Thursday, May 20, 2010

Italian and Big John's P.F.I.

My husband went to London for business and he was supposed to return a week later. He got sick however and came home earlier, much to the delight of me and my daughter. I thought I would be ok with him gone but I had a very hard time falling asleep.

Since I found out he was coming home a little early I started thinking about what I could cook to celebrate him return, maybe a nice romantic dinner at home while our daughter is sleeping.


Why Italian? Well first, I started thinking about what kind of dessert I could make instead of what kind of main dish I could cook. (Small insight into me. This is how I think. Dessert first.) Tiramisu instantly came to my mind and so why not make a nice Italian dinner for the both of us?

My husband loves Tiramisu but unfortunately I'm not a huge fan and don't make it very often. I like to have a lot of fruit in my dessert and as you know Tiramisu does not. It is also rare that I encounter a very good Tiramisu because it is deceptively hard to make. Usually the lady fingers are over soaked and become a too mushy. Lady fingers cannot be too wet or too dry. It is a delicate and careful balance.

I made Tiramisu a long time ago and my husband loved it and asked me to make it again, and again. But in keeping with my philosophy to leave them wanting more, I have not made it again. Tiramisu is a very challenging dessert to make, however because he is coming home soon it may be time for me to try again.

He will not be back for a couple of days but since I am so excited about him coming home and the idea of having nice Italian meal with him, I decided to go to Big John's P.F.I., an Italian grocery store in Seattle. It is located in a difficult to find area so whenever I go there I feel like I am going somewhere special that only locals know about.

When I arrived I found these beautiful herbs and flowers ready to welcome me.

These flowers and herbs were planted in olive oil containers, tomato cans, and so on. It is a very unique way of displaying flowers and herbs that I really must try at home.

As soon as you enter the store the smell of these spices will wash all over you.

So many different kinds of olive oils.

My shopping list for Big John's was not long. To be honest, most of what I need to make Italian I could get elsewhere but I could not pass up an opportunity to come visit the store again. It somehow inspires me.

On my last visit I saw canned escargot. That grabbed my attention of course and I toyed with the idea of actually trying to cook them. I did not know where one could get fresh escargot and thought canned was good enough. I asked the store clerk if they had any cans left and he said they were sold out and I was lucky because there not very good either. He suggested I catch snails outside and cook them. I decided to pass on the idea...for now.

So that's a no to the canned escargot but I still bought lady fingers, dried pasta, San Marzano canned tomatos, and a pound of orange peel. At this point, other than Tiramisu, I don't know what I am going to make but whatever my choice I can assure you that a blog post will shortly follow.

Tiramisu challenge?

to be continued....


  1. can't wait to see what happen next...

  2. Hello Vi,

    Thank you for your comment. :D I am hoping I can make tiramisu this memorial weekend. I will see....I will make sure to post it. I really want to bake something new this weekend but also paint a furniture. I think I end up just making tiramisu....