In just a few hours I will be getting on a plane back to Venice and I must say, I'm curious as ever to see what Italy '08 has to offer. It's hard to put into words how monumental 2007 was. It was a year that brought out the best and worst in me, as big change usually does.
I got to know myself real well this year...my limits, my insecurities, my strengths, and my taste for fine wine and cheese. In '07 I said goodbye to my family, friends, a highly regarded job, a big city address, and the familiarity of life as I knew it. Some were temporary goodbyes, some were permanent. But when I stripped down I discovered something important. Myself.
Hey, I'm only 26, which gives me a few more years to figure this whole "myself" business out. But here's what I've got so far.
In 2007 I learned how to...
Make changes, instead of just talking about them
God, it feels good.
Hold on to love, and how to let it go
Although I'll still be working on the latter in '08 so if you have any advice I'm all ears.
Eat pasta without gaining weight
Yes, you heard it here. In Italy it's all about portion control, walking after you eat it, and fresh ingredients, a.k.a. not Alfredo Sauce from a jar.
It's my favorite invention, and my connection to all of my friends and family back home. I love Skype. It's genius. Three cheers for technology!!!
I can finally say that I speak Italian. Maybe not like a pro, but I understand, speak and even think the language. Six years of Italian classes in school don't come close to the type of education I got in only a few months in Italy.
Cook risotto the proper way
And you'll be happy to know it's not as time-consuming or tedious as we all think. A few tips from my Italian friends:
1. Toast the rice for a few seconds before adding any liquid
2. Make sure you heat up your broth in a separate pot before adding to risotto
3. If you add cheese it should be at the very last minute, otherwise your risotto becomes a sticky mess
Trust my gut
Well, this is still a work in progress but I've made strides. Every so often, though, my gut is dancing in front of me in a neon green thong and a gorilla mask holding a sign saying, "Trust Me" and I'm still oblivious. Oh well, maybe when I'm 27.