In order to prepare for my trip, I'm been on a strict diet of copious amounts of French cheese and wine, pasta, Manhattans, and anything else I won't possibly get on my trip. With that in mind, I've been trolling through Marcella Hazan's cookbook, as well as the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, and Miss Molly's archives. I've had lots of tomato sauce, some delicious salads, and tonight I'm going all out with a wild mushroom risotto inspired by Jamie Oliver's recipe (I'll make it a point to write it out some time). Oh, and in the oven right now are the best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted, bar none (Thanks again, Molly!).
I'm actually looking forward to eating nothing but local food in whatever locale I land. That's really the only way to travel and learn, in my way of thinking. I, of course, understand the occasional craving, but still cringe at the memory of going to a Hard Rock Cafe in Paris my first trip there with my high school group (the trip was maybe 2 weeks total!)...live and learn.
At the moment, I'm working on getting a 12 week supply of, well, living material into a (lovely) backpack. A backpacker's backpack, mind you, my first one, but a backpack nonetheless. I feel like I should have been reading the last few issues of the magazine "Real Simple"or something to help me pare down my needs. I figure that since I'm only taking three pairs of shoes, including the ones I'm wearing, that I'm on the right track. I actually feel a bit like I'm back in college, when flip flops were widely considered fashionable wear.
I suppose I'd better get back to making sure that I can lift my backpack once all my stuff is inside. Definitely taking my skincare stuff, since the makeup's not coming along. Must remember to leave room for a few souvenirs, and to pack the addresses of some of the cooking schools I'll hopefully check out. Call the credit card companies, get in one last workout...whew. Okay, yes, lots to do. But right now, all I can think about is the smell of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen.
P.S. In case you didn't already know, I'm about to leave on a 12 week trip around SE Asia. Stops include Bali, Sumatra, Java, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Wish me luck!! I promise to keep you all updated here.