The Year of Eating Dangerously

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Sept 12, lunch. Where have I seen this sandwich before? On the way Frankfurt to Milan on Lufthansa.

Sept 12, lunch. At Siro in Torgiano with Jan, Craig and Eileen. A pasta with fresh tomatoes, mozarella cheese, and some arugula mixed in. Nice for a warm day. And a piece of cheese from Craig's pecorino, pear, and honey plate.

Sept 12, lunch. Caffè macchiato.

Sept 12, snacks. A biter bianco with a slice of orange (san biter comes in red and white) and some olives. These are huge olives, made by someone who sells them in Marsciano, which have a strong taste. Not baked out of them with chemicals, but not bitter. or, rather, just bitter enough.

Sept 12, dinner. At the Antica Osteria delle Valle in Todi. A bit of an antipasto: some crostini, sliced meats, cheese, and olives. All done very, very well. This is now turning into one of the best restaurants in the area. With the whole gang, including Jan, Craig, Eileen, Ellen, Carlo. And Daisy, the dog. Wine: 2003 (a GREAT year) Milziade Antano Sagrantino di Montefalco. Amazing how much difference a little aging makes.

Sept 12, dinner. At the Antica Osteria in Todi. A pasta with shrimp, tomato, and zucchini. Done very well. Getting the shrimp flavor into the pasta can be hard, but this sauce really captures it.

Sept 12, dinner. More fish, hoorah! A small lake fish, very, very tasty. Amazing sauce which was (I think) just olive oil and some of the juices from the fish.

Sept 12, dinner. Or dessert, rather. Three desserts, rotating around the table.

Sept 12, dinner. And a caffè macchiato.

Sept 13, leftover lunch. Cheeses (5 of them, including a capra sott'olio, pecorino di manciano, red peppers in a cow-milk cheese, a caccio from the south, and some aged pecorino. Plus bits of leftover ribs and duck, olives, sausages.

Sept 13, lunch. Caprese salad. Fresh mozzarella from Volpetti, along with tomato and basil from the garden. All at Colle delle Querce, with the gang.

Sept 13, lunch. Figs wrapped in prosciutto, plus olives from up the road.

Sept 13, lunch. Capacolla sliced thin, and cinghiale sausage cut into small rounds.

Sept 13, the caprese, up close and personal.

Sept 13, lunch dessert. Vin Santo (called "dulcis" because Vin Santo is now a DOC and you can't call your wine Vin Santo if it's not Vin Santo, which this isn't) and tozzetti.

Sept 13, more dessert. Freshly harvested almonds, cracked production-line style.

Sept 13, snack. A fig. Just one, not the whole basket.

Sept 13, dinner. Joel's BBQ Ribs. Fresh off the grill. Italian pork is great. Served inside Colle delle Querce (because it was getting cold outside!) with Carlo, Jan, Ellen, Eileen, and Craig.

Sept 13, dinner. Macaroni salad (do you know how hard it is to find elbow macaroni in Italy? Harder than you think in a country where all of the grocery stores have an entire aisle dedicated to pastas). Cole slaw (good, but not perfect) and potato salad (perfect).

Sept 13, dessert. Chocolate cake and ice cream. From a bakery in Perugia (the cake).

Sept 14, breakfast. Cappuccino, fig, grapefruit juice.

Sept 14, lunch. Leftovers. Ribs, cole slaw, potato salad.

Sept 14, lunch. A fig for dessert.

Sept 14, snack. A caffè macchiato.

Sept 14, dinner. Joel's Amatriciana prepared according to Lucio Pascarelli's recipe. This involves crisping the guanciale (or pancetta in this case) and combining it with the pasta at the last minute, rather than cooking it in the sauce. Wine: Antonelli Sagrantino, 2003.

Sept 14, dinner. Zucchini side dish. Just quick sauteed. I used a bit of the leftover pancetta oil to help add some flavor (OK, that's cheating, but I'm allowed). At Colle delle Querce with Jan, Ellen, Craig and Eileen.

Sept 14, dinner. Dessert of leftover chocolate cake from Carlo's birthday party the night before. Italian cake frosting, as I've experienced it, is a hard, thin shell rather than a thick goopy layer. Maybe that's just in Umbria. I don't order a lot of chocolate cake in Italy.

Sept 14, dessert. A couple of figs.

Sept 15, breakfast. Figs, grapefruit juice, cappuccino.

Sept 15, lunch. A bit of caprese salad. The mozzarella is only a few days old so this is a wonderful use for it.