Terrace party with the neighbours

terrace party GarbatellaI have been pondering: What to make for a condominium “Festa della Estate“? We have a lovely rooftop terrace over looking Garbatella, our neighborhood here. For several years there has been a ban on using it for anything but drying laundry, but there is an ongoing thaw. Last summer we had a summer terrace party for the building, where eveyone brought a dish and we enjoyed the sunset and evening breeze. Really nice!

We recently had the second annual terrace party, and I have been debating what to bring. Nothing Italian, for sure: we have some excellent home chefs in our palazzo, and each dish is tasted, scrutinized and debated, in a friendly, slightly competitive and very appreciative way. For the party last year we made an English summer pudding, very exotic and that went down well. Nothing too foreign either, and something that holds up in the heat. What to make? This year we contributed Pimm’s (an English summer apertivo with fruit and cucumber) and a cold, crisp Norwegian cucumber salad, as it is close to 30C even in the evenings.

IMG_20150605_194537The menu and contributions is below, as shared by email. Yes, after years of bad photocopies our building with 24 flats has embraced email! So we get updated on the collapsing sewer pipes, bicycle parking, possible rooftop gardening, and party menus. It is actually really improving communications. The menu contributions planned (in Italian):
– lasagne
– aperitivo + insalata
– torta salata + bevande
– vino
– insalata russa
– un secondo (a sorpresa)
– frittata di maccheroni
– pollo al cherry e rotolo di frittata
– arrosto in salsa al pistacchio e pane
– dolce
…niente male no? Aggiungerei del cocomero (lo porto io) se no che festa dell’estate è!!


It was all really delicious — those ones just above are the frittata di maccheroni from our neighbour Mara.  Those were snapped up quickly, unlike my cucumber salad. It IS good though! Great with cold poached salmon as a summer dinner. And the Pimm’s was definitely a hit (though I know now just who is allergic to strawberries……)


Cold, crisp Norwegian cucumber salad
One cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
50 ml white vinegar
Enough water to cover

Make this the day before serving it, so the flavours meld and the salad is cold. .
Shave the cucumber thinly with a cheese slicer (invented by a Norwegian, did you know that?) and layer in a bowl with salt, sugar and vinegar. Add enough water to cover. Repeat, depending how much salad you want: I made a medium-sized bowl with four cucumbers, just add more salt, sugar and vinegar. Taste and add more salt, sugar and vinegar if needed. Fresh dill is nice too if you have it. Cover and store in fridge.

We sampled dishes, ate cherries, gossiped about the construction  works across the piazza, enjoyed amazing millefoglie contributed by the restaurant below, and it was a really lovely evening.