Sunday, July 29, 2007
The 'Fresh produce of the month' theme is now Apricot.. so in the past few weeks I made a few desserts using apricots. I'll post here about the best two I prepared. The first was one of the tartes that I made for my birthday.. The type that I like best! The latter is a drink that I made as a nice refreshing dessert to welcome Lucas when he came back from his trip in Italy.
Crostata di frutti di bosco e albicocche / Berry and Apricot crostata
I already posted how to make crostata with fruit last year - as I said, it's the dessert that I like to make for my birthday.. :) So you can read the recipe here. This year, I added some marsala to the cream, to give it a new hint. :) On top, I put my favorite summer fruits: strawberries, blueberries and apricots (and a few pieces of nectarines). I loved it, and so did the other guests. :)
Frappe' all'albicocca / Apricot frappe'
Frappe' is a drink similar to a milk shake, and can be made with almost anything that you can think of. I wanted to make something a bit different, and so I combined apricots, almonds, yogurt and rum, and I used maple syrup instead of sugar, to sweeten!
To make it yourself, blend 10 ripe apricots, 1 cup yogurt, 10 almonds, 1 tbsp Bourbon, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and ice. Serve with a slice of apricot imitating a lemon and with twirls of maple syrup on top.
This Frappe' is going to be my entry for my own 'Fresh Produce of the Month' event! The deadline has been postponed till next weekend, so please submit more entries!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
It looks like I've been on a Mexican food cooking crave for a while.. I still have some pictures of a dinner I cooked about a month ago for Filipe and Vlasta, with recipes taken by the 'Mexican' cookbook by Jane Milton (the same I took the Horchata and Tequila sunrise recipes from). So, this is a good occasion to write about these two wonderful snacks I made: 'Nopales salsa' and 'Plantain chips'!
Salsa de nopales / Nopales salsa
What inspired me to try this recipe was the combination of nopales and tomatillos, both ingredients that I never used in my life.
Nopales are cactus leaves! I managed to find them at the Berkeley Bowl, my source of every vegetable and fruit delight :) They are really good. The only hard thing, is that you have to remove all the thorns before cooking them. It's a bit tedious, but after a few leaves you understand how to position your knife so that in one movement you can cut a few of them at a time.
Tomatillos are green, small tomatoes, usually sold still covered with a paper thin, crisp peel. So pretty :) They are harder and more sour than regular tomatoes. They went very well in this salsa.
2 fresh fresno peppers
3 spring onions (I didn't use these)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 red onion
5 fresh tomatillos
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cider vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
Roast the peppers in an anti-sticking pan, place them in a plastic bag and let them sit there for 20 min. Then remove the skin and the seeds, and cut into small pieces.
Remove the thorns from the nopales paying attention not to be poked. :) Cut the nopales in strips and then into small pieces. Boil them in slightly salted water, adding the garlic cloves and the spring onions, if you have them. They should take ~15 min to get tender. Drain them, and run cold water on them to remove the sticky juices. Discard the garlic and the onions. Then, chop the red onions and the tomatillos finely. Place them in a bowl together with the nopales and the chillies, cover with vinegar, add salt, and soak at least overnight before eating the salsa with your favorite chips!
Cut into thin slices two ripe plantains (skin must be black). The riper the plantains are, the more the chips will taste like bananas, whereas for less ripe plantains, the chips will taste more like potato chips. I like the ripe ones. :) Heat some vegetable oil (I used olive) in a pan. Fry the chips in hot oil, sprinkle with salt and chili pepper seeds and serve immediately. They are really delicious.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Dear readers, the deadline for the 'Fresh Produce of the Month' event is approaching! The theme for this month is 'Apricots' - so make something delicious using this fruit, anything that your fantasy suggests you, and send me an email with a link to your post!
I'm actually moving the deadline of a few days, because I just realized I don't have 'my' camera now! So you can send me your entries until next Sunday (Jul 29th) at 12 pm Pacific time. I hope to see lots of mouth-watering recipes!! The roundup for the past event and the rules for the new one can be found here.
PS - I may have to extend the deadline a little more. 'My' camera is not here yet.. and I received only two entries so far! So, please, send in more entries! The roundup will be posted next weekend.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
A few days ago I saw a quite interesting post on Candace's blog 'Italian woman at the table': she was answering five questions specifically thought as an interview to her, and she was also asking if someone wanted to be interviewed by her now. So, it was too tempting and I was really curious to see which questions Candace would come up with, and I asked her to interview me.. So here is our interview!! If you're interested in it and you want to know how to get an interview yourself, keep reading!
