me to the airport.

If the day before had been hard to say “till next time”, this second unexpected goodbye was full of tears.

I couldn’t stop crying when I left Julie and my heart was literally broken.

Next stop: Colorado!

USA Post #7 Richbourg School

How was to teach at Richbourg School?Fulfilling but difficult!It’s a school for children with disabilities and they have all different mental and physical disabilities.I panicked on Monday morning as that was my very experience with handicapped people.Could they understand me?What could they prepare and cook with their hands?What they were expecting from me?I was standing at the counter with about 10 teenagers sitting in front of me. I looked around and I saw smiling interested faces.I took a deep breath, smiled and I started: kindness and joking are the keys for most of the souls.We made pizza from scratch the first day, fettuccine pasta from scratch the following day, then on Thursday we made Zucchini Sauce and Tomato Sauce, and Ricotta Gnocchi the very last day.Enthusiasm grew day by day, recipes after recipes.I will never forget their joy to be able to make little things.Number of students and teachers volunteering to taste the food grew as well. When food was cooked, the line of people to get some to taste was long!2 classes a day for 4 days with kids from Richbourg school and then 1 class a day with 5th graders from the near elementary school.This is a lot of talking and a lot of cooking!The moment to say goodbye arrived quick.I will bring with me in Italy all their smiles, their hugs, their enthusiasm.Next stop: Gulfport, MS

USA Post #5 Late!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and FridayApril 8th to 12th 2019Yes, I’m behind writing on my blog.Are you surprised? Well, if you are surprised you probably have never been to a cooking class of mine because, that’s me! I’malways late.This time, actually, have 1 very good reason: after 15 hours straight working and talking, I was really knocked out on Monday night and I fell asleep as soon as I touched my bed. It was like that every single week day! Monday: morning teaching at Tradewinds Italian Restaurant, Niceville, FL.then private class for few ladies teaching how to make pizza, fettuccini, tiramisù and 3 sauces. I was more than knocked out.It got worse and worse!Tuesday: morning, 2 Pizza classes for Richborg School and 1 Pasta from scratch for another school; at night it was Pizza, Fettuccine, three Sauces, and Tiramisù, of course.By the end of the day I was completely voiceless!And then Wednesday and then Thursday and then Friday.It’s been a very very hard week, standing 15 hours a day talking 15 hours a day: so hard I could never imagine.I was able to go to the beach only 1 hour but it’s been breath taking: because the beach is stunning and because my asthma was really killing me.I went shopping with Tom and it was fabulous to check all different vegetables! He was my personal tour guide, driving mearound.He took me also to eat raw oysters ( yum!), mexican food ( no, thanks, too spicy).

USA Post #4 from Alabama to Florida

Sunday April 7th 2019

It was a very quiet morning.

My friends Dianna and Chris drove me all the way down from Montgomery, AL to Shalimar, FL.

It was hard to say “Till next time” to them, especially to Dianna. Even if we are completely different, our lives couldn’t have been more different, we don’t think in the same way about many topics, I feel we have a special knot.

The Goldbolds, the couple who’s hosting me, is incredible welcoming!

They started spoiling me as soon as I arrived: they took me to see the spectacular white sand of Gulf of Mexico beaches,

then we went grocery shopping for the cooking classes I’m having starting tomorrow, then they took me out to dinner in Mexican place and to eat a Dipped Cone at Dairy Queen.

I’m not a fan of Mexican food as I don’t like spicy hot at all.while Dairy Queen Dipped Cone was good and so.huge I couldn’t finish it.

Let’s talk about portions: 1 American portion is 2 times bigger than Italian portions. Then Italian meals are much lighter and simpler than American ones.

Going shopping was a great experience as I could take note of the Italian ingredients which can be bought here and of some substitutes.

I was pretty tired when we got home so I want directly to bed.

Good night you all! ,

USA Post #3

Saturday April 6th 2019.

