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Archive for October, 2013

Last Day

We’re home. Our last day was classic Indian Summer and we took full advantage, spending every possible minute outside in the city. I mostly simply enjoyed, but did bring out the camera to capture some of it.

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I’m not done! There is more to come from our Taste of Orvieto trip and the weeks preceding it. Cheers!

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Honey

On Wednesday we visited Casa Parrina, where they make honey and produce olive oil and olive oil products. What a treat! Morando, Rosella and their son David operate the small organic farm. The setting is beautiful on a hill with views back to Orvieto and the Duomo.

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They make a variety of honeys. One is chestnut, which was our favorite. They also grind the chestnuts into a chestnut butter in a machine custom designed by Morando. In addition they add honey to the chestnuts for a fabulous bread topper.

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Fresh honey, top. Chestnut butter better than peanut butter, middle. And our sampler, bottom.

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They served us a wonderful lunch of antipasti: bread, meats and cheese, on which we put the various honeys. This was followed by a lovely soup, wine made from their grapes, and then dessert. Dessert was the creamiest ricotta topped with honey and paired with honey mead, the first alcoholic drink of the world.

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A sunny, warm day accompanied us on the visit. It was complemented by the warm hospitality of our hosts. How lucky are we?

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First, our morning sky today.

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So, what did we cook and eat with Simona? We started with two antipasti – cous cous arancini and Parmesan biscuits. Arancini is typically made with rice, but Simona, being the wonderfully inventive cook she is, had us make one with cous cous. The Parmesan biscuits were topped with red onions cooked to a delightful crisp.

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Next we had carbonara, and we learned so many wonderful tips on pasta and making sauces. This carbonara has no cream or butter – just eggs, cheese and water to create the sauce.

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Then it was a tomato ragu with sausage and mushroom, again with useful tips on making a fabulously light and wonderful sauce.

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Finally, we capped off the meal with a beautifully light and flavorful tiramisu.

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The counter after dusting the tiramisu with cacao.

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We were so pleased to have Simons’s husband, Nick, join us for lunch. All of which led to bliss, an incredibly rich, fun, fabulous day.

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Grazie tante Simona.

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Before seeing all the fabulous food we cooked, the cooking itself.

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Today we had one of those beautiful experiences. We traveled the few miles to Allerona to cook with Simona. We have cooked with Simona before in Orvieto, knew what a great teacher and cook she is. But we had not been to her beautiful place nestled below the medieval town of Allerona.

We’ll start with the setting. The day began with the typical morning mist. So we arrived with hills obscured, somewhat mystical. Then, as the day unfolded, the sun emerged and the surroundings began to reveal themselves
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Random Shots

Woke to another misty morning, and some pics from the last few weeks.

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Kristi and I sat outside the Blue Bar yesterday in the warm sun having coffee. Soon Kim joined us from Zeppelin, then Lorenzo, then 2 Aussie ladies about to cook with Kim and Lorenzo. Then Lorenzo brought a bottle of prosecco out and called for calzolio – Federico the shoe maker. So, an impromptu street party!

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Misty in the market this morning.

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