(drawing taken by this website)
1. Italians think Americans are loud. Americans think Italians are loud. Now that you're lived both places, who do you think is loudest? Explain.
Italians. :) Italian families are really like in some of the movies you may have seen directed by great directors like De Sica, Antonioni.. People can scream really loud if they get nervous, or cry and mourn loudly if they lost a dear one, or laugh 'a squarciagola' (literally, breaking your throat: you see, there's not even a term for this in English) if there's something funny. Americans usually don't show their emotions as much. I had troubles understanding that someone was upset, at the beginning.. now I am used to it, and I think it'd be hard to be again in the middle of an Italian 'fight' :) - but I am still definitely louder than most people here. :)
2. Do you come from a big or small family? How do you think that's affected your life?
I come from a small family: I have one sister, and my parents both have only one sibling with two and three children each. I guess this means that I'm used to having some privacy, which would be hard to get in a large family. In my youth I was quite shy, which may be related to not being used to dealing with big groups of people. I think it also affected the idea of the family I want to have.. having many children is not in my plans (of course, now that I speak about plans, I know they're going to be flipped upside down and instead I'm going to have 6 kids...... :) ).
3. What's your favorite meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner? Tell us why and describe a typical meal you have that time of day.
Dinner. It's when we are all more relaxed. The day is finished, and we can eat altogether without any hurry, enjoying the food and the company. The typical dinner would be the one we have on a week day (there are more week nights than weekend nights. :) ). So usually we cook one main dish and then we'll have a salad or a light dessert. The main dish usually contains some vegetables, some form of protein (if I cook, tofu, cheese or beans, and if Lucas cooks it can also be meat), and usually some starch (rice, pasta). We cook something different every evening, and we'll make enough so that we can bring something for lunch at work the day after. Usually we don't plan what we cook, on week days. We buy whatever inspires us at the Berkeley Bowl on Saturday for the whole week, and then every evening we put together the ingredients that we feel more like eating. If we feel like it's a particularly nice evening and meal, we'll have some wine with it, otherwise we usually drink water on week days, if it's just the two of us (it's hard not to have the wine go bad if we drink only one glass each per night..).
4. Your boss fires you. You break down. You're in tears. Who's the first person you call? Why that person?
Well, for sure it would be Lucas (my 'significant other'...). Poor Lucas, he is always the one who has to deal with the worst of me. :) Usually he is very good at listening and calming me down when I need it, and he has very good suggestions on how to react to things. We behave differently when we deal with problems (probably some of it it's really related to the different cultures, Italian and American, we've been brought up in). Sometimes his way is better than mine. :) Also, it's good to hug him and have him comfort me - when I'm not upset because of him!!!! :) :)
5. You're thrown out of Italy and the U.S. and told never to return. What country would you choose to live in next? Explain.
Eheh, interesting question :) - I don't know any other country as well as Italy and the US. Probably the one I feel closest to is France. I know that lots of both Italians and Americans think French people are snobbish, but I've never ever felt that on any time I've been to France. It's close enough to Italy, I like their way of being politically active, they have some of the best food and wine in the world, the architecture is similar to what you can find in Italy, I have a few French friends.. and I speak French. So, yeah, I think I would live pretty well in France if I could find a job there. :)
So, this is it! My interview is over. :) It was a lot of fun!!! Thank you so much, Candace. It's a really great way to share something of oneself with the rest of the blog-friends :)
So.. who's up next?? It's now my turn to ask questions!
If you'd like to be interviewed by me, follow these simple rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Monday, July 23, 2007
A few weeks ago I was determined to bike somewhere, even though I was by myself, and I decided to just try and see how Oakland was. Supposedly, there are some nice places that my guide recommends, and there are bike lanes all the way from my home to down there. Unfortunately, almost all of this information didn't turn out to be true.. :) - the bike lane is just a joke downtown Oakland. You're biking in the largest boulevard, with cars coming from everywhere around you - and they dare calling that a 'bike path'... Also, to be really honest, I couldn't find many nice things to see there. I went to Lake Merrit, which had some nice views, but I think I'm really spoiled as for lakes by my beloved Lake Johnson, where I lived in Raleigh, NC. So, Lake Merrit was nothing so exciting for me. Anyway, you can see a shot of it here:
The best part of my trip was on the way back, and I went there by pure chance: I managed to enter the Historic Mountain View Cemetery, which is at the border between Piedmont, Oakland and Berkeley. It's an absolutely huge cemetery. I biked through a small part of it (I was a bit tired). Here you can see a shot of the Catholic part (it's enclosed by a gate):
And here is a shot of the historic part:
While I was biking, I met the two ladies that you can see walking away in this picture.
