Un-Roman Provisions

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Aunt Liz’s rice balls!

Now don’t get me wrong…I couldn’t be happier about my transatlantic relocation.  Moving to Rome has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Or maybe I should say the greatest thing that I have ever made happen for myself. Because it didn’t just happen; I made it happen…but not completely on my own! I had lots of help from locals and fellows expats alike, without whose guidance I wouldn’t be here right now.  But a life change of this capacity doesn’t come without sacrifice. It can’t be all rainbows and unicorns, plain and simple.  There are some things–food particularly–that I left in New York and no matter what, I just can’t and won’t be able to get them here. To be fair, Italian is my most favorite cuisine ever, but all the pasta and pizza bianca in the world can’t compensate for my former regular consumption of some of these goodies. My Romesick-ness has made me homesick for these:

  • Aunt Liz’s cooking! From her rice balls to her pastas to her red sauce to her vegetables to her perfectly breaded & moist chicken cutlets to her soups to everything else she has ever made, Aunt Liz’s cooking is my favorite in the world, hands down. No amount of suppli‘ will ever suffice or completely satisfy any of my cravings for her rice balls. If I can ever recreate any of her signatures half as good as she does, I’d be happy. But half is pushing it, so I’ll take a quarter.
  • My favorite breakfast sandwich from Cafe 28: egg, cheese, and hash browns (with bacon on occasion!) on a roll with hot sauce. Whenever I would call and say, “It’s Jackie from NoMad,” the woman knew right away what I was ordering. It was kind of like that episode of “Sex and the City” with Miranda and the Chinese food. 
  • Speaking of Chinese food, I miss good bad Chinese food. You know, like those chicken & broccoli combinations that come with white, brown or fried rice, and a choice of wonton soup or an eggroll for around $6.
  • Cheesy tots from Melt Shop 
  • Empellon – If I could pick one place in NYC to eat three times a week, it would be Empellon, hands down. Give me a margarita, guacamole and some sweetbread tacos, and I’m happy as a clam.
  • Keeping with the Mexican theme, I miss guacamole in general. So long as it’s fresh and not that packaged crap.
  • Pad Thai (extra spicy!)
  • My morning latte from the NoMad barista
  • Hash browns from Trader Joe’s
  • Pretzel croissants and chocolate chip cookies from City Bakery
  • Mark Welker’s peanut butter cookies
  • Last, but certainly not least, my daily juice – anything from Juice Press, Liquiteria and the Blueprint Cleanse 
  • Added on July 3, 2013: The Shack Burger, Cheese Fries and an Arnold Palmer from Shake Shack

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