The Next New Thing

Recently, as in for the last few days, I’ve been getting in the bad habit of writing my blogs the next day or the day after. For example, I started typing this at 9 am on Tuesday. It’s now just about 1 on Wednesday and I’m finally finishing and uploading three days of pictures. Well, 2.5 days.

I went for a run on Tuesday (the New Thing) because it wasn’t too hot to move. It felt good, especially since the first part was uphill. The views at the top were beautiful, and I’m glad Giacomo showed me the way to go. Next time it rains that’s what I’m doing. Today is HOT again, so I will beach myself and maybe do some abdominal exercises when I get home or before we leave. Or maybe not.

Tuesday night I made some very Garlicky Pesto. I wish my hair was as pretty and curly as the pasta I cooked for it, fusilli col buco. I also made a pan roasted veal that I didn’t try and some delicious (if I do say so myself) pisellini alla fiorentina (peas with pancetta, florentine style). Sep has been helping me by making the salad dressing every night and people really seem to enjoy his Hidden/Recently Discovered Talent. Professor Calleo disliked the consistency of pretty much everything I made (too much pesto sauce, not enough olive oil, not enough sauce for the meat, etc.) and chided me for not following the menus, so I’m changing everything I’d already planned and hoping it makes a difference. The reason I haven’t been following the menus is because they’re all illegible, have incorrect page numbers attached, are in cookbooks that don’t exist or have entire sections missing, or feature things that aren’t in season. Oh well. I’m currently in the process of at least typing them all up.

Breakfast this and every morning was oatmeal with fruit and yogurt. I had a flat peach and cherry yogurt on top of my oatmeal and it was delectable.

The fruit has been confusing me. The melons, for example, are delicious and perfect every time. The peaches and apricots are hit or miss. Sometimes they’re wonderful and other times we buy them, one half rots, and the other half doesn’t ever ripen. The cherries are perfection but are almost out of season. The bananas are standard and the plums aren’t quite ready yet. Both apricots and plums grow on trees on the estate, so we have to watch for when they’re ripe and get them before they dry out or fall off the tree to the ground.

I took pictures of our tea time tray for good measure because I’m pretty sure I haven’t showed you what that part of the routine looks like. It’s nice-every day at 5 I bring it out to the terrace. I’m developing good tray-carrying muscles. Sometimes I make iced tea for the gardeners, which I think they appreciate.

Last night, Tuesday night, was the last night our guests were with us. Zizi, David, and their friend Marieke left this afternoon just before lunch. Paul, the last gardener, also arrived yesterday so I cooked for 9. I made just enough of everything so that everyone was fed, but there were no leftovers except a bit of the stew the meat was in to mix with pasta for lunch today. Things turned out pretty well, even though I was skeptical of my ability to make them successful when I was planning them out earlier in the day. I was worried about whether or not I’d be able to use an Italian cookbook to make a dish, but it turned out that I can. I’m pretty excited about it, and about Google’s ability to translate ingredients and instructions for me. I made Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, or, literally, “spaghetti as a prostitute would prepare it,” Salsicche alla Molisana, and Zucchini alla Salvia e Vino Bianco (sautéed zucchini with sage and white wine).

The other picture is of today’s lunch. Look how big that watermelon is! Turns out when you cut into it there isn’t much substance in there. I think we should have bought a smaller one. Also, I’m very proud of the bread I picked out. It’s quite tasty, which is difficult to find on the island.

I’ll try to find time to write more of these, which should be easier to do at night because we don’t have any guests anymore so we won’t have to do a lot of entertaining. Tonight I’m venturing into the world of cooking with anchovies and liver!


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