They were really happy to explain me the history of the cemetery. Apparently it was spared by pure luck by the big fire that destroyed a large part of Oakland and of the hills around Berkeley in 1989. Nowadays, people go there not only to feel close to their dear ones, but also to enjoy the park, walk around and be immersed in the history of the place.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
My passion for cooking is now well-known among my friends, and so I received four cookbooks for my birthday. There are never too many cookbooks at home, right? :) One of them is a wonderful, original, Mexican cookbook given to me by Romelia, a mexican friend of mine. It's written by a Mexican writer, Susanna Palazuelos. The book is gorgeous, there are wonderful pictures of Mexico and of the food - the title is right: 'Mexico, the beautiful cookbook'. Romelia gave it to me at the University, and when I brought it to my office, Nicola and I started looking at it and decided it was a great excuse to cook together a Mexican-inspired meal!
Nicola had 2 huge packets (4 lb each) of Masa Harina - both he and his mom bought one, thinking it would be a good corn flour to make polenta. Too bad it really isn't. :) Masa Harina is not corn flour the way we usually intend: it is made by boiling corn kernels in water and calcium hydroxide, then the kernels are washed and ground to make a flour. The masa harina we buy in the stores is then dried (I don't know if it's possible to buy fresh masa, here). So, this treatment gives the flour a very peculiar taste and consistency - definitely not good for polenta... but exactly what you need to make a huge amount of tortillas, which is what Nicola, Giovanna and I did last night. :)
Tortillas di mais con verdure, fagioli e formaggio / Corn tortillas with vegetables, black beans and cheese
Making tortillas turned out to be extremely easy: just mix ~2 cups of masa with 1 1/4 cups water and a pinch of salt. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then devide the dough in about 8 balls, the size of a big walnut. Knead each ball for a few more seconds, before pressing it. It would be very cool to have the tortilla press, which of course, we didn't have. So, we used a rolling pin. To do so, place a sheet of plastic wrap on the table, then put your ball of dough on it, press it with your hand a bit. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top, and roll the dough down with a rolling pin, trying to make it round and thin. The final round shape should be ~4 inches in diameter. Remove one sheet of plastic wrap, place the tortilla on your hand, peel off also the other sheet of plastic, and place the tortilla on a hot anti-sticking pan. Cook for ~20 seconds, then turn, cook for another 20 seconds, turn again and cook for a final 15 seconds.. and you're done!! Really easy. Of course, our tortillas weren't as round and pretty as the store-bought ones, but they were _much_ better in taste.
We prepared some vegetables and beans to put inside the tortilla: we made a stir-fry of onions, zucchini, poblano peppers, red peppers and mushroom (with olive oil, sprinkled with pepper - really good and spicy, thanks to the poblano peppers). For the beans, we went for the easy canned black beans, and we added them to sautee onions in olive oil, cooking them until almost all the liquid was adsorbed. I added salt, pepper and honey to them, while cooking. Both the beans and the vegetables were delicious.
We also prepared some Queso fundido con champinones y rajas de poblano (melted cheese with mushrooms and poblano peppers) (idea from the Mexican cookbook)- you can see the pepper version here and on the right bottom corner of my tortilla. This was easily prepared by microwaving for 1 minute some good mild cheddar cheese decorated with stripes of pepper or pieces of mushrooms.
The cheese was great to eat also with our home-made tortilla chips:
We prepared these by cutting into pieces some of our tortillas, and baking them in the oven at 450 F for ~ 5 minutes. We went for the baked healthy version, but traditionally they should be deep fried. Still, the healthy version was quite good! You can see here Giovanna kneading the dough and Nicola eating the tortilla chips with salsa. :)
Making tortillas and eating them in such a nice company was a lot of fun. Must be repeated! :)
Friday, July 20, 2007
I haven't posted in a while! Well, last weekend it was my birthday, so I was busy :) - now the problem is: Lucas is gone with the camera for a week, and I forgot to download all the last pictures.. so I have plenty of time to post and no pictures. :) So, I decided in the next few days I'll post about something that I took a picture of in the near past.. fun things or food, we'll see.
