They Might Be Grapes

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }


Proto grapes, originally uploaded by Bob Nease.

Second season, but the first sign of genuine GRAPES. We shall see. B is a proponent of aggressive pruning; G is afraid we’re truncating potential grapes. I hope we get a bunch or two!

Facebooktwitter

Lettuce bed update

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }


Lettuce bed update, originally uploaded by Bob Nease.

Well, it looks as though the movable lettuce bed is a success. We’re having our first batch of salad before the weekend is over. YUM!

Facebooktwitter

Grow, lettuce, grow…

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }


Grow, lettuce, grow…, originally uploaded by Bob Nease.

G attempted to grow arugula last year. It was very tasty, but burned quickly in the hot sun. This year we put together a rolling lettuce bed; this will (allegedly) allow G to move the lettuce out of the sun and into the shade as needed… we’ll see!

Facebooktwitter

Chicken Fried Heaven

G and I heard about Clanton’s after listening to about 15 hours of Lynne Rosetto Casper on The Splendid Table. Lynne’s show features Micheal and Jane Stern near the top of every show, giving recommendations from the road… and we happened to hear their glowing review of a Clanton’s in Vinita, Oklahoma.

Vinita is on route 66, right on our way back from Arizona. The timing was perfect, so we stopped there this morning for an early lunch (after arriving in Oklahoma City around midnight). It was everything the Sterns promised and more. The chicken fired steak had a slight lemon flavor, and the white gravy was super yummy. If you have the chance… GO!

Facebooktwitter

Travel Tips — Cinque Terra, Italy

Cinque Terre is a group of five fishing villages (Monterrossa, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore) strung along a beautiful section of the Mediterranean. Although these towns are relatively easily accessible by train, there are very few roads, and thus the entire area is pristine and romantic. A well-marked foot trail – hundreds of years old – winds from village to village, through olive orchards and vineyards, several hundred feet above the ocean. Making the hike from one end to the other is a must. For the full hike, take the “milk train” from wherever you’re staying to either the northern-most village (Monterosso) or southern-most village (Riomaggiore) and hike the other direction. (Monterosso is the most developed and has a good-sized beach, so if you plan on swimming at the end of your hike, start at Riomaggiore.) For more information about Cinque Terre, go to www.cinque-terre.it.

WHERE TO STAY

We arrived in Vernazza on a Sunday afternoon without reservations. On our way from the small train station, an elderly woman named Giuseppina approached us and asked – in Italian – whether we needed a room. We did, and it was a hit!

Villa Giuseppina. #9 Via Gionvani Battista, Vernazza. A fully-equipped two-level apartment that easily sleeps four. (The second level is a loft… not a lot of headroom!) You’re likely to find Giuseppina at the market on the main road (Prodotti Tipici, #19). If she’s not there, ask for her.

WHERE TO EAT

Trattoria da Sardo. Via Roma 60, Vernazza. Good, simple Italian fare. Up the main road, towards the train station.

Ristorante Gianni Franzi. Piazza Marconi, Vernazza, Just off the main square, down by the water. This place was really delightful, and each dish was better than the next. Excellent fish, fantastic trofie al pesto (a Cinque Terre speciality). The waiter suggested a great Sicilian wine, the name of which we foolishly forgot to write down, and we’ve never been able to find it. Magical.

Facebooktwitter

Travel Tips — Firenze (Florence)

If you’re into art, visit to Firenze. We went there for a night just to visit Michelangelo’s David (Bob’s only real competition for Gina’s attention). Because it’s only 1.5 hours from Roma by train, a day visit is possible. If you want time to visit the Duomo, do some high-end shopping, and take in a meal, however, consider spending the night. Tip: when visiting Firenze from Roma, be sure to take the EuroStar (no stops), and get reservations to ensure you have a seat.

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Mario’s.
Via Faenza 89, Firenze. Near the train station; about 10-15 minutes by foot from the main attractions. Nice place to stay with families, old wood beam ceilings, nice bathrooms. Contact the hotel at hotel.marios@webitaly.com, or visit www.webitaly.com/hotel.marios.

WHERE TO EAT

Cantinetta Antinori.
3 Piazza degli Antinori. Excellent food, both for lunch and dinner (we ate there twice in less than 24 hours)! Simple, although a bit formal (the room upstairs is a bit less formal). Great chianti classico reserva, and their own wine as well. Excellent tuna and white bean salad, and amazing cabbage rolls. Gianfranco Stampa, the well-dressed Italian owner, floats from table to table to ensure that everything is in order.

Osteria Il Mostrino.
141 Via Borgognissanti. Great, simple Tuscan fare. Great pasta, chicken, veal chop. Informal, relaxed, really fun. Most tables have a view of the open kitchen, so watch them cook.

WHERE TO SHOP

Firenze is infested with high-end stores; you’ll have no trouble finding them. One small but very cool store is Replay, just off the Arno. They have great t-shirts, jeans, tops, etc.

Facebooktwitter