Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Bird Is The Word

My favorite holiday is fast approaching, and I am getting very excited for it.  Who wouldn’t?  It is all about food!!!  My Aussie husband didn’t take long to adapt to the American traditions surrounding Thanksgiving, once he realized that important fact.   We have been invited to other people’s homes for the last few years, so it has been a while since I have had to face the ordeal of cooking The Turkey.  Now, I can roast a chicken like nobody’s business, and have even mastered duck.   

Isn't my duck pretty?
But turkey?  It frightens me.  No matter what delectable side dishes you present for the rest of the meal, the guests will always remember the turkey.  Was it dry?  Was it flavorless?  No one will eat it, (even under a gallon of gravy) and you will be stuck with turkey leftovers for weeks.  I normally love leftovers, but really – there is only so much you can do with turkey.  I have tried many different ways of preparing it, even going so far as to roast it inside a paper grocery bag like my aunt used to, but it never turns out like I envision it should.   And that is why I am happy to leave that to others.  I will make some lovely side dish, and perhaps an appetizer.  We’ll take a nice bottle of Port or Madeira.  And I will enjoy the undoubtedly delicious turkey prepared by our hosts.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cooking in Foreign Countries

My recent story about truffle hunting made me nostalgic for the trip that included that wonderful day;  our week of culinary delights in Umbria, Italy.   The seeds of this trip started long ago, when I met my soon-to-be Aussie husband and was trying to figure out where we could go out for dates.  Through strange co-incidence, we had each signed up with the same new cooking school before we even met, and on our third date (at a wine tasting event) discovered that fact when we happened upon the chef instructor.   Cooking classes?  The perfect date!  It must have been a great idea, as we took a lot of classes.  When we heard that the chef instructor was planning culinary trips to Europe, we couldn’t sign up fast enough. 
And that is how we wound-up in a hilltop villa on the outskirts of Perugia on a fine fall week in October. 

The view from our bedroom
Pretty nice, huh?

During the height of truffle season, I may add.  We took daily forays to local markets, to olive oil pressings, to artisanal meat curing houses.  And oh yes there was the truffle hunting.   

They had even arranged to have a real, live Italian chef come to the villa and teach us how to make pasta.  Pretty much the perfect trip, if you ask me.
How to make pasta the right way

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Me!

I have been officially posting for a year - yay!  Thanks for coming along for the ride.  My Aussie husband is getting itchy to travel again, so stay tuned for our next adventure...