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eG Foodblog: hathor - Carpe Diem


hathor
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[...]Sandy: Yes, I am a card carrying member of Slow Food.

No, I'm not a card carrying member of the Communist party. However, during the summer, the Communists throw great parties! Seriously. Music, dancing, porchetta trucks. One town will have a Festa of Unity, the next town has a festa of liberty. We all go...but we never, ever sign anything! :laugh:

:wink:

One of the really fun serendipitous things I've done in Italy was when my brother and I took a late-night walk in Rome in the summer of 1998 and happened upon the Festa del'Unita'. There was food and drink, of course, but my strongest memory is not of the food or drinks but the fact that a Middle Eastern restaurant had some very good bellydancing in the open air. The food was fine, but the bellydancing was the real bonus. Italian Communists (well, Democrats of the Left - hardly the Leninists of yesteryear) really know how to party! By the way, there was lots of gambling there, too, just to show you how far the leftists have come from the days of Gramsci.

Judith, your cats are beautiful, and Rusty positively looks like an Egyptian God!

What a beautiful piccolo paese (village) you live in! Is there any art worth mentioning in the church that I presume the bell tower is attached to?

I'm going to take somewhat of a dissenting view on how hard it is to learn Italian -- or at least workable conversational Italian -- especially if you already know French. I've never been fluent in Italian (not enough time there), but I do have a good level of conversational Italian, when in practice. My method was to listen to tapes to get some rough simulacrum of a decent accent and also get the sound of native Italian speech (of a certain kind - Judith will attest to the incomprehensibility of southern dialects for those used to Umbrian or Tuscan accents) in my ears, and also to get a phrasebook, very clear book on basic Italian grammar written in simple language, a book of conjugations of a few hundred Italian verbs, and a decent Italian-English/English-Italian dictionary. Then, when I got to Italy, I embraced the process of making a fool out of myself repeatedly and getting laughed at for my mistakes, because that was the way to be corrected and improve. I found that Italians were happy I was trying to speak their language and always helpful. French is different (especially in grammar - Italian grammar is more complicated), but there are ways to guess with a fair degree of accuracy on how shared Latin-derived vocabulary will come out in Italian, as compared to French and English. English/French/Italian: Station/station/stazione; conduction/conduction/conduzione; productive/productif/productivo. Etc. You'll get pretty close most of the time.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[...]Sandy: Yes, I am a card carrying member of Slow Food.

No, I'm not a card carrying member of the Communist party. However, during the summer, the Communists throw great parties! Seriously. Music, dancing, porchetta trucks. One town will have a Festa of Unity, the next town has a festa of liberty. We all go...but we never, ever sign anything! :laugh:

:wink:

One of the really fun serendipitous things I've done in Italy was when my brother and I took a late-night walk in Rome in the summer of 1998 and happened upon the Festa del'Unita'. There was food and drink, of course, but my strongest memory is not of the food or drinks but the fact that a Middle Eastern restaurant had some very good bellydancing in the open air. The food was fine, but the bellydancing was the real bonus. Italian Communists (well, Democrats of the Left - hardly the Leninists of yesteryear) really know how to party! By the way, there was lots of gambling there, too, just to show you how far the leftists have come from the days of Gramsci.

I hear they also have a great bash on May 1st.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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...

This is what they looked like today.

gallery_14010_3612_1464170.jpg

This is one of the last fields left to be harvested. The farmers leave the flowers until they look like they are burnt to a crisp before harvesting. I don't really understand how there could be something useable in this, but obviously they know what they are doing. Anybody care to enlighten me?

And one last photo from today..these 'russet things'. There are a couple of fields of them, anybody know what they could be? They're beautiful, aren't they? gallery_14010_3612_595513.jpg

They have sort of a narrow corn plant leave, with this russet colored frou-frou frond on top.

...

I'm not sure about the sunflowers, but my guess would be that they leave them to dry to more easily collect the seeds and so thatt hey're (the seeds) are fully mature. They do that around here with seed and feed corn. Also around here (Mid-MO), they grow a crop that I think is sorghum that looks like the second picture. Some breeds of it are used for sugar/syrup, but mostly it is for animal feed. I'm not a farm girl, but I live among them, so I may be wrong!

