Sunday, November 11, 2012

Polenta at Marika's!




A few weeks ago, Cole's co-worker, Marika, invited us back to her home to experience a traditional Italian meal. Polenta and brasato are commonly served in Italy - especially when the weather starts to cool off. She and her husband, Massi, prepared a feast that we shared with some friends of theirs. Fortunately, almost everyone in the group spoke English and that helped us tremendously. We have been so blessed by Cole's co-workers. They have been extremely welcoming and kind to us, not to mention the fact that they are all patient with our slow progress learning Italian.

The visit to Marika's came at the perfect time for us because Cole's parents had recently returned to Kansas and we were both feeling a little homesick. For some reason, the season change was tough for us... fall is really reminding us of everything that we're missing back home.

This copper pot and electric mixer is used to heat and stir the polenta for 40 minutes or more!
Massi's beef dishes! YUM! (:
Such wonderful hosts! We had a great time!
So, polenta is kind of hard to explain if you have never had or seen it before. It's made from cornmeal, water and salt. (I think those are the only ingredients.) It needs to be stirred over low heat for 40 minutes - so there is a lot of preparation time involved. While it is typical to see polenta on a menu in Italy, it's also considered to be a "poor man's meal" because it's inexpensive to make and very filling. Marika's husband, Massimilion was responsible for the beef - he made two different dishes and both were delicious! After our meal we also had homemade tiramisu... mmmm! Cole has a new found love of tiramisu. As you can imagine, we were pretty stuffed by the end of the meal.

Eva and her new friends! Bea (pink) is Marika and Massi's adorable little girl.

As a group, we walked into the center of town to check out their annual fall festival. I'm pretty sure Cole was channeling memories from Gypsum's October Fest. The festival really reminded us how much we miss "belonging" to a community, a feeling that we didn't really anticipate having here... We had such a nice time meeting Marika's friends - and they were all welcoming and kind... I guess you could say that we felt like we sort of fit in and belonged. It was a really nice day!

Roasted chestnuts for sale!

Fresh peaches - still available in October!
Happy Fall Y'all! (: