Panettone Elegante

Leave it to the Italians to take fruitcake and make it all good. One of these babies is from Luca and Valeria (exotic fruits…the panettone, not the friends) and the other from master earth shapers, Andrea and Moreno (figs). Buon Natale!


Christmas Lunch, Mexican Style (Sorta)


Totally NOT Italian Christmas lunch on the farm: egg and chorizo* burritos, refried beans (slow cooked in the wood burning oven, then refried in lard with bits of guanciale), and margaritas with blood orange juice. Utterly delicious!  Merry Christmas!!

* For a totally acceptable stand in, we use ‘njuda – a spicy Calabrian sausage.


High Time for Thai Time


We love Italian food, but sometimes miss the wide variety of cuisines so easily obtained in the States. No worries, though… Sweet Baby G is combining local ingredients (including basil from the garden – frozen from this summer) with key spices to make it work. Tonight’s panang curry chicken over rice was FANTASTIC!!


Presto, It’s Pesto!

Fresh basil from the garden puts SBG in the mood for homemade pesto.  Basil, garlic, parmigiano, olive oil, pine nuts, a bit of salt and pepper… and a whirl in the food processor!

We whipped this up, then added it to trofie (pasta) and a bit of leftover roasted potato.  Yummy!


Abba Dabba Do!


It’s a beautiful day, and with the tractor out of commission until the end of the month, it was a perfect time to make a quick run to Abbadia Di Fiastra.

ADF is a little borgo tucked into an enormous nature reserve.  It’s home to Sweet Baby G’s favorite church on the planet (ultra plain but large and beautiful) as well as a fantastic BBQ joint with outdoor tables.  Great time with Ron Secura!


New & Old Friends

Hopefully Not the Last Lunch

This past week we had lots of friends visit TD!  Colleen and Julianne came from St. Louis for a few days, and the Nowatskys from New Jersey spent the day with us while making a bank shot on their way from Florence to Rome.

The highlight of the week was our lunch at the abbey in town.  We learned about this place from Andrea and Emanuele who are doing all the landscape work at TD.  They go there every day for lunch.  You don’t get to pick what you eat but they said they every meal they have been served was fantastico!  We all agreed!  Maybe an odd setting but it was a blast trying to communicate in Italian and English, telling stories, and waiting for the next great dish to arrive.

We finished off the day with hikes in the vineyard, up to the grotto, then a pizza party on the parcheggio, followed by Karaoke until midnight! We love when old and new friends gather at TD and are willing to go along with our crazy ideas of fun!  That’s what happens when you live in the middle of nowhere!


Mexico & Cuba in Rural Italy

My slow-roasted pork shoulder (overnight in the wood burning oven) is being put to good use.  The masa harina for the tacos was brought to us by our friend Meghan, and SB Hadley Wilson (#sxsb) provided moral support (and taste testing) of the pork shoulder.

Sweet Baby G’s made a couple of incredible meals… with more to come!


Ciao, Meghan & Jack!

We just wrapped up a great visit with Meghan P and her dad Jack here on the farm!  Meghan is celebrating the completion of her dual Masters (Social Work + Public Health), and Jack is riding shotgun (metaphorically; he did the driving from Rome to the farm).

We enjoyed eating, wine, time with the dogs, a bit of exercise, wine tasting, more eating, more wine, etc.  Highlights:

  • Meghan brought NINE POUNDS of masa harina so Sweet Baby G can make handmade tortillas (delicious)
  • Jack kicked culinary booty using ONLY LEFTOVERS in our fridge to make the best cioppino… incredible
  • Sweet Baby G cajoled Meghan into giving a formal presentation of the results of her Masters’ project… while Jack and I sipped martinis

Buttercup was especially happy to see Meghan; BCup spent her first week and half after being busted from the Chesterfield Humane Society with Meghan… while Sweet Baby G and I traveled to the farm.  BCup spun and jumped and wiggled when she realized who Meghan was.  Now she’s a little mopey, so we are hoping the Proehls will come see us again soon!