Also, to repeat a refrain, you are living my dream! This is all so beautiful! And I even took Italian in college, but I'm sure yours is much better! :raz:

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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[...]Sandy: Yes, I am a card carrying member of Slow Food.

No, I'm not a card carrying member of the Communist party. However, during the summer, the Communists throw great parties! Seriously. Music, dancing, porchetta trucks. One town will have a Festa of Unity, the next town has a festa of liberty. We all go...but we never, ever sign anything! :laugh:

:wink:

One of the really fun serendipitous things I've done in Italy was when my brother and I took a late-night walk in Rome in the summer of 1998 and happened upon the Festa del'Unita'. There was food and drink, of course, but my strongest memory is not of the food or drinks but the fact that a Middle Eastern restaurant had some very good bellydancing in the open air. The food was fine, but the bellydancing was the real bonus. Italian Communists (well, Democrats of the Left - hardly the Leninists of yesteryear) really know how to party! By the way, there was lots of gambling there, too, just to show you how far the leftists have come from the days of Gramsci.

I hear they also have a great bash on May 1st.

I can imagine! Unfortunately, I've never had the pleasure of being in Italy in seasons other than the summer.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[...]Sandy: Yes, I am a card carrying member of Slow Food.

No, I'm not a card carrying member of the Communist party. However, during the summer, the Communists throw great parties! Seriously. Music, dancing, porchetta trucks. One town will have a Festa of Unity, the next town has a festa of liberty. We all go...but we never, ever sign anything! :laugh:

:wink:

One of the really fun serendipitous things I've done in Italy was when my brother and I took a late-night walk in Rome in the summer of 1998 and happened upon the Festa del'Unita'. There was food and drink, of course, but my strongest memory is not of the food or drinks but the fact that a Middle Eastern restaurant had some very good bellydancing in the open air. The food was fine, but the bellydancing was the real bonus. Italian Communists (well, Democrats of the Left - hardly the Leninists of yesteryear) really know how to party! By the way, there was lots of gambling there, too, just to show you how far the leftists have come from the days of Gramsci.

I hear they also have a great bash on May 1st.

I can imagine! Unfortunately, I've never had the pleasure of being in Italy in seasons other than the summer.

Mr. Duck's birthday is May 1st, and we've been trying to find a good airfare so we can go then, but so far, no luck.

As for learning Italian when you know French, I had the same trouble, only with Spanish. I was familiar with conjugating verbs, but as for the vocabulary, I had some trouble.

I did find a series of language tapes that worked well, but the trouble was that in real life, people spoke much more quickly than they did in the tapes. Oy! And to top it off, I started learning French for our trip to Paris last spring, so now I'm really confused.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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The entire family is taking Italian lessons? Well, sounds like you should all be speaking Italian (and only Italian) together. No English at all: no email, no newspapers, no TV, no movies. Even though none of you is actually italophone it will still force you to use your Italian all the time, and you'll make faster progress. And listening to Italian radio and TV, in addition to conversations with your neighbors, will help your ear.

I speak French and Italian, and don't mix them up unless I'm actually speaking them at the same time (speaking French with one friend or colleague, Italian with another, all in the same conversation) and then I can have some trouble "switching gears." You'll have similar problems with "switching gears" between English and Italian if you switch back and forth between them.

Dinner on the rooftop terrace looks just wonderful. I am beyond jealous.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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anybody know what they could be? They're beautiful, aren't they? gallery_14010_3612_595513.jpg

I've never been to Umbria, but I've spent many a while gazing out the back windows of our Mississippi house at the milo fields, watching for the deer to come stepping out of the woods. It is a sorghum-type crop.

This looks just like August in the South.

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What pictures you take! They belong in frames. I have always dreamed of traveling to Italy.

I make that exact soup using roasted cauliflower, it's really good.

and that expression you caught on Rusty's face?

You need to submit him to my cat hates you! priceless! I love him! :wub:

---------------------------------------

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  People here believe that the tongue cannot process more than 3 flavors at a time.  Oh, and most Italians  get squeemish at the thought of mxing food on a plate. It's an entire country of people that don't like their food to touch. Example: your pasta  is eaten and taken away

Meat is served on one plate, vegetables on another

Bread is eaten between courses to cleanse the palate.

that is so interesting. I never thought of it like that.

