I swear I’m not trying to rub it in, but unless you are in central Italy, right now, and unless it rains again, you probably won’t be able to taste the elusive prugnolo mushroom.

There is a prugnolo cult in Umbria. Small signs pop up on restaurant windows simply announcing ‘prugnolo’. Nothing more. No dish is mentioned, no hint that it’s a spring mushroom; it’s an insider thing. That would be an insider who is willing to pay for her pleasure.

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In all the chaos of the past few months, I was struck with by a lightening bolt moment of clarity. And, gee, no surprise, it was at the dinner table.
With all the intriguing restaurant dinners, hastily grabbed meals, take out and delivery, we were losing our personal social mooring. Gobbling food in front of a computer does not a dinner make. Shared meals matter and it wasn’t until I was making this dinner that I realized how much they matter to us. What’s that silly pop song? “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?”

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As I’m walking into our local grocery store, the Euro Spin, AKA “The Spin”, an elderly, hunched over lady is staggering out of the store lugging a massive flat of white mushrooms.
Of course, I’m thinking, “What the hell is she going to do with all those mushrooms??”

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My freezer has always been a tomb. It’s where odds and ends would wind up, behind the ice, lonely and forgotten. I’ve been able to dedicate significant real estate in the freezer just for cocktail glasses. I know that’s ecologically irresponsible, but the fridge came with a freezer and we like to have ice. I…

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