Lobster Feast

Lobster stuffed with rice is a specialty of cousin Fran. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Lobster stuffed with rice is a specialty of my cousin Fran. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Whenever Antonio comes to the United States, he loves to feast on lobster. While the delicious shellfish that has meat as hearty as a steak is expensive in the States, it’s out of reach in Ischia. It costs hundreds of dollars to get one small lobster dish in Ischia. There is another shellfish, astice, that is similar to the lobster and more reasonably priced in Ischia. But it too is still pretty expensive. We almost always indulge in lobster at least once when Antonio is home in the States. This time around my cousin Fran cooked us up lobster stuffed with rice and more lobster. It was creamy and delicious. (Although stuffed lobster is a more advanced recipe, you can get tips for learning how to make basic recipes at the About.com Newlyweds site that I run.) There was so much of it that we ate lobster for days. I was afraid that Antonio was going to grow lobster claws.

Antonio enjoys his lobster. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Antonio enjoys his lobster. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Back to School for English Lessons

Antonio Gerenini and his friend Ludovica head off to their first day of English classes at Berlitz at Rockefeller Center in New York. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Antonio Gerenini and his friend Ludovica head off to their first day of English classes at Berlitz at Rockefeller Center in New York. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

As many of you know, my husband, Antonio Gerenini, returned to the United States last week — and he brought his friend Ludovica, another native of Ischia, Italy, with him. She’ll be staying with us while the two of them go off to New York to take English classes at Berlitz. Today was their first day of school. I packed them American-style brown-bag lunches that featured a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple, a banana, chips, and two little chocolates for dessert. I also made sure they each had an umbrella, notebook, and pen and pencil. They better make As.

So much has happened in the last week. When the two of them arrived last Tuesday, there was a terrible rain storm in Ischia, which caused an awful mudslide in the town of Casamicciola. At least one person was killed and others are injured. Ludovica, whose family is safe, is from Casamicciola and she was pretty emotional at getting word about the damage. In fact, a friend of hers who was also in New York studying English had to return to Ischia on Wednesday. (Our prayers are with the victims at this time, and we wish their families and friends our sympathy.)

Many people think I’m crazy for letting my husband spend his days with a pretty, single woman. But I trust them. And I did turn the debate about my “mental health” into a story for Newlyweds, and you can share your opinion on whether men and women — even married men and women — can be just friends. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! Now, I’m off to see if hubby and Ludovica have homework yet.

Adventures in Babysitting

Cousin William poses in front of a Halloween scene in my parent's front yard. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Cousin William poses in front of a Halloween scene in my parent's front yard. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

I recently babysat for my little cousin William. We had a great time doing homework, watching Monsters, Inc., and eating pasta and Italian bread, a family favorite. Babysitting is a great way to decide if you would like to have a baby. It gives you an idea of what parenting really is. You get down to the nitty gritty — from convincing them to wear their socks (I lost that battle) to comforting them when they’re upset (I’m pretty good at that). For more information on how babysitting can help you decide whether to have a baby, you can read my Newlyweds blog “Babysitting As Practice for Parenting.” You can see pictures from my afternoon with William — and his brother Phillip who joined us with their mom later — in the “Adventures in Babysitting” photo album. To the right of this entry, you’ll see “Cousin William as Buzz“, a YouTube video of William’s appearance as an extra on the soap opera All My Children. Great stuff! One warning – the photos and video are so cute that you may just catch baby lust before you babysit anyone!