Beautiful pictures, hathor, I can't wait for the rest of the week. I love your writing, too, please talk as much as you like! :smile:

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Buongiorno! Grazie mille for all the kind words and support! :wub:

The kitties are both Abyssinians, Bella is half Somali which is a strain of Aby. Rusty is commonly referred to at "Sexy Beast", he purrs when you call him that. Missy B is having a hard time of it right now, she took a really nasty fall and is still trying to recover. Poor baby.

Pan, you're right there is some lovely art in town. I'll try and take a walk this afternoon and take some photos.

As far learning Italians goes...what I've learned best is that art of complaining! :laugh::biggrin: We 'immerse' ourselves because we have no choice, the radio only speaks Italian, our friends speak Italian! The newspaper writing style just cracks me up, you have to really read carefully, some of the stories are rehashes of things that happened 20 years ago. The weather report column is my favorite, yesterday's headline: "Get yourself ready, the real autumn is arriving". It always ends with a proverb. OK, who wants to translate this: "Faccia dura e faccia tosta, non c'e nessuna che l'acosta". This one is too easy! Most days, there is a little explanation of what the proverb means.

Sorghum!! Thanks! One mystery solved.

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Sorry for the slow replies....I'm battling with my computer and more so with our ISP... :angry:

Rant over.

Dinner last night!

Some pasta alla chitarra con amatriciana sauce. The chittara is a pasta cutting device commonly used in the Abruzzon region of Italy. Although lately I've seen dried chittara on grocery store shelves. I usually a big batch of it and freeze it, then use when hungry.

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Someone identified the chittara from the teaser photos...brava/o!

This is how it went last night.

Put on a big pot of salted water to boil. The saying is that the water should be as salty as the ocean. That's a rough guide....but you get the idea.

Chop up some pancetta and an onion and a bit of chili peppers.

gallery_14010_3612_776018.jpg

Sweat in a pan with olive oil, when everyone is soft and relaxed, add your tomatoes. In this case, these were cherry tomatoes that we grew up at the Tower and that I recently canned. May I have a moment of appreciation for peeling all those little suckers?? This is just one jar of them. What a royal pain. Next year they get roasted with their skins on and put in oil.

A classic amatriciana will usually use 'passato' or pureed tomatoes.

gallery_14010_3612_861895.jpg

By now, the water should be boiling. Throw in your pasta. This pasta takes about 2-3 minutes to cook, when its about 45 seconds away from being ready, take a ladle full of the pasta water and add it to the tomato sauce pan. Drain the pasta and add the tomato sauce and continue cooking until the pasta is done. There is controversy over this method...ok, we're in Italy, there's always another opinion, Marcella Hazan does not approve. I use this because I feel the pasta absorbs more of the sauce flavor this way. It can be tricky...add too much water and you've got soup or over done spaghetti.

gallery_14010_3612_528596.jpg

All done. Place pasta in the bowl, I added some chopped basil... I know, I know, you should never chop basil, only tear it. Mis dispiace!

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Our secondi was sauted chicken breast fillets with lemon. This is a basic dish that you will find in any trattoria around here. Simple meat, sauted in olive oil with some lemon, and maybe parsely, maybe not. I like parsley. :rolleyes:

gallery_14010_3612_563385.jpg

Drank a little Sicilian wine, and put my feet up after a hard day of blogging.

What about desert you are asking?? Well, I think I'm a little defective...I don't really have a sweet tooth and just don't care that much about desert. Heresy, I know!! From an Italian perspective, most meals do not end with a sweet. There might be some fruit or maybe a little digestive wine, but deserts are more for special occasions.

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Teaser photo! We went to the market this morning! Remember those empty bowls??

My kitchen usually looks a lot more like this.

gallery_14010_3612_615790.jpg

I'm trying to get the rest of the photos to load....send good vibes.....

Edited by hathor (log)
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Judith,

The pasta and chicken look absolutely divine!! Can't wait to see the market. (Hope the pictures come out.)

As for the proverb, you gotta love babelfish. Babelfish translates word for word, not taking into account idiomatic expressions, so using it is like playing a game of telephone--something always gets lost along the way. (IOW, don't always rely on it.) The translation I got came out to "Hard face and face toast, not there and nobody that approaches it" :blink::laugh:

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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It's an entire country of people that don't like their food to touch.

that is so interesting. I never thought of it like that.

