A Mexican Night in Italy

Back when I was teaching English in north Italy, I had the pleasure of teaching a plethora of students. From age 3 to 83, I was blessed with the joys of teaching both the young and the old. While some of my English courses focused mainly on the grammatical side of English, many lessons were simply based on conversation. After hours spent exchanging dialogue with a person, it became quite natural to form a friendship out of what would normally be a simple teacher/student relationship.

Francesca explaining the menu to me


Of all the students I taught over a period of seven years in Italy, there is a handful that I can still call my dear friends to this day.  One of these is Francesca.

Francesca is a married mother of three gorgeous children. I have the pleasure of saying that at one point or another, I have taught almost the entire family. It didn’t take long for a friendship to bloom between Francesca and I. We are similar creatures, with similar interests, one of which is cooking!

Francesca & Fabio

During our recent trip to Italy, Francesca and her husband Fabio, welcomed us to visit their new home, a large old farmhouse which they had completely restructured and renovated into their dream home.

A night at Francy and Fabio’s wouldn’t be complete without sipping some delicious wine and tasting some amazing food.

Upon entering their home, Fabio greeted us with a freshly concocted lime Margarita and had us nibble on some tortilla chips and homemade guacamole.


Francesca and one of her three children, Gaia


The scents of the Mexican-themed dinner filled their home, as dishes sat simmering on the stovetop.

There was American style chili, complete with red kidney beans and red peppers. White rice was also prepared to serve as a bed upon which to serve the chili.

There was also two fajita style dishes, one from the sea with scallops and shrimp, and one the from the land with chicken.

To compliment the menu, there was also homemade guacamole, one bowl with onions and one without. There was shredded Gruyère cheese and to keep things light, Francesca substituted the traditional sour cream with 0% Greek yogurt, blended with salt, lime and corn.

In all honesty, Francesca could have made us hot dogs and we would have had just as good a time. But Francesca being the extraordinary cook that she is, once again, surpassed herself and treated us to a sensational dinner.

We may live on opposite sides of the ocean, but our friendship stretches beyond the miles between us.  And while we may only see each other once a year I can always look forward to a good meal, a good drink and a good friend upon my return.


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