Monday, June 27, 2011

Girls’ Night Out: Italy Style

On the last Saturday of each month the men and the women of the church takes turns going for a night out to fellowship and eat.


This past Saturday was the girls turn, and we met for bowling and pizza.

It was so natural and I was struck again that I was so far from home – it felt just like a regular girl’s night out! [Despite the language barrier…but that’s for another post] There was chatting, laughing, cheering, consoling, and encouraging.


All the women of the church means all – babies included!
Martina -- Vittorio's daughter, with Giulia, Alisia's daughter.

In Italy, the way they eat pizza seems really different from ordering pizza in the US. Here, they only have one size (about 14” in diameter?), there are about 50 different varieties, and everyone orders (and eats!) an entire pizza themselves!




Thankfully I got some good advice and menu translation and loved my pizza, Sfiziosa (sausage, mushroom, mozzarella, gorgonzola—like nothing you’ve had before)



It was a delightful evening.

(a gelato cake from Calabria)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Anniversary party

Last Sunday, Eric preached for the first time. He's spending the summer preaching through the epistle of Colossians and started with an introductory sermon to the whole book preaching from Col.. 1:1-2, and then in the evening on Col 1:3-14 with the topic of Gospel-Empowered Growth.

Things with translating went really well -- although the service lasts at least 1.5 hours because translating is so time-consuming (and the Italian language almost always requires more words than English).

I snapped a couple photos during the introduction in the morning so you can get a feel for what it looks like during the sermons



When we walked into church for the Sunday evening service, this is what we saw... the church surprised us with an anniversary party!


Two ladies in the church particularly put a LOT of work into this event: Sabrina and Daniela. (They are sisters - Sabrina is married to Tony, the deacon. Daniela is married to Vittorio, one of the elders)

They're such generous hostesses!


After the evening service, we had food: rice salads, fritters, a type of quiche, cheese and ham rolls, etc

Cristina helping prepare the food



Eric enjoying fellowship with the men

The decor was beautiful, complete with a huge bouquet, signs, streamers, and balloons

Then, a beautiful cake! (and champagne)




We were also gifted an exclusive 2011 espresso set from a well-known company in Italy, Thun.

Vi ringrazio per il vostro affetto! We are so grateful for your generosity and kindness!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Visit to Venice

We got an extended day off this week as it was our anniversary
[and I am only here for one more week :-(]

So we headed to Venezia!

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Pastor Andrea recommended that we book a night at Hotel Noemi, which was a nice hotel with a great location, just a 1 minute walk from St. Mark's Square.

venice hotel

Milan 30 for 30: Day 19 [Venice]

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We didn't make any plans, or see almost any of the sites we felt compelled to last time, just wandered the streets and canals.

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Instead of going out to eat (you've seen the amazing food we've already gotten to eat), we decided to picnic while here. We had lunch with this view, and ate dinner at sunset on the mail canal [I forgot my camera!]

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Accademia bridge
Milan 30 for 30: Day 20 [Venice]

Eric was in his element: gelato 2+ times a day, a kebab, and we even found Coke Zero!

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We headed to the west side of Venice, a place we didn't get to explore on our honeymoon and found some really quiet and sweet neighborhoods, as well as a beautiful public park!

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Thanks for a lovely getaway, Venice. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Italians don't eat much for breakfast. After you've seen what kind of a dinners we've eaten, you won't be surprised that our breakfast habits are lightening up. Usually its caffe and a small sweet, like cake or a croissant.

First, some caffe latte.
Italian style caffe is much more like espresso than American coffee. I love this stove top espresso maker and plan to bring one home for us.
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I've been picking up fresh milk from a latteria every week. (a post on Italian grocery shopping is to come!)

Whisk the milk on low heat until scalding.

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The coffee is ready after a minute of percolating.

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Pour coffee, sugar, and then milk and stir.

Pastor Ferrari's mom, Ivanna (or Nonna - grandma) made us this dolce (cake) for breakfast the other day.

It was very thick and moist, and had pinenuts and grapes inside.


breakfast is best enjoyed on the patio with a good book!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hospitality & Cucina Italiana

We've experienced wonderful hospitality from the congregation of Filadelfia church. The food has been incredible and the fellowship delightful.

Our first Saturday we had dinner with the Calderaros. Daniela cooked us a feast!
(Vittorio is an elder, and their two daughters, Erika and Martina)

Antipasti of meats, cheeses, veggies, and breads


Insalada di mari

salmon roll for secondo
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and for dessert, fruit & espresso

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and then, gelato!

You already saw photos of our Sunday fellowship meal.

We have enjoyed many dinners with the Ferrari's, although I've only taken photos of one. Here is a traditional summer feast which Christina allowed me to help prepare.
(I love this photo of Christina!)

Pastor and intern chat before dinner

Prosciutto crudo e melon


This is one of Simone's favorite meals -- he is an enthusiastic eater.

then, formaggio (cheese!)

The following Friday we were invited for dinner at the Sr. Calderaros: Giuseppe and Crocifissa.
Vittorio's family joined us at his parents, as well as the Ferraris and we had a fabulous time at a traditional Italian meal. Endless food, delicious wine, and loud talking over each other all night! :-)

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primi - pasta was SO good. (Here Vittorio is showing Eric to add more olive oil to the pasta0

secondo: meatballs with a hardboiled egg and ham inside!

also, a very delicious beef in gravy and some Italian potato salad

Ivanna (Pastor F's mom) passing the formaggio around

insalada comes after dinner

Crocifissa e Christina


even though we couldn't understand a word he said, Giuseppe entertained us all night.

peanut cake by Christina

the group. I was laughing so hard, I didn't notice Eric got cut off in the picture. Erika jumped in front of Daniele, and half the people weren't looking!

And this past Saturday we were invited over to the Altobellis. Mimo is the other elder in the church and is a very funny guy.

see that crazy cheese with the colored toppings? It's made from sheep milk and is the consistency of cream cheese, but MUCH better. topped with black pepper, chives, olives and red pepper.

Mimo and his wife Rosanna made us Neapolitan (Naples-style) pizza which was AMAZING. They also overfed us.



Tiramisu and Rosanna's homemade creme de limoncello (YUM)


in between laughing, Eric and Mimo talked theology.

Thank you Altobelli's!

Nom, nom, nom. We [and our bellies] are loving Italy!
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