Klary honed in on my favorite observation so far. The humor and insight are typical of you, Judith, but I have to say this is particularly brilliant.

As far as the technological glitches go, trust that we are la gente simpatica. It's maddening, I know. You said that your town isn't on any maps. I looked at the web site you linked to see you're close to Arezzo (Tuscany), however, when I checked my Italian Touring Club guidebook on Umbria, I noticed there isn't a single mention!! Not even "On your way from X to Y, you will see up on the hill..." No wonder your service isn't the greatest.

Meanwhile, I'd love to know if the tall stalks in your beautiful still-life are cardoons or if they're something else entirely.

And heads up to Italophiles (sp?): today is the Festa of St. Francis of Assisi. Since Umbria is filled with towns where the medieval saint and native son snatched babies from the jowls of wolves in the nick of time (Gubbio) and secluded spots where his followers led lives of austerity, it's a big day for celebration and penitence in this particular region.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Teaser photo! We went to the market this morning!  Remember those empty bowls??

My kitchen usually looks a lot more like this.

gallery_14010_3612_615790.jpg

Wow! What a beautiful display. Your photo should be in food magazine! You mentioned upthread that you don't refrigerate your eggs. How long do you leave them out before you consider them unsafe/inedible? Just curious.

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

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Ciao tutti. I'm losing the battle with the photos. I'm trying to reach Chris Armault to see if he has any words of wisdom.

On a brighter note, I thought I'd step up to the cardoon challenge! Those long standy-up celery-esque stalks are indeed cardoons. The first of the season. Over in the Italian forum, we've had mixed results cooking them. I'm happy to hear any hints.

Regarding the eggs, depends on the ambient room temperature. During the summer, I'll put them in the fridge. This time of year, I'll go thru the dozen within the week, so I don't worry too much. These eggs come from the chicken man at the market, mostly he's sells about 20 different varieties of chickens. Live chickens are cheap! Some guy ahead of me bought maybe 4 quail and paid a euro apiece. I've seen big chickens sold for about 2.50 euro a head. Almost makes me want to raise chickens. Almost. I think I could do the slaughter part, its the plucking that bothers me.

The market was good today, some tomatoes, early artichokes (more of the purpley ones), lots of peppers and dirt cheap grapes. Whole flats of white grapes for 3 euros.

Fabulous Food Babe, this is for you. This is Jeff with Mary. Oh. Just in case, Jeff is my partner and husband....Mary is one of his girlfriends. Jeff has a lot of girlfriends, most of them have been collecting pensions for years, Mary is by far the youngest. Anyway.... Mary runs "Bar Mary" where we have our coffee on market mornings. She's a woman of a certain age, and she struts her stuff, lots of backless, skimpy tops. Everyone loves Mary, she's just fun to be around and she makes great coffee. So, the long answer to your question is, if you think you are looking good, Italian men love you no matter what age you are. There is far more acceptance of women aging, its viewed as a natural occurence, not a cause for panic or shame. In general, there is more acceptance of who you are and what you look like. Its a good thing.

gallery_14010_3612_1408912.jpg

Back to food....breakfast was capuccino and cornetto!

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hathor, your husband looks mighty familiar. That's a great photo, too.

I'm wondering about the attitude toward middle-aged women working, particularly in food. Not the "Nonna" types at home, but in restaurants. (I may have mentioned an opportunity to stage at a place in Italy; this won't influence my decision, but it's something I'm curiuos about.)

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Fab: Hathor and other eG members such as Ore, Divina or Franci know a lot more than I do. However, I hope it's okay for me to pipe up and say that you'll find a lot of those nonne are respected, nay reverred culinary professionals, some of mythic stature, who run their own kitchens.

Mario Batali may be said to have an idiosyncratic take on the whole Madonna/Whore dichotomy if you trust Buford's profile of the man. He may grab and make crude remarks, but he also believes women make the best cooks, in part, because of the close relationship between home-cooking and the meals served by professionals. In his book on Piemonte, Matt Kramer notes that the most prestigious kitchens in the region are run by women and that this fact reflects local tradition.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Sandy: Yes, I am a card carrying member of Slow Food.

No, I'm not a card carrying member of the Communist party. However, during the summer, the Communists throw great parties! Seriously. Music, dancing, porchetta trucks. One town will have a Festa of Unity, the next town has a festa of liberty. We all go...but we never, ever sign anything! :laugh:

I hadn't heard that the Communists--er, Party of the Democratic Left--had become party animals, but I guess that's one great fringe benefit of the Soviet Union's implosion.

Edited to add: Slow Food is now one of the beneficiaries of the annual "Farm Aid" benefit concerts organized by Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. This year's Farm Aid concert was staged in Camden, N.J., about as far from bucolic as it is possible to get. But the organizers wanted to make a point: The farm and the city are closely linked--which is why they chose a city in a region that happens to have lots of productive farmland around it, land that in many places is threatened by development pressure.

We chose this very plain cake that is split and layered with a bit of not-sweet cream. We were running late so we got all 4 cappucinos at one time. The dirty ashtray comes with the table. Italians still like to smoke a lot, what can I say? But the good news is that they can only smoke outside now, not in bars or restaurants.

gallery_14010_3612_519238.jpg

I'd meant to toss in the post in which you mention that your son is currently at UArts. That's just a few blocks from where I live in central Philadelphia. Does he go out to eat much? What's his take on the city? Our dining scene? Local culinary traditions?

Our mayor, after dithering all summer because a political rival got the bill passed, just signed legislation banning smoking in most public gathering places in the city, bars and restaurants included. There is an exemption for corner taprooms that get almost none of their revenues from food--the threshold is so low that if you have a permit from the state to be open on Sunday, you can't get the exemption--and for outdoor cafes. Even with this, some of the bar owners are grumbling still (the restaurateurs are largely quiet; the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association has come around to backing a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants and bars). I suspect that the grumbling barkeeps will see their business rise, not fall, in the wake of the ban, just as it has everywhere else. Related to this: So the Italian government has apparently figured out that removing the subsidy to tobacco growers will result in less of it being grown--and presumably pricier cigarettes and a concomitant drop in smoking. Wonder if the U.S. government still hands out money in this fashion.

Sorry for the slow replies....I'm battling with my computer and more so with our ISP... :angry:

I have a Todd Rundgren song that you could probably relate to. Warning: This is a link to a YouTube video of Rundgren performing the song on a late-night talk show whose name has been left obscure. Given the limited bandwidth you apparently have to work with, watching this might simply provoke more frustration of the type you've posted and Rundgren sang about. Maybe it might be better if you just read the lyrics.

Thanks for the photos of the surrounding countryside! I'm pretty sure that sunflowers are grown for oil as well as seeds; if that's the case, I wonder how the growers get any out of plants that have been parched to that point. They grow wild in Kansas, hence the state's nickname.

I had also asked you about how that co-op grocery store worked. Cooperatives are not unheard of over here--the best-known ones are the farmer cooperatives that furnish their members with supplies at favorable prices and market their products, such as Cabot and Tillamook in cheese, Ocean Spray in cranberries and Farmland for meats.

The co-op grocers I was familiar with (I belonged to the Boston Food Co-op for a few years in the early 1980s) were definitely counterculturish affairs that emphasized healthier eating and sold lots of items in bulk. Members were expected to contribute time each month towards the running of the store as well as a membership fee, in exchange for which we got to shop there for good food at good prices. But I've also run across co-op grocery stores like the one in Swarthmore, which I mentioned in my foodblog, which are for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from regular supermarkets except perhaps for their product mixes. (Swarthmore's, befitting its community, runs towards high-end specialty foods.) They are professionally run and membership is not required to shop there. (I haven't checked on this yet, but if it's like my college bookstore, the benefit you get by joining the "coop" is a rebate on your total purchases for the year.)

I would think that if this co-op is true to the values of the democratic Left, the price you would pay to shop there is having to work there for at least a few hours each month (you know, the workers control the means of production and all that good stuff). Is it? Or is it a co-op where they just take your money and smile, and give some of it back to you at the end of the fiscal year? Do they overtly promote any other values, such as natural/minimally processed foods?

