This is my end-of-the-season swan song to the tomatoes in our orto. As the vines wither at the bottom, there are yellow blossoms still sprouting at the top, and green fruit just hanging on in the middle. We spent the cold, wet spring together, you endured hail and high winds, while we worried and tried to protect you. You blossomed in the July heat and produced massive amounts of fruit in August. And now, you are closing down for the winter.
I’ve had a LOT of time to think about tomatoes, and I realized I was not paying attention. Tomatoes love bread, and bread loves them back. They were meant to be together.
This bowl of soup is why people get on a plane and travel. It can only be served in one place on earth and it tastes of that unique place and time.
You can’t make this soup at home. You can make a variation, but never this soup. In fact, this soup only exists for one day, one batch at a time.Read More
Short days and cold nights mean it’s time to shut the orto down for the season.
No more happy wanderings over to the garden to see what I can scrounge up for dinner. No more sun warmed tomatoes; instead there are soggy plants with green tomatoes that need to be picked.
I could be sad, but I’m not; I love the changing of the seasons.
There’s a little island, off the coast, between Roma and Napoli and it is calling our name. A craggy crescent of volcanic rock, Circe once ruled Ponza, singing her siren song to the tragic Ulysses. Perhaps, we’re hearing the call?Read More
Summer Supper “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” –Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin.
My camera went on the fritz and had to go to the hospital. I found I didn’t want to blog without my camera; it’s as if I’ve lost my ability to see. The camera isn’t really passive, the camera operator chooses what is shown, how it shown, what tale the photo should tell.
To share Montone life with you, I’ll have to tell my tale with words and maybe some old photos.Read More
Happy World Kitchen Garden Day!
Here’s hoping that all our family, friends and everyone else can ride out Hurricane Irene with not too much damage.
Is there a more appropriate way to celebrate International Kitchen Garden day than by making a Garden Gazpacho? I don’t think so!Read More
Is it any wonder, when the world feels baked to a crisp, why three showers a day might not be enough, and the urge to howl at the full moon seems like a perfectly good idea, that a walk to our garden, and a chat with friends, seems like a mini-vacation after the torrid heat we’ve endured?
We’ve reached the harvesting point where lunch can be made by just visiting the orto, our kitchen garden. It’s so deliciously easy now, to walk over to the garden, with no plan in mind, just a “let’s see what needs to be eaten” attitude.
It’s orto time! Orto is Italian for a kitchen garden and our garden looks set to keep our kitchens supplied all season long. May the gods of sun and rain smile upon us because we’ve got our pride on the line.Read More
There is much ado over Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine and if I had a spare room and a lot of extra cash…well, I still don’t think I’d buy it.
In case you missed the coming of this encyclopedic behemoth, it’s 5 volumes, at around 500 bucks and it’s on back order. I respect and admire the Boyz with Toyz crowd, but in general, I’m a simpler, comfort seeking cook. Let me be clear, there’s a time and place for modernist cuisine, and a time and place for comfort food. There is room to enjoy both; there is no line in the sand and both schools learn from each other.