Let's start with this: a memory from one of the two Fourth of July parties we went to! This party was thrown by Alex and Jen, and it was a lot of fun. They both like to cook, wonderful quality to throw a good party. So while Jen prepared a lot of food at the stove, Alex was taking care of the "grill":
He was cooking this whole lamb using a very interesting system that he and his roommate prepared: the skewer was connected to all those gears that you see in the picture, and these were connected to a pully which arrived on the top of the roof of the house, where a bucket filled with wood slowly fell down (paced by the big hammer you can see in the bottom part of the picture). The vertical fall of the bucket was converted into rotational movement of the lamb on the charcoal. See what can come out from the minds of a bunch of drunk physicists?!? The system was completely inefficient (you had to spin the bike wheel to have the bucket come back on the roof every seven minutes, instead of just turning a handle of a quarter of a turn every 15 minutes), but of course, the goal was to have fun!!!!!
The vision of the whole lamb being slowly roasted slightly upset my almost-vegeterian feelings, but I must say, their system was quite fascinating. Too bad the lamb took too long to cook and we didn't get to try it!!!! But we were told it was delicious. :)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
This month Weekend Cookbook Challenge theme is 'Red and White' - cook anything that has anything to do with these two colors. So my idea was to make two drinks, a red one and a white one, and show them together!
I made two Mexican drinks, using recipes I found in my Mexican Cookbook by Jane Milton: Tequila Sunrise and Horchata!
Tequila Sunrise is tricky to make right (mine is not perfect): you have to pour 1 1/2 tbsp golden tequila in a glass half filled with crushed ice, then add freshly squeezed orange juice (4 tbsp) and juice of one lime. The tricky part is to add 1 tsp grenadine quickly enough, pouring it on the back of a teaspoon, so that it sinks to the bottom of the drink. I couldn't find grenadine (supposedly an alcoholic beverage made with pomegranade), so I used pomegranade/cranberry juice, and to help it sink, I poured it against the sides of the glass. It layered a bit, but not as much as the grenadine probably would have. In the end, though, I liked the cocktail and it was pretty. :)
Horchata is a super typical Mexican drink, and I've always been curious about what it was, exactly. We have something similar, in Italy, which we call 'Orzata', which is very sweet and made with almonds, but I wasn't sure if it was really like Mexican 'Horchata'. In fact, I found out Mexican Horchata is made mostly with rice, although it has some almonds. There's no milk in it to make it white. The white color comes from rice water!
So to make it, soak 2 1/4 cups long grain rice in 3 cups water overnight. After that, drain the rice, reserving the liquid, and then blend the rice as finely as possible. It must be really fine, otherwise it will all sink to the bottom of the drink and it won't be pleasant. Then, blend 1 1/4 cups blanched almonds, very finely too, and add to the ground rice. Then you have to add 1/4 cup sugar and some cinnamon. The recipe suggested 2 tsp ground cinnamon, but it's really too much in my opinion. Next time I make it, I'll use 1/2 tsp. Add also grated peel from one lime. Pour water over the rice mixture, and serve with ice. It's quite good, although in my opinion some more sugar makes the drink more enjoyable. Next time I go to a Mexican restaurant, I'll take the drink, and compare to how this tasted. :)
I'll put the link to the WCC roundup here if you come back later... let's see what neat recipes people came up with using 'Red and White' as a theme!!
For now, I want to remind all of you of my 'Fresh produce of the month' event! Please send in lots of apricot-centered recipes!! The deadline is July 27th.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I haven't posted a recipe in a long time.. shame on me! So, I'll try to correct this by talking about something really great that Lucas and I made with Nicola recently: homemade ravioli and agnolotti! Making stuffed pasta is a little more time consuming than making tagliatelle, but it's fun if you're with friends... and you can be proud of the result: :)
We made Ravioli ai formaggi con crema di zucca (Cheese ravioli with butternut squash cream) and Agnolotti al salame con salsa di pomodoro (Salame agnolotti with tomato sauce)
Recipes and more pictures follow!
