Tag Archives: al fresco

Mother’s Day all over the world 💐

Because the way I see it, why stop at one (yours) when you can have a few more? As a mother of a young man with a family of his own, I’m happy to receive a simple phone call. But if you think of the holiday on a worldwide scale, mothers are getting special treatment throughout the whole month of May. I thought it would be fun to observe Mother’s Day on different dates by cooking a dish from a country that is not with the majority who will be celebrating this coming Sunday. For Spain and Lithuania it was this past Sunday, May 6th, so in honor of those mamas, I made Spanish fish stew marmitako and Lithuanian honey cake medaus tortas to serve al fresco.

Mother's Day picnic

Rosé season is already upon us so that meant opening a bottle of pink. This Aka (named after a rare Japanese coral) was lovely and delicious – dry, fresh, berry flavors – and a perfect match with the tuna stew and honey cake. Yesterday, May 8th, it was Mother’s Day (Parents Day to be more precise) in Korea and I cooked our all-time favorite – bibimbap. This Sunday is going to be even better because I am not cooking and a 20% off coupon from KFC is sitting in my bag…

Aka primitivo
Aka rosato from Puglia: http://cpvini.it

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It’s a good day for a hanging

Make that every day with the way the weather has been these past few weeks. Even though the nights are rather cool, during waking hours it feels like early summer – perfect conditions for grilling and dining al fresco. Ever since the Slow Food Cheese event last month, caciocavallo impiccato (hanging cheese at the Molise food truck) has been on my mind and that’s what got me started on our own ‘cheese dangling’ experiment.

Caciocavallo impiccato homestyle

At the supermarket you can buy quartered caciocavallo which is just the amount we needed. At first I attached the cheese to a bamboo pole but quickly abandoned that idea as it wasn’t too practical. The Moth then set up his work ladder and with a few minor adjustments, the cheese could hang on its own. That left us free to grill the rest of the food and start into the wine.

October grill

I’ve discovered a kit for hosting your own caciocavallo party at home. You have to watch it (adds real meaning to the phrase “hanging around”), but I think the best way to enjoy this is at an Italian sagra like the one below. Look at those babies swing!

Tuscany day 3: Montelliccio dog beach, and more pesce fritto

Maddie at Mortelliccio

Our two “kids” are seasoned travelers in that they do fine on road trips, carry valid canine passports, and behave like saints at restaurants and in public places. This is the first time taking them to a dog beach/spiaggia per cani, and as it goes with all firsts, it’ll either be a good or a bad thing.

It was a hit.

Mr. B's first encounter sand

As I suspected, this landwiener stayed clear of the water and had zero interest in getting his feet wet. He was so engrossed with digging that all other dogs were ignored and not worth barking at.

Mr. B at Mortelliccio

I’ve never seen them so doggone ecstatic, so blown away by this fine, soft, dry material that falls back on itself. While Mr. B dug a hole to China, Maddie investigated the waves and had a sip. Bleah!

Maddie's first encounter ocean

The Mortelliccio location (north of Follonica) was surprisingly clean, long, and not crowded as I had imagined. Visiting before summer is most likely the reason, but I have no doubt the place sees a lot of quadrupeds and their humans during peak tourist season. From the pay-park (1€/hour) it’s a short walk to the beach.

da Mauro e Andreia

We spent an hour soaking up the sun before heading back for lunch, but not before picking up more of that delicious fried seafood from da Mauro and Andreia’s in Castiglione della Pescaia.

Lunch after the beach