The past few years, I've been spending the Holidays at the villa. It's quiet, beautiful, relaxing and, I must say, downright contemplative. In fact, the past two years I've spend Christmas Eve and day by myself. As much as I like being social and spending holidays with friends and family, I can't bring myself to spending a day like Christmas with families that have young children - especially Italian children. At the expense of sounding totally Scrooge-like, Italian children seem to be the most spoiled, ill-behaved little monsters on the planet. God bless them. God spare me.
This is the first year we've put up a Christmas - see, I'm not a total Scrooge. In fact, we put up three Christmas trees. My three kids - not the spoiled, Italian kind - bought me a great gift this year. Rather than buy me something that would certainly pass with time, they bought me three cypress trees to replace the ones that fell down a couple of years ago. Before planting them in the garden, we grouped them together in the wine cellar and made them look like one giant Christmas tree by wrapping strings of lights around the grouping and then tying red ribbons on the branches. After New Year's, we planted them in their permanent place in the garden. Thanks kids!
Also, this year Terlizzi was lit up like never before. It was absolutely magical!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This was our Fifth Annual All-American Thanksgiving. It's a feast that everyone enjoys and that Italians find wonderfully peculiar. We prepare things they've never tasted: stuffing, cranberry sauce, pecan pies and bars, etc. The feast also helps dispel Italians' notion that in America we only eat junk food. This year we also had the pleasure of our friend's, Dan Berndt, company. And Dan takes some of the most amazing pictures. Here are just a few samples.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Mid-October brought a very interesting group of people - from Canada. Eight gentlemen with an appetite not just for eating but for cooking, drinking, sightseeing and just enjoying each other's company decided to leave their wives and varied women-folk back in Nova Scotia and take a trip down Puglia way. Two are very well-know chefs with wonderful restaurants in Canada and the rest were just friends who wanted to eat, sleep and be merry learning how to cook. And cook they did! They are avid followers of Slow Food (even though the local butcher was a little too slow in procuring just the right cut of pork for their porchetta) and just general lovers of all that is good in the world. They even video-recorded the entire week for a documentary to be broadcast in Canada. Oscar has yet to join them.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
This summer we had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful guests from the north - way north: Iceland. Maybe the further north that people come from, the warmer they are. An amazing group of people - but boy can they DRINK!! And they introduced me to Reyka vodka :-)