Happy Labor Day to those across the pond! The month of September started off in the best way possible, making everything here in the chestnut forest feeling wonderfully cool and so very refreshed. It wasn’t the heavy thunderstorms as predicted, but a look around the yard is enough to tell me what a little bit of moisture can do to bring things back to a happy state.
Of course it’s not just the change in weather to be grateful for, but also fall produce that are beginning to show up on shelves. There’s the last of summer’s peaches and nectarines, grapes have taken the place of plums, and figs are coming in strong.
Fico Rosa di Pisticci, purchased at Iperal Calolziocorte at 4,98€/kilo
Speaking of figs, I’m really picky, going for the sweet, dark variety flown in from Turkey. This year, however, I came across a variety that I’ve never seen before – Fico Rosa di Pisticci. These are cultivated in southern Italy, specifically the Basilicata region, and have a delicate sweet flavor. They’re the size of a walnut – perfect for halving onto open-faced tarts, pizza, focaccia, crostini, and bruschette. I’ll be posting what I did with the 3 1/2 pounds purchased yesterday if we don’t end up eating them all as is!
Not that it’s raining NOW, but with the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing this month, today’s sunny skies and 85°F could just as well go back to last week’s wet and 60°. The first 10 days of May felt very much like early spring – a lot of showers to bring on the flowers. During that period we opened the last bag of heat ‘n serve cassoeula from La Cassoeula del Togn. It’s a new start-up business that takes an old family recipe and markets it with home delivery service. Brilliant!
We didn’t actually get delivery since we wanted to check out the restaurant and pick up our order at the same time. We left with 5 bags at 10€ each which is a great value considering how much work goes into making this traditional winter dish of pork ribs, skin and cabbage. Each vacuum-packed portion is a generous 500 grams and wrapped in a jute bag. Add to a pot along with a small amount of water, heat, and serve!
We’re a bit critical when it comes to the quality of any cassoeula other than my late mother-in-law’s, but I have to say that La Cassoeula del Togn’s is really, really good. I mean, just look at how gorgeous it is. Makes me wish that it would rain some more.
As I mentioned earlier, the temps were chilly in early May but the dogs had their own way of keeping toasty. Place a pillow on the dachshund and the westie will climb right on top like it’s her damn right.
Mug cakes seem so yesterday (remember when the recipe circulated via emails?), but not surprisingly, this microwave dessert is still around and claiming space in the baking section of italian supermarkets. Going by the name of TorTazza, or cake (torta) in a cup (tazza), there are 2 flavors to choose from: red velvet and apple pie. Apple pie? Red velvet? In a cup? I dropped Apple Pie into the cart when MotH wasn’t looking.
Add mix to mug, stir in 4 tablespoons water until blended, nuke for 90 seconds. Cool and eat.
There are 3 ways to prepare it: with water, with water and whipped cream, or with sparkling water. Now I know some people go bleah at carbonated water but it results in a softer, fluffier texture and no weird taste (to me anyway). Concentrated apple and lemon juice powders are listed among the ingredients so there is a hint of apple flavor. To make it better, a good squeeze of whipped topping does the trick. Perfect for this weather we’re having today.