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Sandy, I'm sorry, I should have answered your question earlier about the Coop. Its a large grocery chain, prevelant in central and northern Italy. There is nothing counter-culture or overtly co-operative about it. I also belonged to a Co-op in Westchester, help out, lower prices, all that. No. This is just a Shop Rite. Unless...you go to the IPER COOP. Which is a much bigger COOP, it sells dishes and clothes. The most entertaining part about the COOP is that you pay for your shopping bags, BUT, and here's where the fun come in....you need to guess the amount of bags you will need before you check out. Fun, right?? :wacko::wacko:

After you reach a certain level, you get a week where you get 10% off.

Everyone shops at the COOP, we all need paper towels and Maestro Lindo (Mr. Clean type stuff...only Maestro Lindo is cuter)...oh...and Fairy dishwasher cubes. But, I'd rather spend my time and money at the market.

One last word on the COOP, we have been slowly, slowly converting all of our Italian friends to call it the coop...as in chicken coop...once they get the joke, they love it. Subversive, no??

Curtis loves Phllly. He thinks its a fabulous food town. I don't know what his take is on the cigarette ban, probably in favor of it. He's not a ....cigarette...smoker. Curtis did a great piece on the 'war' between Gino's and Pat's. Cheesesteak competitors, where I think maybe the competition is part of the publicity. He's becoming a good cook and is learing how to shop. He's too poor to eat out. :sad:

That is very interesting about Slow Food and Farm Aid. I didn't know anything about that, and its an interesting and intelligent angle.

So, FabulousFoodBabe...what do you mean my husband looks familiar?? Are you one of his girlfriends too?? :laugh::laugh:

As far as staging in Italy goes.... it all depends on the chef. Same as anywhere. I worked with polite, respectful chefs and I worked with total jerks. (I just edited what I really wanted to say...) As much as possible, target where you want to go and how you will be working with. Kitchens can be rough and very vulgar and women get the brunt of the 'joke' more often than not. Thick skin is required regardless of where ou work. PM or we can talk in Nov when we come back to NY. Oh..no....it's October already!!!!!

Nope. Can't load any pictures at all!! It rained today. I'll get up early tomorrow and figure something out!! Oh, if it rains or is windy we tend to lose the phone and internet. It's a medieval town...wiring came much, much later. Buone notte!

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  People here believe that the tongue cannot process more than 3 flavors at a time.  Oh, and most Italians  get squeemish at the thought of mxing food on a plate. It's an entire country of people that don't like their food to touch. Example: your pasta  is eaten and taken away

Meat is served on one plate, vegetables on another

Bread is eaten between courses to cleanse the palate.

that is so interesting. I never thought of it like that.

Oh, yes. You will not even see a contorno on the same plate.

In many years abroad I still cannot tollerate different foods on my plate. Or too many ingredients in the same dish...

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Chop up some pancetta and an onion and a bit of chili peppers.

gallery_14010_3612_776018.jpg

That is some bee-yu-ti-ful looking pancetta, Judith!!

Can you bring back, say, a truckload? (oh, and the rest of the photos are great, too!)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Oh, if it rains or is windy we tend to lose the phone and internet.

Me too!

One of my coworkers has just finished working a year in Naples, and is always telling me how much Vietnam reminds her of Italy. I thought, "Surely not...", but the similarities keep coming! :biggrin:

Eggs are also left out here. The dry goods shop across the street from me keeps two big bowls on the sidewalk all the time; one of duck eggs, one of chicken. They just throw a cloth over them at night. I figure the turnover keeps them fresh. If I need an egg, I just pop out my door, and she puts them in a little baggie for me. I've never gotten sick, and there's something comforting about the feel of a warm egg.

The other day when we were driving past Lenin park, there were a lot of people selling chicks out of cages, and I briefly considered getting into the chicken business, too. Then I remembered how they smell.

Eggs were refrigerated in Korea, either, so perhaps egg refrigeration is a North American thing?

Cakes for breakfast sounds wonderful. Right now I'm having a giant cup of Trung Nguyen brewed American-style, and am trying to get up the courage to crawl across the street to the pho-cave.

Do you bargain or ask for discounts in the markets in Italy? I find that really stressful about living here, especially since the prices they quote me are so ridiculously low to begin with.

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