Boun Natale

This morning I woke up at 7:11 AM, a big improvement over the typical 3 am or 4 am departure from slumber that I have been experiencing for the last week and a half. The real joy was I woke up, and then got up. That is a combo that has not happened since the day I returned. Don’t know what exactly was going on but I feel like I just woke up from a coma, or stepped out of a bell jar from which I could see the world but not feel much of it. Jet lag, depressive dark, mini flu, I don’t know, and I don’t care. It is gone now and that is what counts. It could be that I have had a big dose of babies and grandbabies in the last few days – that is pretty much the best medicine there is!

I had such wonderful adventures in Italy and I did not share nearly enough of them with you. I am going to give you a mini slide show that will cover a broad range of experiences, just to make you smile.

My welcome in Asti hotel

My welcome in Asti hotel

The Hotel Lis was in Asti, near as i could afford to Alba, the seat of the white truffle harvest.

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

or aliens??

or aliens??

Chestnuts. Gathered, salted slightly in VERY thin shells and roasted.

Chestnuts. Gathered, salted slightly in VERY thin shells and roasted.

Yummy - and different from any I have tasted before - which include - roasted, smoked, burnt, and over priced (Milan)

Yummy – and different from any I have tasted before – which include – roasted, smoked, burnt, and over priced (Milan)

That whole “chestnuts roasting on a open fire” thing, is really very good.  They use chestnuts to make a candied sweet, dry them into rocks which they then recook with water and sugar, make into a filling, add chocolate, grind into flour which they use to make pasta, etc, etc.  The part I love the best about eating them while walking around town is the double bag they come in.  One side holds the warm chestnuts while the other side holds the shells. Very efficient.   The further south you go , the more likely you are to simply get a piece of rolled up paper to hold your nuts, sans the fancy sidekick.

Pasta lesson

Pasta lesson

In Bologna – with Maribel Agullo

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The best!!!

The best!!!

Learning to roll with the mattarello

White truffles of Alba

White truffles of Alba

Truffle Hunter

Truffle Hunter

About $2,000 per pound.  🙂

Wines of the Laghe

Wines of the Laghe

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What an opportunity to learn!

Order a glass of wine at  pm, and this is what comes with it.

Order a glass of wine at pm, and this is what comes with it.

THIS is what steak looks like in Florence.

THIS is what steak looks like in Florence.

Are you seeing this Kent- These are the tomatoes I want for Nonna's

Are you seeing this Kent- These are the tomatoes I want for Nonna’s

Not bad, huh.

Not bad, huh.

Truffles with eggs – the most I could afford.

N'duya - Calabrese hot sausage packed into a stomach - good stuff!

N’duya – Calabrese hot sausage packed into a stomach – good stuff!

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THIS is porchetta. If you get ANYTHING else than this, it is a fake. Be looking for fakes at Nonna’s while I work my way up to spit roasted whole local pork.
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When you are surrounded by excellent provolone you forget how amazing it is.
Who has this much Parmiggiano-Reggiano?  Hopefully, I will at Nonna's

Who has this much Parmiggiano-Reggiano? Hopefully, I will at Nonna’s

Oops! I think that is actually Grana Padano.

THIS, THIS, THIS - is an espresso.  If it is not this, than it is not an espresso. See why I keep coming back here!

THIS, THIS, THIS – is an espresso. If it is not this, than it is not an espresso. See why I keep coming back here!

About to taste some amazing wines at the Salon del Gusto.

About to taste some amazing wines at the Salon del Gusto.

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Why are you not coming with me on my next trip??  Get your piggy bank and your calendar out – looking at January 2014.  About a year from now. Start putting your pennies away.

Ciao for now.

Marian

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6 Responses to Boun Natale

  1. My mouth is watering, can’t wait!

  2. Linda says:

    AWESOME!!!

  3. Natalie says:

    Amazing, amazing, A-MAY-ZING photos!!!! Love it. Take me with you next year. 🙂

    • You are so welcome! I can’t decide whether to go north or south, but since it will be January – probably Sicily and maybe Sardegna. Been wanting to see that island.

      • Natalie says:

        Julie and I went to Sardegna. It is definitely an island that is worth exploring. And of course Sicily has a special place in my heart (as well as yours, I’m sure). Hey, that’s where we met, right?

  4. mollie boyer says:

    Thanks Miriam – I look forward to dining at Nonna’s restaurant. Coming soon? Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. By Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles – 1992

    ________________________________

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