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Posted 04/27/2013

Below The Line – Day 5 But what if today…

Our family Below The Line experience has come to an end. We survived for 5 days with a $37.50 budget for food, for 5 people. But I almost feel it does not count; it is easy to “sacrifice” a week of your lifestyle if you can see the finish line approaching from day one. Yes indeed knowing that this experience was going to have a very short and minimal impact in our lives helped us stay on track during this very odd week.  Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/25/2013

Below The Line – Day 4 An Apple A Day

Breakfast-coffee for Gabriele and I, a slice of homemade fresh bread, with butter for all. For the kids-a glass of diluted milk (to stretch it) .Packed the kids off to school with their Mortadella sandwiches. We have chosen mortadella, since we like it ,and its cheap. I gave each child my extra slice, so that they would have some protein to help focus at school. My older daughter has her NY state school tests this week. She has been nervous, and I feel bad that I chose this week to do the campaign. Children need a balanced diet to perform well in school, and even if I have to eat less, I refuse to allow her grades to suffer from being hungry. Im giving her my share of food. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/24/2013

Below The Line – Day 3 Feeling the effects

I will be short. I am tired. I am hungry. It’s dull. Very different from all the other times in life I usually say “I am hungry”. This is like an anesthesia that is progressively conquering me.

Monday was the euphoria of the beginning. Tuesday was the “look, we are not doing so bad” day. This morning I kept active and committed. I had my lunch of one slice of bread and one slice of mortadella, one glass of leftover broth from last night with an egg scrambled in it. It helped until I started yawning around 3 pm. From that moment on it has been a slow downfall until now. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/23/2013

Below The Line – Day 2 It is already a waiting game!

We are all hungry here. Waiting patiently for our only real meal of the day. Evelina skipped lunch at school (she did not like their pizza) so she had a slice of bread and mortadella… the mortadella is already finished! Giulia, my youngest is zoning out in front of the TV, she asked for a snack. Guess what “Here’s a slice of bread!”. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/22/2013

Below The Line – Day 1 A little groceries, a little thinking.

So here we are, the campaign has finally started. Our dear friend Robert has decided to move in for the week, so we now have a budget of $37.50 for 5 people, for 5 days.

The day started off with one cup of thin coffee with no sugar. We decided to invest in milk and renounce the extra 2-3 morning cups of espresso. Just a half mug to get your day going. Kids had a slice of bread with jam (no butter) and a glass of 2/3 milk and 1/3 water. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/22/2013

Give us our daily bread….

I was born in Queens,NY 1964. My mother was a few days shy of her 16th birthday when she had me. We lived with my grandmother and my young father. They were forced to be married for appearances,and it lasted only 3 years. I would say we were ‘Blue Collar’ at the time. Grandma had a good job at American Bell(now AT&T). She managed her money well,was a fantastic cook. My early memories were that of complete bliss. I don’t remember being hungry. There was fresh milk in glass bottles,eggs and butter delivered daily to the door by ‘The Milk Man’. Cheap egg cremes and malted’s at the soda shop around the corner. My Grandmother would come home from work everyday,change out of her dress and heels, get into more comfortable clothes, slap on an apron, and prepare a simple meal for us all. Being so young, I was oblivious to how hard she worked to support her newly expanded family, and the length she would have to walk out of her way to the avenue, to find fresh vegetables, and good meat, which she would wheel home in her little cart, after working a desk job all day. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/13/2013

Live Below The Line – Join The Challenge April 29th to May 3rd, 2013

I grew up in a farm, in the heart of Tuscany. For the first 2 decades of my life I did not know any better, or any worse. Life was good, food was always on the table and its quality was superb at any given meal; that’s just the way it was. I was extremely spoiled, just did not know it yet.

Eventually I started traveling as a musician: Brazil, Cuba, Africa, the Middle East and most of Europe. It appeared clear to me very soon that in many of the countries I visited people perceived me as a privileged human being. That did not necessarily carried a bad connotation with it, it just altered slightly the way that ordinary people interacted with me; for many kids I have met while on the road, a single dollar out of my pocket always meant much more that I ever thought possible. Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/28/2013

Showdown: Grits vs. Polenta

After staring for what felt like hours at the imported food shelves in my local grocery store this afternoon, I had a burning question for the Google machine: What on Earth is difference between polenta and grits?  I mean, they look the same.  They’re typically cooked in a similar fashion.  Their prices can vary wildly from one shelf to the next, but they are still born of the same grain, the illustrious corn.  So what gives? What’s the difference? Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/16/2013

Restaurant Review: La Ciccia in San Francisco

You probably wouldn’t expect to find San Francisco’s best Italian food so far from iconic North Beach, the Little Italy of SF that boasts more Italian restaurants than you can shake a cannoli at. But all the way across town, nestled at the far end of quaint, quiet Noe Valley, sits La Ciccia, serving honest, rustic, impeccably prepared Sardinian cuisine and an impressive array of Italian wines. Continue Reading…

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