June 2016

June 2016

1Patrizia Cantini’s new e-book: Patrizia’s Italian Cookbook: 100 authentic recipes from Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.  As she writes in the introduction:

“I can assure you that the 100 recipes you will find in this book are all true recipes, and many of them come from my family. My mother Mirella was in fact born in Emilia Romagna and then she moved to Florence, where she met and married my father Giorgio. So, I was born in a family with a double culinary tradition.”  The recipes are easy to follow and each is accompanied by a lovely photo of the finished dish. If you like cooking and love Italian food, give this book a try. You can find it at:  http://amzn.to/1WAKMRk

24 June  Art

We head off to a Palladian villa near Lonigo for an art exhibition.  Who is showing we asked Ugo (who, along with his wife, is taking us there in their car.)

“Oh, it’s for emmerging artists,” he says with adismissive wave of his hand. This is the kind ofvauge answer he always give and indicates that he does not know the answer.

We arrive at the lovely villa and discover that the two featured aritists were both born in the 1930. It’s about time they emerged, I thought.

The paintings were…well…old. Old ideas, old exicution.  There were several monochrome paintings: large canvases spray painted with a flat even color. Atisits have been tinkering with this idea since the late 1800s and have continued right on up through the 1960s.

2I was reminded of the play Art by Yasmina Reza (translated into the English by Christopher Hampton). In it a fellow pays an incredible amount of money for a plain white canvas, expecting his best friend to praise his choice. This does not happen. Instead what follows is a series of arguments about the nature of art and an examination of friendship.

But back to the art show at the villa. The venue was lovely.  Here is an atristic  photo of the villa’s resident cat.

 

 

5 June  Happy Carro Armato Day

3We stopped into the Osteria Carroarmato for a visit and Annalisa sat down to chat. “I opened the Carro Armato twenty-eight years ago today,” she announced. “Let’s celebrate.” Champagne, a fine Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc followed. We were joined by Stefania and Ugo.

“I can remember the very first time Patricia and Michael came in here,” she said. “They ordered Tocai Rosso.”

“Wow, what a memory!” said Stefania.

“Oh, I don’t remember everything. Only exception al things. And believe me, 24 years ago foreigners did not order Tocai Rosso! Patricia and Michael were interesting and we started talking.”

And twenty-four years later Annalisa is my best friend in Verona (and one of my 6 truly close friends in the world).   Above is a photo of Annalisa and me and my wedding dinner.

2 June Chievo fans celebrate!

4aWe are off to a Chievo event in Valpolicella.  Michael suggested I bring a sudoku magazine. He tried to bring me up to date on the team gossip – who is staying and speculation on a possible new coach.

I arranged my features into a listening pose while thinking of that Gary Larsen cartoon that shows a person talking to his dog. In a balloon over the dog’s head we see what the dog hears: Blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah.

I actually love this annual event. There’s dancing ancinet disco music. There is always a conga line (called a trenino -little train).

5Several Chievo calico fan clubs gathered in the lovely little Valpolicella hamlet of Bure, to eat and hobnob with the owner of the Chievo team, Luca Campadelli.  What a nice man he is.  Here is a photo of Michael, Campadelli and our pal Maurizio. Campadelli always comes to this event to show his support.  The other big news is that we won a huge Parmesan cheese wedge in the lottery.

 

 

DSCN0362The tail-end of May…I decided to clean out the closet where we keep our wine.  The goal was to see how much of the 5 boxes of mature wine was still drinkable.  And the only way to find that out is to open them.  I called Susan H. and suggested she come to Verona and we could cart 6 of the around 40 bottles to the Carroarmato and taste them with Annalisa, her staff and any clients of the osteria who would appreciate older vintages.  Alas, I made this plan without consulting Annalisa first. She had already decided to close the Carroarmato on the day named.  I decided to pull the cork on 6 wines with Susan and Michael. Two of the wines were good and 2 of them were sublime. The other two had succumbed to old age.  4 out of 6 was a better average than I had anticipated.  The good wines were a Tomasso Bussola TB Amarone 1990 and a Weingut Adalbert Jung Rheinhessen 1992 Riesling Auslese.  The Great Wines were a 1997 Opiz One from Willie Opiz.  It was vivacious and fruity and fresh.  And….  1985 Fieramonte Amarone from Allegrini. Yes, this is a picture of the wine in front of our pizza dinner. The wine was stunning in its elegance: dried cherry fruit finely woven with darker tertiary flavors. A hush of a finish that stays long on the palate and in the memory.