cooking with Sicily

We had a busy weekend, filled with a virtual cooking class (and all the prep that went with it, including arranging babysitting), walks and our Sunday night dinner with the Nyes.

But first! My friend, Wendy, gifted me a pot of bulbs Friday, and just one tiny shoot was visible at the time. Look how much our tulip bulbs have grown in just about 36 hours! Below is a photo taken Saturday morning

Here it is again on Sunday evening. As I type this Monday afternoon, there are now SEVEN shoots, and the first five are taller than in this photo. I’ve been enjoying showing Maelle the pot each morning so she can see the bulbs grow. I cannot believe how quickly they sprout up!

Andrew signed us up for a virtual cooking class with Streaty, the company we’d used to take a street food tour in Palermo, while on our babymoon to Sicily in 2019. The class featured arancini, which caught his eye. We loved the softball-sized balls of fried risotto around a meat/pea/carrot ragú (so unique. so heavy.) and knew making them would be a fun experience. Because the class was taking place at 6 p.m. their time, it would be lunchtime here. So, we shipped Maelle off to the Nyes (My in-laws had, unfortunately, also succumbed to the stomach bug!) for lunch and we whipped up a charcuterie plate, opened a bottle of our wine from Sicily, and logged on.

The night before, I’d prepared our risotto. I hadn’t made risotto in a long time, and I enjoyed tending the pot as I continued to add hot stock to the rice.

Marco, the Streaty CEO, and ‘Mamma Streaty’ joined us from her kitchen in Palermo. The class started off with introductions, and we found there were another 20 couples/families joining in, mostly from parts of the United States, but a few from the UK and even a lady in the Netherlands. I chopped carrot and onion while Andrew showed the class our risotto was sticky enough by dropping a rice ball on a plate without any breakage.

While the ragú simmered, Andrew formed the giant balls of risotto.

After forming a hole in the risotto balls and filling it with a little ragú, we sealed them up with a bit more risotto, rolled them in breadcrumbs and started deep-frying.

Every time we fry anything (which, albeit, is infrequent) Andrew tells the story of how his sisters gave him a deep-fryer for our wedding, and that it quickly disappeared. I can honestly say I did not dispose of it maliciously, and that I’ve never missed it.

Check out the insides of these babies!

Arancini have a delightfully savory flavor, and while they can be a bit heavy, are the perfect ‘lunch on the go’ while sightseeing in Sicily. No, they don’t come with a dipping sauce (apparently that is a common question, per Marco), but I could see a spicy tomato sauce adding a bit of pizazz to the arancini.

In other news, Maelle is about to get A LOT of new books! I hosted an Usborne book party and many of my friends and family members bought books for their own little ones. Here are two books that Maelle’s Mimi bought for her. They arrived the other day and I’m just as excited to read them as she is. I really love the “Big Book of…” series. One of our first Usborne books was the “Big Book of Colors” and it’s still a favorite of hers’ and ours’ for its beautiful pictures and fun facts scattered all over the pages. Anyone else out there an Usborne fan?

Have you ever done a virtual cooking class? If so, what did you make and did you enjoy it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s