September has started settling in, temperatures are starting to drop and the leaves are starting to fall. Autumn is definitely my favourite season here in Bologna. The city slowly comes back to life: it cools down and it gets full of market fairs and all sorts of exhibitions. As a full time student I have gone back to my routine of long hours at the library, early morning runs, and delicious Cappuccinos as often as I can.
Bologna is full of the most beautiful libraries. Its university is the oldest in the world, and as such the city is full of old biblioteche with frescos, statues, original furniture from hundreds of years ago, and a historic charm that is unparalleled anywhere else. You can almost feel the wisdom. One of the most impressive ones The Archiginnasio is found here (the old university) in piazza Galvani, other more practical ones and their time tables can be found here. They are all free of charge and most of them accessible even if you are not a student at Bologna University.
However, no matter how beautiful a library may be and how inspiring it may come across at first, it is still a library. Excited about the prospect of starting a new year full of goals and wish lists, I still had to find a way to make it exciting on a daily basis. Here is when T, my all time saver suggested picnics, library picnics… making my packed lunch much more exciting than the classic dull sandwich.
Here is how it all started:
After having spent a weekend talking about vegetarianism, vegan food and macrobiotics, how good it is supposed to be for you, and how light you were going to feel … I convinced myself it was something I wanted to try for a while… Found a couple of web pages and started reading up, then I went to the supermarket: my enthusiasm lasted for exactly 1 hour as I saw the amount of dedication it would take for me to become a macrobiotic or a vegan. Also I remembered how much I LOVE meat, and how Bologna is all about Prosciutto and Filetto! However, something had to be done with the huge quantities of Tofu sitting in my fridge. This is what I did with it.
1. Luckily the blogosphere is packed with ideas and wonderful vegetarian recipes. I found one I liked here , and started preparing my slightly modified version of it for my packed lunch, added a mixture of wild rice with lentils to make it complete!
I used a combination of Black and White sesame seeds, to give an extra hint of color, and as I had no bread crumbs…(which are anyway less healthy for you).
The sweet peanut sauce was the best discovery I have ever made, quite literally. It is very simple to make and has a fantastic flavor!!! (I had no peanut butter, but used crushed peanuts instead)
We sat down on a bench under the library’s portico as the rain started to fall. Best way to welcome the autumn.