Prepare a dough similar to the one we used for tagliatelle. You can use less eggs and more water, since there's going to be a filling and the pasta doesn't need to be as rich: Nicola's (i.e. Luisa's :) ) recipe was 2 eggs and 2 half egg shells filled with water for 2 1/2 cups flour. Knead till elastic, then pass it through your pasta machine as shown here, till you get many layers of thin dough. For agnolotti you should get to the thinnest setting on the machine, whereas for ravioli, you should leave it a bit thicker.
Place one sheet of dough on the ravioli shaper, and add a small amount of filling to each hole:
>Humidify with some water the parts that will become ravioli borders, to make them sticky. Then, cover with another sheet of dough:
Pass a rolling pin on this whole thing. The pressure on the borders will cut the ravioli. At this point, you can remove them from the ravioli maker, and place them on a tray.
Cut ~3*3 inches squares of pasta. Stuff them with a little filling. Fold the square over the filling, to make a triangle. Fold the upper corner on pasta over the filling, and fold the other two corners around one of your fingers. This will make the agnolotto shape. Sorry, no picture for an individual agnolotto, but you can see here a closeup of the shapes:
Ravioli ai formaggi con crema di zucca (Cheese ravioli with butternut squash cream)
Prepare ravioli as described above. The cheese filling is made by mixing approximately 1/2 lb ricotta, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese and 1/2 cup cream cheese (this should be enough for dough made with ~2 1/2 cups flour, very approximatively, sorry about this). To make the sauce, cut a butternut squash into small cubes. Finely cut half a big onion. Sautee the onion, and after ~ 2 min add the squash. Add salt. Cook for ~10 min, covered. Then, add ~2 cups vegetable broth (or water and a bouillon, like I did) and cook covered for ~40 min, until the squash is soft. Puree with a blender. Add ~2 tbsp heavy cream, and pepper to taste.
Agnolotti al salame con salsa di pomodoro (Salame agnolotti with tomato sauce)
Prepare agnolotti as described above, using a filling made with ~ 1 cup finely cut salame mixed with ~1/2 lb cream cheese (dose for ~2 1/2 cups flour, very approximatively, sorry about this again). Prepare the tomato sauce: sautee half a big vidalia onion in olive oil, add 1 lb canned tomatoes, ~2 tsp salt, ~1/2 tsp of sugar, cover with a lid. After ~30 min, blend, add finely cut basil and leaves of sage.
Once everything is ready, bring a large amount of water to boil, add salt and a bit of olive oil to the water, then add the ravioli and agnolotti in, a little bit at a time. They will be cooked in ~5 min. Mix with the sauces and serve immediately!!
This will be also my entry for this week Presto Pasta night! At last I have some pasta worth presenting. :)
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
A few weeks ago, Lucas, Stefano and I went for a bike trip to Sausalito. To get there, we brought our bikes on the BART, up to the Embarcadero station, then we biked from there all along the port, the marina, up the Golden Gate bridge, and then, down to Sausalito! It was a really nice bike ride, with spectacular views of the Bridge. This one is from the Marina.
(click on this and the following images to enlarge them)
The Marina bike ride is very flat, but very windy, which makes it hard to go forward.
Getting on the bridge is tough - it's quite high! Once on the bridge, there is a middle lane for cars, and then two sidewalks. In the weekends, the pedestrians walk on one sidewalk, and the bikers ride on the other. Here is San Francisco viewed from our side:
Biking on the bridge is quite chilly, again, because of the really strong wind that blows orthogonally. If someone wants to try this trip, I'd recommend bringing a sweater or a wind jacket for this part. :)
After the bridge, there is a view point:
From here, one can bike downhill for about one mile, and get into the cute little artsy town of Sausalito. We had a late lunch there, and then we walked around for a bit more, took some pictures, had some ice cream, and finally, we took the Ferry Boat to go back to San Francisco. This was one of the nicest parts of the trip, I was really excited!
This was our Ferry:
Here is Sausalito from the Ferry, when we left:
There are some spectacular views of the Bridge:
And you can see how happy I was:
Then, when you get closer, you have postcard-like views of San Francisco. Here is SF and Alcatraz:
And here is San Francisco!
\Close to the City, many seagulls came close to us:
And here we are, closer and closer:
In the end we arrived to the magnificent entry to the Port of San Francisco:
I really didn't want to get off the Ferry.. I loved it. :)
Here is my last picture, looking back, to the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
It was a wonderful day.
