Recently, Ashlinn and I have been making our way through the epic Adam Curtis documentary series Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World — and at eight hours total, that’s no small feat. The goal is, in part, to create an understanding of modern culture: who we are and how we got here.
What Curtis gives us that is so unique from most documentary makers is the way he presents a parallel series of discrete, seemingly unrelated narratives that feel almost random except that, when woven together, they begin to form an astoundingly nuanced portrait of global culture. Like an impressionist painting, it strives to create a mood and impress a lasting feeling upon the viewer rather than concern itself with perfect narrative accuracy.
The Yak on Medium has a solid synopsis (as well as some valid criticisms) of the series here. And at the very least, the soundtrack is absolutely sublime!
As vaccine access becomes more widespread, I couldn’t be more thankful that the world is tentatively beginning to open up again. Here in Italy, we are a bit behind the US on vaccine distribution, but are looking forward to relaxed protocols after a month of moderately serious lockdown. As delightful as Rome is, we’re looking forward to stretching our legs and getting a bit further afield in this beautiful country!
Very excitingly, this week Ashlinn and I hosted our very first guests since we left the States last December. Our Italian tutor, Giulia, and her boyfriend, Vanni, came over yesterday for a delicious and leisurely lunch.
(Ashlinn chiming in here: can you imagine how stressful it is to cook a meal for Italians? You can’t cook Italian food because you can get better on any street corner. But Italians are also notoriously– maybe stereotypically– fussy about non-Italian food and you don’t want to cook something your guests won’t like!)
Fortunately, our boundless cravings for Nashville Hot Chicken saved the day– it was a super fun novelty dish for them, a taste of US culture they’d never tried, and they couldn’t get enough!
YAY FOR HOT CHICKEN! Seriously, it is one of the top three things we miss about Nashville– family and friends being the first two, of course! Ashlinn decided right before we left the US to try to learn how to make it herself, and yesterday was her second attempt (and her first attempt without the diverse ingredients you can find in a US grocery store… corn starch is not really a common item in Italy!).
For her basic recipe along with notes on each hot chicken attempt & some thoughts on various hot chicken joints around Nashville, I’ve convinced her to share her top-secret Nashville Hot Chicken Google Doc with you all.
Buon appetito, y’all!