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Monthly Archives: July 2013

On Hiatus

I’m very busy at work considering this is the last week before my well deserved 15 days of vacation. At home I’m trying to arrange all things that have to be done before leaving, and pack our bike bags (and in the process trying very hard to not forget a thing!). So I have no time for anything else (or almost) and this blog is surely one of those things I have to let go.

See you next month and in the waiting you can think of me around here……………

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What next? Quail eggs’?

If you look on the internet for my hometown, you could learn a lot of things. Just to name a few, that we have one of the oldest university in the world, or that we have a river with the same name that divides the city in two, a football team that gave us lots of satisfaction over the years, that from the bronze age we have witnessed (and sometime beared) the come and going of etruscans, romans, barbarians, franks, french and spaniards. That from them all we have inherited art, music, sculpture, architecture and so on…. That it gave birth (or citizenship) to so many talented artists in many fields (Parmigianino –  Antonio da Correggio Giuseppe Verdi Arturo Toscanini Bernardo Bertolucci Michele Pertusi Lino Ventura Franco Nero Alberto Bevilacqua ).

You could learn also that we have so many companies that work in the food department, such as Barilla, Star and Parmalat and that we hold one of the biggest food trade fair in the world, or that we are home to EFSA. After all, they call us the “italian food valley”….. And that’s the reason for this post. We have two local products that are the envy of the entire world, the Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. For the fourth year the best chef  in Italy and abroad met to marry these two international food treasures with ice-cream……yes, ice-cream. An old but renovated farmhouse hosted the event, and I’m fortunate enough to know the family that runs the establishment………

Here is a glimpse of what the best chef came up with….

Soup with prawns with Parma ham and parmesan&rugula pesto ice-cream (from maybe the best chef in town, Marco Parizzi

Parmesan and orange zest ice-cream with crusty layer of Parma ham and fruits salad

Veggie baklava with Parmesan cheese filling and Parma ham&menthe ice-cream, by the chef of a restaurant in Providence, US

Steamed and fried cod with tomato sauce and Parmesan&Parma ham ice-cream

Mascarpone cream with green&white asparagus, Parma ham, blueberry and black truffles ice-cream by a chef in Shanghai

Angus fillet carpaccio with fried Parmesan ice-cream and balsamic vinegar gelatines by a chef in Oman

Olive oil ice-cream with crusty layers of Parmesan cheese and ham

The most difficult part was to take photos as soon s the dishes were presented, it was hot and the ice-cream was not a fake one, so it melted after a while….and yes, it was difficult not to grab everything as well……the smells of cheese and ham were filling the summer breeze and you just couldn’t ignore it! Luckily there was a buffet after the event and we treat ourselves!

If you want to know more about my hometown, see what I wrote before about it here.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Talking about friends, motorbikes and food (yes, again…)

Last weekend was about all that and more. There’s nothing beside my family that I love more than spending time with my friends. I guess that not having siblings has a lot to do with that, they are our choosen family, the keepers of our hearts and dreams. So when late saturday afternoon E&L called to see if we were free to have dinner with them, we promplty said yes. It was at our usual (mostly on summer) place, we had simple but very tasty food, enjoying the fresh breeze of the night and most of all, each others company….

You know, we are headed to Germany in 2 weeks, they to Austria (this year our roads are different) so we thought it was about time we trained our stomach to this kind of food….

But the desserts were a local production….

Sunday morning we drove to this race track where our friends L&S were waiting for us. L was intended to test his ability once more…and he did, improving his timing, with our support….

It was so very hot, and eventually he had enough, so after a well deserved shower, we helped them to pack and to load the bike on their truck. We looked for a place to have lunch (and at almost 1.30pm we were very hungry!) and we finally found this awesome place, managed by so very kind people….

The place was so cozy and peaceful, and the food……….God it was gooooooooood………..

The company was even better……….scratch that, the company was the best part………..

After a while we were the only customers there, but the owner simply relocated us under the front porch, and ruling that it was almost 6pm, snack time, he offered us this treat…

We had a great time, great food, and we stored more sweet memories….is there more to ask for?

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Sunday it was about perfection…..

You know, my husband has this cousin, A. They are 5 years apart but they grew up very close, even if they never lived in the same town all their lives. He worked almost all his life with his family as a peasant and a farmer, with not much free time. A few years ago he changed job and he has finally more time to dedicate to what he really loves, his partner A., his true passion (to dance) and his bike! We followed them around every time we could to see them and their group dancing rock, boogie and swing (and they are reeeeeally good!).

Considering dancing is their true passion, it’s not that often that we can be together driving around. Usually it’s just for a day off, last time we drove our bikes for a short vacation together was back in 2009(!) and then just a few times from now and then. So when he called a few weeks back saying that the two of them and their dancing companions (all bikers, obviously!) were organizing a trip to a lake in the mountain, would we like to be on board? You already know the answer………. We called also our friends E. and L. and we were ready!

Last sunday was the day. We all met along the road at fixed places (considering we all live apart), 20 people on 13 bikes, and the view climbing up was really nice….

After a few miles on a gravelly road (so we drove very slowly) there it was, our final dstination, Rifugio Lago Scuro (the Dark Lake hut)

A short visit to the restroom….and we were ready to walk along the little lake and into the woods…………….

Come on A., leave that cell alone!!!

We weren’t alone there, but the others nature lovers hadn’t a bike’s engine under their backside!

Back at the hut, a little refreshment offered by the mountain itself and some time for a little talk….

The fresh air and the walk had a consequence, we got all very hungry, husband was the first to sit down at the table on the terrace

then he traded place when we all arrived for lunch

Sorry, I was too busy eating, laughing, taking photos of my buddies to take photos of the food, but God……was it good!!! Below, the manager of the hut (the owner is the community) and her husband, she’s the cook and they both are so funny to talk with……….all you have to know is that they did the Way of St. James, twice, by foot …..how many stories to tell, and they are really good at sharing them………….

It was the longest lunch in history! We were having such a great time talking, inhaling the fresh air so full of smells, drinking the specialty of the house (kindly offered, and thank God it wasn’t that much alcoholic….)

Finally we got up and ready to leave. We drove through some areas that last winter were severely damaged by landslides and flood, and my hearth hurt to see such beauty so devasted, and thinking about how much the people living there lost.

We stopped for a coffee (and to say goodbye to each other) at a little village where we used to go when my daughter was very little, to escape from the city heat…..see the house below, upper raw of windows? we stayed there…..

It was really the perfect day, you know, when you’re at ease with everyone, you’re doing what you like the most, having a great time talking and laughing for nothing, good food, peaceful and stunning surrounding………..just what you need to feel blessed and recharged……….

 

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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