It’s Saturday so the day started slowly. No one of us had to rush anywhere so we had a great time chatting while having breakfast together with biscuits made by Dianna and eggs cooked by Chris. What do you do on Saturday? Shopping? Yeah! Target, here I am!It’s been easy to spend two hours there and some money, too! No, I didn’t buy any food, I didn’t even check on it as I was looking for a bathing suit for my soon to come week in Florida, for few gifts to bring back home and for some conditioner for my dried hair. I wasn’t really impressed by Target itself, I mean, it’s like Ipercoop in Pordenone, just bigger. What I was impressed from it’s how big are personal hygiene bottles! I noticed then the tons of different reusable bottles they sell. I always struggle looking for clothes that fits me, but not at Target. What do you do after shopping? Eat some food, of course!
Where? At Chick-fil-a, of course!Do you know that their chicken is so tender because it’s marinade in pickle juice? You know, I’m very picky about ingredients I use or are used to cook food and so I try always to read ingredients list. I enjoyed my chicken nuggets, my waffle fries, next time I will have some lemonade instead of my water, but……I needed some salt and this is what I got:Could please someone tell me why does an ALL NATURAL SEA SALT contain also MAGNESIUM CARBONATE? I understand it’s natural, I understand it could be healthy for people, but I don’t understand why it’s not just sea salt. I’m glad I can’t read the ingredients list.of everything I eat, here in the USA and in Italy as well. I was impressed by how many cars were in line to drive thru and how many food courts we met along our way home with exactly the same fast food restaurants. No variety! A short visit to the cute village Wetumpka was our next stop, before having a great dinner! We went to Capitol Oyster Bar. It’s a simple restaurant along the Alabama River, hidden in the industrial area of Montgomery. I could never guess a restaurant there! A small door to enter in, still customers in, even if was 7:30pm and hundreds of signed pics of bands and singers. This place, every Sunday night at 5:00, hosts live music events. Italian restaurant standards are completely different. You wouldn’t call it a ‘ristorante’ in Italy, but probably a ‘trattoria’ or ‘bettola’. I could enjoy some food I’d never had before: Oyster Rockefeller, delicious; Fried Scallops, to die for; Gator Tail, good but too weird to eat for me to remember the real taste; Swai Fish, good; Hush Poppies, I could eat tons; Fried Shrimp, yummy. I got also some grits, founding out it was soft polenta with butter and some cheese! Every thing was served very simply, with different sauces to dip the fried fish. It surprised me they hadn’t any cake options, but then I realized it couldn’t fit my stomach! I’m ready for new adventures, heading to Florida tomorrow!

USA Post #2 Montgomery, AL

Friday April 5th 2019

It started with a breakfast at Dianna’s after sleeping over 14 hours!

It isn’t a typical American breakfast but I loved the combination greek yogurt with raspberries. The little home made cheese cake which was made with ricotta and coconut flour was a deliciousness! Dianna is a healthy food addicted person and she makes everything from scratch, she experiments new combinations of ingredients, and she cooks, breaking down all the Italian stereotypes about Americans being bad cooks!

As she had to work, I spent a very relaxing morning in her beautiful old house

and in the afternoon I had a surprising historical guided tour downtown in Montgomery.

It’s like the time here stopped in the mid 20th century!

It’s a decadent town, with many abandoned old houses and buildings and at the same time the architecture is stunning, every house is different from the other and every building has something to tell!

This the most important slavery train station in Alabama.

I can only imagine how many women, men and children went through it to be then taken to the slavery market.

I can only imagine the cries, the yells, the chains noise.

These are footprints which remember us where the first peaceful civil rights march started from.

I walked where Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks walked.

I learned about Confederacy finding out that this town was the first capital city before it was moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1861.

Here is a picture of the first Confederacy White House.

I love history and chatting with people so I can easily say that I spent a great time with my private tour guide who answered to all my questions.

What to expect after a fulfilling afternoon?

A typical dinner, of course, with good friends!

Smoked Barbeque: ribs, wings, pulled pork served with cornbread followed by banana pudding and sweet potato casserole. HEAVEN!

What a perfect day!

Coming home, my friend Dianna noticed that my eyes were bright for happiness! Yes, I’m happy to be here with her, to feed my curiosity, to enjoy new foods, to chat with my special personal secret handsome tour guide!

Chris and Alabama River

Can’t wait for #3 day!

USA #1 Trip to the States

Thursday April 4th 2019

It’s a long time since I last wrote on my blog, but it’s time to be back to old habits.

Today I started a great adventure: I left Italy with a suitcase full of groceries to travel to the USA.

I will be visiting few friends but also volunteering as Cooking Teacher in Richbourg School, Crestview, FL.

Let’s start telling about this first day of hours and hours of flying, my passport and suitcases checked many many times. I flew KLM first and then Delta Airlines and I had a great experience: both crews were kind and professional, the food was good

aircrafts clean and comfortable.

Schipol Airport has always been one of my European favourite airports as it’s perfectly organized and very functional.

When I walked in Atlanta Airport I realized I wasn’t in Europe anymore: non smiling faces among the workers, someone was rude and everyone was waiting for a tip!

TIPS: you tip a person, in Italy, only if you’re willing to tip while in the United States it’s an obligation.

I need to remember that!

As I need absolutely to remember to stay in line with other people!

‘Queuing’ is a word that Italians don’t know.

While in the airport I noticed 1 curious nice thing that Italy should have as well: a ‘fountain’ where to refill bottles of water, to save the country from tons and tons of plastic.

Flight #3 was to Montgomery, AL. Easy flight, little airport, everything went smooth.

My good friend Dianna was there waiting for me and while I was hugging her, all the tensions disappeared giving space to a neverending tiredness and happiness.

USA here I am!