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Despite the numerous challenges facing me in the kitchen of my Roman apartment I decided to try out something I’ve been a bit scared of ever since I got here. My gas oven. Basically you just flip a knob and the gas starts pouring out and you’ve got to stick your hand in with a match until the whole thing catches on fire. Sounds fun, right?

Well, I had bought a bag of frozen french fries about a week before and I couldn’t wait any longer for some American comfort food so I decided to try it. I got it lit successfully but wasn’t sure if the door to the oven was fully closing so I kept the door of the balcony ajar in case any gas was leaking out. I picked up some ketchup at the convenience store across the street, apparently they do sell ketchup and mustard pretty regularly here. The instructions on the fries said to put them in for 20 minutes at 220 Celsius. Funny thing about gas ovens is there is absolutely no way to control the temperature. So I stuck them in when it seemed hot and an hour and a half later they were done. They really could have kept cooking for a bit but my roommates and I were way too impatient. Note to self for the future, whenever using the oven multiply estimated cooking time by four.

I paired the french fries with cheeseburgers. Well, obviously. I wasn’t able to find hamburger buns or sliced cheese though so I improvised with that. I just used the regular sandwich bread and toasted it slightly, in a frying pan since I also don’t have a microwave and sliced some provolone cheese for the burgers. I cooked the burgers in a frying pan and they actually came out pretty well. We put some tomatoes, onions and ketchup on top and called it a day. Pretty successful American meal for an Italian kitchen.

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