Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In Which We Travel to Umbria to Celebrate a Birthday, and I Discover the World is Flat

On Friday, Dr. C. and I rented a car and headed to Umbria to stay in Spello and see our famiglia Angelini at Enoteca Properzio.  We were also invited to a birthday party in Umbertide, to celebrate with our friend Rick Breco from Noi Salon.  His friend Jenny Nichols owns Ca' Di Gosto located near Umbertide, and with directions in hand we headed north from Spello on Sunday.  The weather over the weekend in Umbria was rainy, windy, and cold.  In fact on Monday (liberation day in Italy) there was new snow on the mountains. 
Snow in the Appenines
 We arrived at 1 p.m. just behind the birthday boy.  As he popped out of his Smart Car he revealed that he had a cast on his foot.  He'd broken his foot, and had just gone to the hospital to have an X-Ray and they put a soft cast on it, till he could see the orthopedist after the holiday weekend.  But our boy was not swayed, he wrapped it up in plastic, fashioned a sole for the cast out of a wine box, and was walking around all day.  To say that Jenny's place is gorgeous is an understatement; take a look for your self. 
Last of the wisteria

they had hoped for a sunny day to have the party out here

This was the old pig barn, now a beautiful little retreat

olive trees

When we arrived, the crowd was just getting started on the Prosecco and wine.  It was a fun group, a mixture of Italiani, British ex-pats who live nearby, and the gang from Noi Salon (some of our favorite people)
People always gravitate to the kitchen area

Jenny (left) her daughter Daisy on the right

The gang from Noi Salon, L to R:  Rick, Massimo, and Mariella, Rick and Massi don't know it but Dr. C. and I are taking her home with us!

Birthday boy

Look at that leg!

Sad face---don't let this fool you, he had a great time

Dr. C. can always find someone to talk with

Rick and his friend from Norway---the guy gets around

opening presents

 Jenny has cooked all over the world, for a lot of famous people, and the food was exquisite, I'll let you sample with your eyes, we got to eat till we couldn't move and they had to roll us to our car

beautiful dining room
The birthday kids
and yes, there was birthday cake, and pavlova, and zabaglione, and more cake and brownies

So how did I discover that the world was flat?  I've been here at the American Academy in Rome studying their Sustainable Food Project for the past 3 weeks, and Jenny was the person who helped Alice Waters to design the composting project here back when they first started.  How cool is that? 
Thanks Rick and Jenny for such a beautiful day, and for introducing us to some new friends.  What do I love about Italy aside from our friends and famiglia Angelini?  This kind of a day, where you meet new people from all walks of life, eating and drinking and enjoying life.  Happy birthday Rick and Jenny, wishing you both a year filled with joy, laughter, love and adventures.  Ciao for now. 

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