BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another side of Italy

How do you know a Canadian tourist in Rome? They're the ones wearing t-shirts in March!  I think the Italians thought we were trying to kill our kids by not dressing them appropriately. The weather was a balmy 18 C, so Uliana was flushed even when she wasn't wearing a coat.  By comparison, the locals were still wearing winter coats and scarves.

Rome with children was a struggle.  The sidewalks were impassible with our stroller.  Even walking, they were a hazard as the locals would park their cars everywhere that wasn't barricaded. And there was lots of litter, including dog poo.  

Then there was the general lack of playgrounds, public bathrooms and street signs.  We were always getting lost, despite having a detailed map and guide book, which meant a lot of extra walking for Nikolai.  And even though it was off season, there were so many tourists (and hustlers) that it was hard for the kids to manoeuvre.

It didn't matter though, Nikolai is a natural traveller.  He loved it so much that he cried when it came to leave.
Our goal was to get to Paris, and going by train gave us a natural stop for our connection in Turin.  Despite having recently hosted the Olympics, it is not on the usual tourist circuit.  However, I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a broad scope European city.  It's Archeology Museum has all the history of the Roman Empire, as well the countryside is covered with stately palaces from it's former glory as the Capital of Italy.  
The town is laid out with wide boulevards, pedestrian zones and giant piazzas.  It was easy for the kids to get around, and buskers (rather than hustlers) were out everywhere... entertaining the locals with performances (music, acrobatic, and puppeteers). We only had one day there, so we went for a small 4 museum pass, so that we could see the central Royal Palace.  Though it was the medieval armoury that had Nikolai completely fixated.  There were at least a dozen knights on horseback with various different fancy suits of armour on display. Certainly a feast for his imagination.

Now, I do have a recipe to share... it's a basic grain-free biscuit that I've been whipping up in our various rental kitchens.  We are eating a little bit of grain, but anything more than a small portion at a meal seems to give both Nikolai and myself a stomach ache!  Who knew!  Anyhow... it really detracts from the pizza, pasta experience so we really aren't that interested in cheating.

Basic Grain Free Biscuit
Mix together 2 cups of flour (almond meal or chickpea flour or mix with potato starch etc), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.  Rub in 1/4 cup of butter (or you could use oil).  Add in 2 eggs.  At this point you should add in more flour to make a thicker dough as needed.  It should be like a scone/biscuit dough. Form it into little patties.  Bake or Fry until cooked.  

(This is an ad hoc recipe because it was adapted for different ad ins, and depended on what is available in our kitchenette).

You can amend this in many different ways.   I made an so far I have made almond meal with diced garlic and grated cheese biscuit.  As well as two different variations of a sweet biscuits with chickpea flour involving stewed dates in milk, raisins, nuts, and coconut.  I really think that ANY flavours you can think of would work well in this recipe... it's really just that basic.

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