Italy 2018, Part 1

Audio reading: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2RjXDLWcgyT2LpceujMN9x

So three years ago me and my family took a coach holiday and toured around Italy. If you don’t know what a coach holiday is, it is a holiday where you get on a fancy bus with 30 to 40 strangers and spend either a week or 2 with them staying at different places. It can either be a living hell or it can be fun! This holiday back in 2018 was a fantastic holiday and lasted 11 days, touring all over the place.

My mum, in preparation for this holiday, made each of us 5 a journal to write in each day. It had a schedule of the days, where we were going, doing and staying. It also contained a handy little phrase page so if we needed to find a loo or the nearest restaraunt we could refer to it and ask a local Italian.

16 year old me wrote extensively in this little journal, sticking postcards, bus tickets, train tickets and even ferry tickets in this thing making it look like a little scrap book of memories. I thank my younger self because I now have a very detailed account of what we got up to…of which I’ll share with you now in a 3 part series.

DAY 1

11th June

We had an early 5AM start, ( pahah can’t believe I used to think that 5am was early), and the taxi came at 6am to the house and it took us to Liverpool John Lennon airport. We rushed around to get our luggage ckecked and my nan had to have a pat down. We then sat down in a comfy lounge and waited what felt like forever for us to be called for departure. We were finally called to gate 3 for the Ryanair flight to Rome!

When we landed after flying for 5 hours, the company we were travelling with were waiting for us and took us to Pinewoods hotel. We spent the rest of the day basking in the warm Italian sunshine and unpacking.

Day 2

12th June

The coach driver took us into Rome and parked somewhere near The Vatican City. Little bit of interesting information about The Vatican City. It is a city-state surrounded by Rome, and it is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a treasure trove of iconic art and architecture, for example in the Sistine Chapel, there are the beautiful frescoes such the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.

The tour guide took us to a place called Caffè San Pietro in the Vatican and told us that this would be the meeting point for that day later on. Some went into the Vatican but we decided to do a little exploring of our own on our first proper day in Rome.

We decided to visit many places such as: Castel Sant’Angelo, Piazza Navona, Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, Trevi Foundation and the Spanish Steps.

DAY 3

13th June

A guide called Rita took us on a tour around different parts of the city, such as the Roman Forum, The Constantine Arch and the famed Colosseum. We also went into the Pantheon. The Pantheon is a big monument that is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in the world. It is truly beautiful if you get to visit. Now here comes the tasty bit hehe. Rita the tour guide took us around different areas tasting coffee and tiramasu.

The Sant ‘Eustachio Il Caffe goes all the way back too the 1800s, and is a stones throw away from Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. From their website, they have said of their history: “ Since 1999 the restaurant is owned by the Ricci brothers, who keep the tradition intact with the first goal of always serving a quality product, using organic and fair trade coffee, coming from sloow food principals, for a fine blend of 100% Arabica coffee. imported directly from South America.

I can honestly say it is some of the best coffee I have ever tasted and it was made even better recieving it from the hands of the experts.

Next up: Tiramisu! Ria took us to a prestige Tiramisu shop called Pompi. The Italian Pompi family is the sole owner of the brand and the company, keeping alive the passion of Giuliano Pompi, the founder of Pompi. it was founded 60 years ago when Giuliano opened a small dairy making icecream. Fast forward to modern day and they have been satisyfying many with their sweet treats. My tiramisu was Strawberry and cream! Very nice!

DAY 4

14th June

Now on this certain day of our holiday we went and visited the markets. These markets were so interesting to visit as they were so full of life. You had people bartering all over the shop with different market stallholders, family heads shopping for food with their family and young children. Stall holders shouting out deals for their wares. So bustling with life. I cannot help but think how much those communities have suffered during Covid with so many dying in the towns and cities.

https://www.romeing.it/food-markets-in-rome/

We made our way to the Roman Forum, but sadly we were rained off as a flood of rain came upon us. This site is located at the center of the ancient city of Rome and it was the the location of important religious, political and social activities. In modern day times it is now a massive tourist attraction that millions of people visit every year.

Even though we weren’t able to go and see the Roman Forum in person, we were able to peer in from the pavements around the ancient site.

…and that is a wrap on part 1! Next part is about our journey through Naples and the beautiful Sorrento! I hope you enjoyed reading this. It has been fun researching the places we visted those years ago and sharing my expericnce with you. Part 2 will be up soon so make sure you follow my blog to recieve an notification. Take care!

Part 2: https://talithastravels.com/2021/04/15/italy-2018-part-2/

Indian cuisine!

