I like to shop.
I don’t do it very often, and, fortunately for my wallet, I like window-shopping best.
Still, being on my own in the US for 2 weeks, it was inevitable that I succumbed to that great American past time.
What really clinched it for me was the new (to me) US Post Office’s flat rate shipping boxes.
One can ship up to 20 lbs (9 kilos) anywhere in the world for just over $40.00 (28 euro) – provided one can get it in the box provided.
That’s less than the charge for overweight luggage…. and one doesn’t have to schlep it around the airports.
The challenge, of course, is to get all the heavy stuff tucked into the box.
I’m a very good packer.
Everything you see was in that box.
15.2 pounds (7 kilos)
Told you I was good….
We expats all have our own little idiosyncrasies when it comes to what we miss most from the US and, more importantly, what we are willing to carry, and/or ship, back to our respective homes.
In my flat-rate box I shipped:
Jolly Ranchers (all the candy here is sweet – I like tart)
2 bags of Wild Rice
Chocolate Calcium Chews (that was a new one for me – and I needed filler for the box)
Vitamins and Calcium (expensive here)
Tape replacement for mon mari (in inches)
My mother’s old recipe box (filled with Jolly Ranchers
Deodorant (a non-scented variety)
Shaker Cook Book (B-day gift)
In my suitcase I had:
Smoked Paprika from Penzey’s (3 bags)
Dry mustard from an Indian grocery (large bag)
Garlic powder (2 bags)
A few books
More Jolly Ranchers
A switch for mon mari‘s table saw
And a few new things to wear for both of us.
My suitcase came in at 49.5 pounds (22.5 kilos) – an entire half pound under the limit. I could have gotten another bag of smoked paprika!
I decided, what with the recent kerfuffle over powders on aircraft, it was the prudent course of action to pack the powdered mustard, paprika and garlic rather than have it in my carry-on.
What was in my carry-on?
Magazines, of course.
And one last bag of Jolly Ranchers….
We all have our weaknesses, after all.
Another weakness I have is fresh sage.
There are certain dishes I only make in the fall.
This is my favorite:
Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana alla Katie
6 thin (or pounded) veal scallops, 10oz (300gr) total weight
3 slices Prosciutto, sliced in half
2oz (60gr) Gruyère, shredded
12 large, fresh sage leaves
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup Marsala can substitute Madeira
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tbs tomato paste
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Quickly brown veal scallops on both sides. Remove and put on an oven-safe platter. Add Marsala and beef stock to skillet and let simmer while you assemble the Saltimbocca.
Place 2 sage leaves on each veal scallop. Lay a slice of ham on top of the sage and sprinkle with cheese. After the sauce has simmered and reduced a bit add the tomato paste to thicken it. Spoon a bit of the sauce on and around the veal. Put the saltimbocca into a 225F (105C) for 10 minutes. This allows the cheese to melt, the ham and sage to cook a bit and the flavors to blend.
More importantly it allows you to relax and enjoy a fist course with all the work finished. Remove and serve with remaining sauce on the side.
In addition to the above, for the week of September 25 we have Stuffed Mushrooms, Tomato Garlic Soup, Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto, Pasta with Sausage, Avocado and Sage and more….
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For more recipes visit my internet cook book: Easy Gourmet Dinners