Just in case some of you were wondering about the lack of food on recent blogs, here are a few morsels.
Our day in Cortona ended with an invite to supper with our new chum E in her farmhouse. Also there were two of her friends, U and B, and so we had a really lovely evening getting to know them. They also live outside of town with olive groves and vineyards (deep sigh).
E prepared her usual vast table of delicious appetizers: enormous black olives from Puglia, salamis, caponata (an Italian version of ratatouille), slivers of parmesan and last, but not least, an amazing relish made of oranges and finely sliced white onions. I managed to extricate the recipe from E, but it will be trial and error making it as she doesn’t have an idea of quantities, just what ‘looks right’. This was followed with a delicious stew of pork shank and ‘riso venere’ which is a black rice (not Paola’s thing at all, but the rest of us liked it). Pudding of blackberry mousse and slabs of buttery vanilla sponge.
In Assisi, close to the plains of the Val di Chiana farming area, we had a meat feast. Everything cooked in the open kitchen on a wood fire. Jamie had a chicken burger??doh! And I went for the mixed grill of italian sausage, chicken breast, lamb chop and belly pork slice. Where was Daisy when we needed her, but we have a scrummy doggy bag to fly home with very soon. See www.labraceriadiassisi.it.
After lunch, wandering through the side streets of Assisi we came across a shop stuffed with salamis and cheeses. Their speciality, though, was wild boar – several stuffed examples of which were scattered around, inside and out. We bought a salami from Norcia – a small town to the south-east of Perugia which has recently suffered a devastating earthquake. They are famous for making the best salami.
Today, after a simple lunch (Venetian-style liver with onions with mashed potato for Paola, beans and pig trotter stew for Jamie) we ate at home this evening. Supper (a simple pasta with tomato sauce) was prepared by Jamie. We have been using the garage as a very effective fridge and now have an effective system of bringing what we need up from there to the kitchen in a wicker basket. How rustic!
This afternoon we went to see our terracotta floor peeps and discussed having the stairs done too as the marble is quite cracked in places and could be a dangerous slip-hazard. And it will look so much better – but not cheap as we have six flights. Also went to the blacksmith next door and discussed having new banister rails made (to replace the ugly wooden things we currently have – they look like they were stolen from an Alpine chalet).
But now for the good news………
WE HAVE FINALLY APPLIED FOR OUR RESIDENCY!!!!!! We had to pay for the full private health insurance, but with that it all went smoothly. Now we just need a visit from the local police and we should be good to go. Huge sigh of relief. And thank goodness we live in a town where you aren’t dealing with anonymous officials, but with people who you see regularly. Hopefully, that means we won’t have to wait for the full 45 days before we can start work on the house.