A tiny ball of energy launches from a nearby tree and comes speeding up to my window. Its blurred form resolves as a hovering little bird with a shimmering green body distinctly outlined against the sky and jet black eyes looking nervously around. Its wings beats so incredibly fast there is only grey in the [...]
I left the trail to scrabble through waist high ferns, pushing aside pesky branches as I climbed. A hundred feet up the tangle gave way to a sparse grove studded here and there with massive stumps from old growth trees long gone. These giants of the landscape – each one the size of a small house – [...]
Some years ago while hiking with friends on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, I came across a band of people wandering through the forest. In their billowy clothes and long hair, they looked a little like wood elves as they meandered off the trail among the trees, occasionally dropping to take something from [...]
We were ogling the biggest provolone I’d ever seen – hundred pound cheeses that hung in heavily roped tubes – when a great booming voice startled us.
“Hey, you two!” A fleshy, bespectacled guy glared at us from behind the counter. “If all you’re gonna do is stand there shooting the bull.” …I was totally convinced [...]
Morning mist rose off the Tiber as Mauro swung his little van onto the forbidden streets of our Roman neighborhood. Sunlight glistened at a low angle, highlighting every crack and crevice in the faces of 15th century tenements. Wheels clattered against cobbles and slowed.
‘It’s okay,’ he assured us, conspiratorially as he eased the van to [...]
At Chez Bullhog, we absolutely love chanterelles. Sautéed with a knob of butter and a bit of salt and pepper, they’ve been the quintessential taste of autumn around here for years. Just the thought of chanterelles evokes falling leaves, the smell of the forest floor, and the thrill of the hunt.
While I like to think [...]
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 [...]
In a shop just off a sunny piazza in Colle Val D’Elsa some years ago, I watched the proprietor take down a bottle. He shook it just a little and held it up. Shriveled black balls the size of fat acorns, backlit by the sun, moved in golden liquid at the bottom. ‘Truffles,’ he said [...]