Blue skies on the horizon?

Blue skies ahead
Photo by Rubber Slippers in Italy. Derivative of IMG_0376, licensed under CC BY 2.0 by clay53012.

Well, there’s a 70% chance – according to weather forecasts – for clear skies this weekend, and one can always HOPE. A tuscan holiday is still on, but in the event we end up stuck in a hotel while it pours outside, there’s a bar downstairs and free WiFi to entertain ourselves. I’ll show you the first thing I buy when we go shopping.

Italy Week as deemed by Masterchef Australia

The direct result of this unrelenting and unsummer-like weather is that now there’s more time for television, even if it means watching shows that are 2 to 3 (or even more) years old. Masterchef Australia 2012 (series 4) is just one of those programs that snuck up on me while I was cursing the fact that we were short on Campari, and while I’m aware that it’s reality tv in an apron, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to enjoying the drama between contestants while they battled it out during Italy Week. Lucky Ozzies. Too bad they had to be dubbed over in italian so that we can understand them. Rome, Tuscany, the ginormous Barilla factory in Parma – the top 10 finalists made me green with envy when they met Gualtiero Marchesi and sampled his risotto oro e zafferano. Heck, his precious rice dish matched the color of his cooking school!

Screen grab
Marchesi on Masterchef Australia
In Marchesi’s words, risotto is at the right point when it’s al dente without being raw.

Antipasti dinner, chicken Sunday lunch

Antipasti dinner

Sun or no sun, weekends are meant for meals like this. Burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, white bean puree, lavender chicken, zucchini just plucked from the garden, chocolate ganache/salted caramel tarts! Here’s the thing – I was infected influenced by Masterchef. And as silly as that might sound, I’ll be drawing inspiration from the Italy Week episodes and taking it one step further by recreating some of the australian recipes in my own italian kitchen.

Pollo della Domenica

A taste of what’s to come: criscioletta di Cascio

As mentioned in the previous post, we’ll be in for a change of scenery when we head out to Tuscany for some food festivals, and here’s a taste of what to expect. Criscioletta, a specialty exclusive to Cascio (Lucca), is a very thin pancake made with corn flour, durum wheat flour, and water. Cooked between 2 steel plates, the flat rounds are embellished with pancetta to produce a very tasty snack. I found this youtube video and couldn’t help but mentally reach for a bottle of Sangiovese (at 10am!) as I watched this, so I hope to remember to take photos of all the action while we’re there!

Video credit: Mauro Bertoncini’s Cottura Criscioletta

Weather update: this will be the year that everyone (by now) will have wondered what the heck happened to summer. We were doing just fine a few days ago at 28°C, but now we’re back down in the lower digits and it hasn’t changed since this morning.

Temperature 7.24.2014