(Photo from my Instagram)

When you investigate into the food of India, it’s plain to see that there is no stereotypical Indian food, as it varies from region to region. For example, the cuisine in Kerala is different to that of Gujarati. What is grown in the area has a big influence on cuisine, but religion also plays a big part in it also!

In Gujarati, food culture is dominated by the main religion: Jainism. Jainism is a religion that regards all life as so sacred that every dish is vegetarian, and is made without anything that grows below in the ground, such as garlic and onion. Staple foods in Gujarati consist of Rice, buttermilk and pickles. For the people in Gujarati, they get the majority of their carbohydrate, daily intake from rice, whereas those who live in Britain get theirs from bread, potatoes and the like.

Did you know that Kerala is the home of pepper, turmeric and cardamom? Due to large spice ports on the Arabian Sea, Arab,Jewish and oriental traders travel from all over India to Kerala, and have done for hundreds of years.

Chicken Jalfrezi

Did you know: ‘Jal’ means pungently spicy and ‘frezi’ means ‘stir fry’

Origin

Jalfrezi is a popular type of Indian cuisine that involves frying marinated chunks of meat, fish or vegetables in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce.

In South Asia, chicken jalfrezi is considered an Indian Chinese, as it has a mix of Chinese and Indian cooking techniques used in its preparation.

Jalfrezi was created because people didn’t want to waste leftover food from the meal the previous day. It’s likely it was created by Muslims as this would have deeply displeased the Hindus.

Here’s what you’ll need it:

  • 1 large bottled red pepper
  • 2 onions, 1 chopped the other sliced
  • 30grams root ginger chopped
  • 230grams chopped tomatoes
  • 700grams diced chicken, {Or vegetables}
  • Fresh or dried coriander
  • 4 large Garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced
  • 2tablespoon Ga ram masala
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree.
  • 1 chicken stock cube

How to make it:

  1. Put bottled red pepper, chopped onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and blend until it’s smooth.
  2. Spray a large frying pan; add the sliced onions and peppers fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper puree along with spices, spices, chopped tomatoes, stock cube and 350ml of water; simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chunks or meat or vegetables and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Stir through chopped coriander, fresh or dried, and taste to adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. Plate up and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy giving this recipe a try as it’s super tasty and quick to make. Comment down below what yummy food you’d like to see on here and I’ll see what I can do!

(I try to make sure my information is correct but I might occasionally get something wrong so please forgive me!)

The perfect chocolate chip cookies!

Biscuits are amazing. Everyone loves an odd biscuit now and then, with maybe a cup of coffee, tea or even milk. I have a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies that will make your mouth water. They’re so incredibly easy to make, and they don’t take long in the oven, so when you have a cookie craving, you can have them in minutes; that’s my type of biscuit!

Where did biscuits originate from and when?

The earliest biscuit style cakes were made back in 7th century Persia A.D. (now Iran), which was one of the first countries to cultivate sugar. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word koekje, meaning small or little cake.

As people started to explore the globe, biscuits became the ideal traveling food, because they stayed fresh for long periods of time. It was a portable food that had a long storage life and was perfect for traveling.

What are they called around the world?

In America, this “small cake” are called cookies and are called biscuits in England and Australia. In Spain they’re galletas. Germans call them keks, and in Italy there are several names to identify various forms of biscuits including amaretti and biscotti and many more. Biscuit comes from the Latin word bis coctum, which means, “twice baked.”

These Chocolate chip biscuits make a good companion on a plate with those peanut butter thins. But that’s not the best thing about them. These crunchy chocolate chip biscuits are low in calories, and so cheap to make. And they freeze brilliantly for whenever your cookie needs arise again.

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Chocolate chip cookies!!

Baking time: 12minutes

Ingredients:

60g butter

60ml oil

150g sugar,

1 free range egg,

240g plain flour

Half a tsp bicarb,

200g chocolate, chopped

  1. First dice your butter and leave it to come to room temperature, or pop it into a microwave-safe bowl and ping for 10 seconds to cheat it. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a fork or wooden spoon.
  3. Add the oil and the egg and mix thoroughly. Now the bicarb. Now the flour to form a dough, and mix well. Fold through the chocolate chips.
  4. Lightly grease a baking tray. Add golf-ball sized pieces of dough, flatten slightly with the prongs of a fork, and place very far apart as they will flatten and spread as they cook.
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and just like the thins, allow to cool for a few minutes before moving.

Enjoy!