You never forget your first sformato. We were in that little trattoria on the north shore of Green Lake, absorbed by an inner glow that transcended the gusts of rain throwing themselves against our window. Inside the restaurant with its fabulous smells, all was candlelit and cozy.
Our waiter’s humor and his rounded Balkan accent were totally [...]
I’d love to tell you that the tomatoes here at Chez Bullhog were wonderful this year, but it just ain’t so. For a true tomato connoisseur, this is one tough admission.
Homegrown tomatoes here at Chez Bullhog
Oh, we put the plants in the sunniest spot in the garden and by turns coddled and abused them at [...]
My little Scottish grandmother looked at me through the lenses of her silver-rimmed glasses. ‘You do what?’ Her voice was shrill. We were talking about hunting wild mushrooms. Obviously, she did not approve.
Trawling the shops on New Hope’s main street some time later, we ended up in a slick store that sold cheeses and specialty [...]
My Italian was not at all up to this. ‘Lo sportello automatico non pagare il denaro,’ I said to the beautifully tailored man across the desk from me – as close as I could get with my tourist phrase books to ‘the bank machine ate my money.’ I felt perspiration rise on the back of [...]
Our green door with its dodgy lock opened onto a path with cobbles worn smooth by bathers going down to the sea. Mornings, we made the hike down to claim our Ligurian beachfront with colored towels and plastic buckets. Later, when the air had cooled, we made our way up the path to join the promenade.
Somewhere between the former hospital of San Lorenzo and the Porta Nuova we began to wilt. The sun blazed. The children whined. The paintings we’d been to see had been uninspiring. And as usual, we’d gotten a late start so we were out during the mezzojourno – that time of day when all self-respecting Italians [...]
Picture the setting: a big old castellated building thick with stonework southeast of Siena, surrounded by the Italian equivalent of a county park. Three women of ascending age have carved a restaurant out of two rooms on the ground floor, accessible through ancient doors near the car park. We Bullhogs have come here to dine.
My petite Scottish grandmother looked at me critically through the lenses of her silver-rimmed glasses. ‘You do what?’ Her voice was shrill. We were talking about hunting wild mushrooms.
Trawling the shops on New Hope’s main street some time later, we ended up in a slick store that sold cheeses and specialty foods. I picked up [...]
In a Ligurian delicatessen, with the Mediterranean sun streaming in from the nearby Golfo dei Poeti, one of the festive goodies on the shelves close to a big display counter was bright red peppers stuffed with tuna paste and preserved in olive oil. They were presented in whimsical bottles of assorted shapes and sizes, all expensive and all so very Italian.