The earthquake hit the central mountain areas of Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche. Dr. C. and I spent last night in a hotel at the Rome airport; the earthquake woke me up out of a sound sleep; for those of us used to this in California, it felt like a shaker that went on for about 30 seconds. There was no damage that was reported in Rome, and we headed for Spello (central Umbria) at 11:30---there was no damage that we saw along the way, and when we got to Spello (a medieval town) there was no damage that we could find.
How can you help? I'll update this page, but right now the best bet is donating to the Red Cross. We aren't able to donate blood since we haven't donated here before and they need the blood immediately. This weekend was going to be the celebration of the pasta that Amatrice is famous for, pasta all'Amatriciana. I have no idea what will happen now, but pray for the people who have been affected by this tragedy. I'll be back with an update here and on my Facebook page. Until then ciao and buona notte.
Update: Go to this link for ways to donate:
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
We flew into West Yosemite, Montana (check another state off the visit list) and shuttled into the park to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, our first overnight stay. The trip included everything, even gratuities. We were assigned a tour guide, and driver, who took us out every day. This park is so large that it would be impossible to see it all, but we hit all the highlights. Our first day out, we visited Old Faithful (across the parking lot) Old Faithful erupts every 90 minutes or so, and early in the morning the crowds are smaller.
|I didn't take this photo, since it's impossible to get an overhead shot.|
|This was our limo for the week|
|Day 2 had us out in the valleys, seeing Bison, and other animals.|
|Not the most attractive animals in the world|
|A trip to Cooke City, Montana and there is a Hoosier Bar (not open)|
|Can't imagine what it is like in the winter, since there is still snow on the high elevations in August.|
|Capturing a rainbow|
|Teddy Roosevelt loved Yellowstone, and camped somewhere near this place|
|Stagecoach ride; the kids on the top loved it!|
|The gate at Mammoth Hot Springs|
|Mammoth Hot Springs|
|More thermal pools|
|Our last day, we were treated to a ride in these 1937 buses that have been refurbished; it was a blast!|
We covered all the high spots in the park, and had a great time. We met people from all over the world, not only were they on our bus, but they worked in the restaurants, and hotels. Our weather couldn't have been better, in the mid to high 70's during the day and cooled down to the 40's at night. I highly recommend this trip: the wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and the opportunity to see an unspoiled wilderness were all highlights for us. This year the National Park Service is celebrating it's 100th anniversary, and we should all celebrate the fact that these beautiful parks have been preserved for all to enjoy.
Friday, July 15, 2016
There is so much in Sicily, food-wise, it continues to be influenced by so many other cultures that the foods are hard to describe. Today I made Caponata, a condimento, served either hot with a main course, or cold with wine and cheeses as an apperitivo. I'm not exactly sure how I will serve it tomorrow night, but it's going to be delicious either with the swordfish from Catalina Offshore, or the cheeses from Venissimo. Since the eggplant is coming in at Specialty Produce, it was time to take advantage of that, too.
Caponata is an example of agra dolce, or sweet and sour. For this version I am using balsamic vinegar (instead of the typical red wine vinegar) and golden raisins instead of sugar. I like the balance these give to the otherwise robust ingredients.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 ribs celery, chopped, including the leaves
8 cups chopped eggplant (skin on)
1/4 cup tomato puree
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons capers packed in brine, drained and chopped if large
1/4 cup Spanish pimiento stuffed olives, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat and saute the garlic, onion, and celery for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
Add the eggplant, and saute until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the raisins, capers and olives, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the parsley and basil, season with salt and pepper. The caponata is actually better served the next day, after the flavors have gotten to know each other.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
No one does breakfast the way you do. I'd read about your diner on Road Food and when our daughter bought a house nearby, we had to come and try your breakfast. We'd read about the lacy thin crispy hash browns, and the home made hash, but we had to see and taste for ourselves. Unfortunately, we are now addicted: me to the Kiki and my hubby Dr. C. to the hash with two eggs over easy, our daughter to the Western omelette. I haven't even tried anything else on the menu---why mess with perfection?
Let me start with the Kiki: shatteringly crisp hash browns layered with crispy bacon(or sausage) perfectly cooked eggs, cheese, sour cream and scallions---when they ask if you want toast, it would only interfere with this tower of perfection. I dream about this breakfast, and since we live in San Diego, we only come a few times a year, but when we do come to Connecticut it's full on breakfast time.
Dr. C. loves the hash, which is made in house, instead of coming out of a can. When he orders it, he knows that Pete will cook it with a crispy crust (the way it should be) and then two perfectly cooked eggs adorn it. Homefries are crispy, and well seasoned on the side. Toast? I don't think so!