Sunday, April 27, 2014

Parmigiano Reggiano

 When people ask me what I love about living in Italy, it's usually food related.  And right next to gelato and pizza and lasagna and tortellini, is this magnificent stuff called parmigiano.  That's Italian for parmesan cheese.  To all my American friends and family, NO! it's the same grated dry junk that you can buy in the store.  That stuff is not only FAKE, it's an abomination to the word cheese.

Parmesan (parmigiano) is an aged cheese.  It's aged 12-36 months.  The older it is, the stronger the taste, and the better it is.  There's a very elaborate process of how to prepare the milk, cook it, form it with a net thing (if a worker from the factory read my explanation not only would they grimace, but they might shoot me too), and ..... after lots of hard work and turning, and working, this miracle of goodness comes out!
 These specialized factories had an open house where you could take a free tour, and even better get to try free samples at the end!  We went to a place called Sant'Angelo which is the place closest to us.
 There was an earthquake not too far from Bologna about a year ago.  This place was hit hard and almost the whole ware house was a total loss.

 This is the beginning process of starting to form the shape and parmesan.
 That poor bloke's job is to turn those 45 kg masses over so that they can shape correctly.  That's 100 lbs... and they make at least 40 of those a day!
 So here's their new warehouse with quake proof scaffolding.  Totally amazing!

parmigiano part 2

 My kids' favorite part of the trip were the cows, the free cheese, and the little carneval near by where they could play.  This cow here kept mooing loudly at us.  Apparently it bothered Isabel because she kept yelling at the cow to stop her mooing:

"badda muu-a!"

"top cow!"

Aaron's selfie by the cows

 they also loved the big tractors...
 and the buggy ride, being pulled by the pony...
 and a little hand-holding can go a long way to make your day fun. :)
Thank you Aaron for snapping an ok photo of me. I owe you one!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Sunday 2014

 For Easter Sunday we went to church in Ferrara and then stopped to see the Po River.

 We had lots of fun finding great sticks, and having sword fights with Dad.
You better watch out for this little one!  She's our wild card.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of you out there!  I've been thinking about my Savior lately, and loved this little video.

I'm grateful to know that I'm not alone in the world.  I'm not alone because my Savior felt all of my pains, trials, feelings, sins, heartaches (and yours).  And because He took upon himself all of those, He CAN make things all better.  This life is meant to be a test, and so those wrongs and pains aren't made right, right away, but they WILL be made right.  I believe in that.  I believe in the power of love, and the power of forgiveness.  And even more than that, I'm grateful to the marrow of my bones each time that forgiveness is extended to me.  There is meaning and purpose in life, and on good and on hard days, I'm very, very grateful for that.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 The last couple of weeks have been spent being sick, or taking care of the sick at my house.  Last week I had an average of 2 kids home from school every single day.  Sometimes the days get long.  But we had some fun mail to help cheer us up.  First was a birthday package from my friend Karla with some very fun fabric!
 And we also got a flat stanley in the mail from cousins.  It was fun for the kids to read about this, and we shipped him off to some friends in New Zealand.  Hopeful he'll make it back to Isaac by May.
And this is a pillow that I finished up a little bit ago for Isabel's bed.  I've been obsessed with this 9 diamond star since I saw it on this blog.  The fabric that I got in the mail is going at least partially to this design.  I've already got two stars ready with the individual diamonds done.  I just need to piece it together with the background fabric.