Meeta's Monthly Mingle Event this month was 'Scream for ice cream'!
What a nice theme. :) So, last Sunday I made a good amount of my favorite ice cream flavor, strawberry, and I tried to make something I never made before, i.e. pistachio ice cream. In the pistachio ice cream, I also added some rum, to give it a different twist. The recipes for the strawberry ice cream and pistachio ice cream are posted in the 'Read more' section.
What I really wanted to do with my ice cream was to assemble some cute and good presentation. So, here is what I did:
Barchette gelato / Ice cream small boats
I was inspired by the traditional 'banana split', but instead of using full size bananas, I took the small bananas from Ecuador. I cut them in half, and then put two (small) scoops of ice cream on them (pistachio and strawberry). Then decorated with whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries (in season here now!!! So good!), butter toffee peanuts, and a cookie that I baked for the occasion. The cookie is a traditional 'cialda', which would be on every Italian ice cream, but it's a bit thicker and softer than what you would find in Italy. The recipe for it is similar to the one I used for these previous 'barchette', but instead of shaping the dough as a cup, I rolled it like a cigar right after it came out from the oven. The beauty of this dough is that you can work it while warm, and then it hardens and becomes crisp (it'll become less crisp if you spread it thicker on the baking pan). More details will be given below.
Here is a close up of a barchetta gelato that I decorated also with a touch of Nutella!
Check back on this post for a link to the Monthly Mingle Event roundup!
Gelato alla fragola / Strawberry ice cream
Blend 1 lb strawberries, add 1 cup sugar, 1/2 quart milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 eggwhites, and put in the ice cream maker. It should be ready in ~20 minutes. Freeze for at least 2 hours and remove from the freezer ~10 min before serving.
Gelato al pistacchio / Pistachio ice cream
Blend 1 cup shelled, roasted pistachios. Add 4 tbsp rum to it. Warm up one liter (~1/2 gallon) milk, add 1/2 cup (to 1 cup, depending on how sweet you like your ice cream) of sugar, 4 egg yolks. Mix till the sugar is dissolved and the egg yolks are well mixed with the milk. Keep on the stove until you see that if you dip a wooden spoon in it, it comes out covered by a thin layer of liquid mixture. At this point, remove from the stove, add the pistachios and 1/2 pint of heavy cream. Let it cool down to room temperature, add 1 eggwhite, stir well, and put in the ice cream maker. It should take ~20 min for it to become ice cream. Keep in the freezer, and take out ~10 min before serving. De-li-cious!
Cialde / Ice cream cookies
1/2 cup butter
~1 cup sugar (a bit less)
~1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla powder
Whip the butter with the sugar till creamy. Add the eggwhites, the flour and the vanilla. Mix well. Spread this dough on a buttered/floured baking pan, in rectangles (the size depends on which size you want your cookies to be), as thin as you can.
Cook for 5 minutes at 400F, till the edges start to brown. While still warm, roll up like cigars. When cold, the cookies will be crispy.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Today Lucas and I watched 'Berkeley in the Sixties' - it was played in one of the rooms of the church I usually go to on Sunday, i.e. the Newman Catholic Center. We've been living in this town for more than three months and we can feel its nice atmosphere of cafes, walks, music, but it's hard to understand nowadays what made it so famous fifty years ago. So, when I saw that they were showing this documentary, we were both interested in going.
Both of us really liked this documentary. It's really well done, it shows people and facts from the Free Speech Movement, the Anti War Movement, the Black Panthers, the founding of the People's Park and the disastrous events occurring afterwards.. With scenes from the time and interviews to people who lived those events. Seeing so many people fighting for a common cause touched me, even though they did it in different ways. The documentary shows very clearly that there were different opinions about how to bring the cause to the attention of the public. But all the people agreed that there was something to do to improve the world - starting from the terrible injustice of the war, to the discrimination against black people and women.. I'd really like to see something like this happen again. There would be so much to be upset about. Some causes are so obviously right, such as the fight against the use of torture, which the same country I'm living in and I'm getting to love uses as common practice towards whoever can be declared 'enemy combatant'!
In any case, I strongly recommend watching this movie. I also found this really interesting website: it's a photographic tour of Berkeley in 1995, taken by a person who lived the Sixties in this town and went looking for traces from the past.