The Best Things I Ate in 2020 (While Living in Italy During the Pandemic)

Italian food
  • Election Angst Brookies. Yeah, I was a ball of nerves in the weeks leading up to the election and, as things turned out, a ball of nerves in the weeks after. I’m still nervous; January 20th can’t come fast enough. I made these on Election Night to calm myself down. They were definitely the sweetest of the best things I ate in 2020; I stopped just short of eating the whole batch.
the best things I ate in 2020

Honorable mention for the best things I ate in 2020: the puff pastry dough we made for the other night’s cotechino in crosta. It was perfect. We used the leftovers the next day to make apple turnovers. <3

As in any year of success, there were some fails:

  • Yeast. Oh, yeast, my foul foe! You were most definitely NOT among the best things I ate in 2020. No matter how dutifully I fed you with honey and put you in warm places, you wouldn’t become lievito madre, you wouldn’t rise, you wouldn’t let us make pizza or focaccia or bombe or bread or cinnamon rolls, damn you! Every single yeasty thing we tried to make came out a hot crunchy mess. Our last attempt was a pizza for our New Year’s Eve aperitivo. Looked decent, tasted like the crappy cracker-bottom pizza they gave us on Fridays at my Catholic School’s cafeteria in the 80s. Which I kind of liked, both then and now. Sorry.
pizza
Pizza? More like… miss-ta.
  • Other pasta doughs with vegetables and non-00 flours. Sometimes, our creative pasta doughs just don’t work. Like these broccoli and whole wheat flour gnocchi. We were so excited to make them, but they tasted like dirt. The burrata sauce we whipped up for them was pretty bad, too.
gnocchi di broccoli
Our crappy broccoli joke-i.

One-thousand fifty-six meals; how can you measure, measure a year? Talk about food, and 2020 was a *happy* time. That’s how I prefer to remember it, anyway.

I hope we all eat much, much better in 2021.

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