Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Return To Montalcino

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

returnmontalcinonewbottlesWell,  we have come full circle. The moment we left Montalcino, we were talking of a reunion party and  you all made it happen!

What a beautiful night it was, and many hands made light work, I do appreciate the gift of not waking up to a day full of clean up.

Hearing some of your reminesence were warm tugs at my heart, and listening to Alice made me wish we had had her with us in Deruta.  But ultimately we had prayed all along that God would show us His glory and His creation in the new adventures we had,and then looking around the table, I saw that was in all of you all along.

Let’s do this again soon,

ciao,cara amici! 

p.s. check out our dear cooking teacher, AnnaLisa’s blog at  fattoriaresta.blogspotcom

As Time Goes By

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

It has been rather busy since returning to San Diego; a Pfizer convention, guests for 8 days,Steve’s dad needing him on the Fourth and him not being home, etc,  so it has just been the last couple of days that we have been unpacking, and sorting our souvenirs and small gifts.  And our memories.  They are not so easy to put back on the shelf.  Do we want to?  What do I miss the most?

What I miss is rediscovering my husband in so many little ways. In Montalcino we got to play “house”.  Shop, cook, wash dishes, and delight in the discoveries we made each day. Read books, watch movies on the computer between toastincinqueterra1us in bed on “movie night.”  No distractions, settled in, drinking wine, making new friends, being of small service, and sharing the immense sense of marvel.  Boy did we fight too! 

Trying not to fall into old patterns and roles, still hurting from failures, and sometimes thinking the only thing we had in common was the kids. Choosing to love, remembering how to love, loving from the head when the heart forgot how. Vowing to change and be different, and making progress . OK, too deep.

I loved having company come.  How honored I was to have someone come so far to share this.  And we were only too eager to share what we had found.  

Cooking Italian style, lots of Jug wine and cheese on a terrace with a million dollar view. Scarves, market day, Duomo’s, Easter week, 8 of Maggio, church bells, finding the small treasures of a small town, great ravioli, poppy fields,  crunchy underwear, shutters thrown open to greet each new day! 

And how humbled I felt that some dear people would read my frequent ranting on my travel blog and let me share this all with them from afar. Thank you.

pietaI was blown away by the faith  of Christians through the many centuries who went on crusades, spent lifetimes building Abbey’s, Cathedrals, walled-cities, who dedicated their lives to sculpting masterpiece, painting ceilings, writing music that glorified God. Sure ,there was greed and self-interest, but you could tell there were hearts who swelled with the love of their Lord to dedicate their lives to doing what they thought was His will. That faith really reached through the centuries and grabbed my heart. 

I confess my “walk” with the Lord has been a little distant of late, maybe less intimate, because of the enormity of expressions of others that make my meager efforts to serve seem so meager.  Why would the God that inspires the Pieta, want to listen to my jibber jabber ( but He does, so i’m working on this).

But WAKE UP Italy and the rest of Europe!  How sad to see the catherals locked and shut down.  Meager attendance, Easter habits, faith as an old persons’ panacea.  They are not smarter because they have put their faith on a shelf.  They are missing the Glory, the faith-dimension that is the only thing that makes this world make any sense. 

Thank you Jesus, for Father Piernino, Giovani, Miranda, Juonpaulo, the monks of St. Antimo and those who still burn brightly. We pray for revival.

So much for the rawness of 3a.m. self-examinations.

Cooking Class

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

pastarollingCooking with AnnaLisa Tuscan Style

We all learned something about cooking, pasta, wine, tradition, and most of all hospitality on our day in Resta at the home of AnnaLisa. She shared with us her passions for the land, her wine, her home and the chapel on the grounds.

We cracked a few eggs, kneaded some dough, sliced and diced and made an awesome meal, that we enjoyed on the covered 2nd story terrace of her home.

annalisa2Our menu included foccacia, tagliatella, pinci, tomato/garlic sauce, an eggplant dish to die for and tirramisu .We all were delightfully  surprised on how fresh and wonderful it all tasted.

Several of us had had bad prior experiences with some of the dishes (I had never had an eggplant that I had liked, and most of us were not looking forward to the tirramisu).  Boy, were we blown away with how fabulous ,and amazing it all was. 

The time with her and each other was almost an out-of-body experience as we reveled in the tuscan gastronomic  experience!

Buongiourno, Montalcino!!

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Holding our breath, we found Montalcino (without getting lost) and she is all we hoped she would be!

HOME

HOME

We are in rural Italy 1950’s, a view of farmlands and vineyards from our back door terrace. The weather is sunny and mid-60’s and the street out in front of our apartment allows no cars.  Currently, a semi-swap meet is happening, and every evening from 5-8-ish the folk stroll the main piazza just to meet and greet(we are being looked-over, but greeted cordially). The main thorough-fare is almost 400yards long and  there are probably 10 winebars, 4 bakeries, 2 shoe stores, 2 butchers, 1 fish market, etc, etc. Oh yes, 4 pizzerias. We tried one last night and it was fantastico.

Stress is starting to melt away, as we do our best to communicate with the town-folks. We begin in Italian, where they jibber jabber back like we were native, then we ask if they speak english (parla englese?) and then piece-meal a conversation with a little of everything but pig-latin. Everyone eats later here, and there is wine-hour instead of tea-time. I think I can get use to that. You can also bring your own empty liter into a wine store and ask them to “fill’er up” with the house table wine.

viewfromterraceThe apartment  looks out on a stupendous view and is quaint and provencial.  The streets are narrow and cobbled, and major walking requires you be a mountain goat – not difficult, but a challenge for the challenged. We are starting to ease into a slower pace, and I am cooking pasta with zuchini, tomatoes and parmesan tonight and of course, some wine. Wish you all were here, but we will try to send you the  flavors of Montalcino, Tuscany.

Ciao, for now.  Buon apetito!

Kooking with Karl

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

cooking-with-karlI am in love…and the man of my dreams is a wizard in the kitchen! Karl is an old friend of Gail’s and has reentered her life after many years. He is in residence. Besides being brilliant with his own internet company, he makes sure that Gail comes home from the House of Flowers to a warm meal. We have had the most sumptious of dinners here…Thai shrimp, Chicken Cassoulet, Chicken and dumplings,and to-die-for Croissant Bread Pudding (all from SCRATCH)!

–4 (stale) Croissants
–200g.sugar
–4 T water
–250 ml. double cream
–250 ml whole milk
–4 T Bourbon
–4 eggs,beaten

thai-cookingTear the Croissants in pieces in put in casserole dish. put the sugar in a sauce pan with the water and caramelize by letting it bubble away with out stirring until it turns deep amber. Turn the heat down and add the cream ( ignore the sputtering) and the bourbon. Take off the heat and while still whisking, add the beaten eggs,.  Pour over the croissants and let them soak it up for 10+ minutes. Place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and be prepared to swoon!!  

I hope , I hope we can talk Karl into coming to Italy and letting his cooking imagination run wild.