May 20, 2007

A Perfect Spring Outing

I always dreamed of living in Europe after my first visit in 1973.
My grandfather was born in Paris, my grandmother in Russia,
My mom raised in Shanghai.
I was not happy in the suburbs.

I dreamed of all my friends marrying airline pilots
and each of us living in a different European Capital
so we would always fly free and have a place to stay.

Well that didn't work out, but here I am anyway.

What is nice about living somewhere fabulous like Tuscany is when friends come to visit.
Yesterday my friend Don Genova came down from Parma where he is studying at the new Slow Food campus

We toured the Central Market with another student from the program Betsy and interviewed some of the artisans for Don's radio show which you can download and listen to.
We tasted our way through the market, Parmesan Reggiano,Traditional Balsamic Vinegars, Mostarda... in jelly form, tripe sandwiches, cookies from Sardegna and of course wine!

Tough job but someone has to do it!

Trying out my new program on them, which includes touring the market in the morning with a light lunch followed by a day in Chianti and dinner at Dario's new SoloCiccia.
Is there too much of a perfect thing?

wine at Casa del Vino

view from the 222 road from Siena to Panzano

Driving the backroads in the wine country is so incredibly beautiful, we had to stop.
When Don and Betsy went into the field to take foto's of the new grapes forming on the vine,
they found some wild peas.

from our chianti drive fresh tiny wild peas, tasting of almonds...or arsenic?

work, work, work

A stop at Dario Cecchini's shop before dinner feasting our eyes
with Kim as our hostess

Dante, of course, at Dario's

Commerative plaques to the demise of the TuscanT-bone during Mad Cow
and then it's return.

Dario will soon be opening a Steak School

After a day like that I need to recuperate.
Lunch a panzanella salad.. without the bread
(ok just a slice to soak up the juices given off)

I used tiny tomatoes from Naples called datteri, dates,
raw red Tropea onions from Calabria
Peeled cucumber
red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
salt from Trapani, Sicily

Spring is in the air... but summer is just around the corner!

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