Friday, January 25, 2013

And now we're home again -

(in the Village, I mean)

and while we were gone, Sablet went from this

to this.

Really, Sablet! You might have waited!

(Thanks for the photos, Joss)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best pizza in Florence?

Is the one at Santa Felicita (really - it is) - but there's also a very good hole-in-the-wall styled place called the Piccadilly. Just up from the Uffizi. Well worth finding.

And yes, these posts are just place-holders for pretty photos...

Bought the loveliest coat from a nice little shop called Anna. Then read an article in the NYT that said the only place Florentines buy their leather coats is - Anna.. Prepare for some outrageous smuggery when I get home...  ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

fave restaurant in Florence?

Ristorante Pizzeria Santa Felicita. Because the food is wonderful, and the people are gorgeous - and because when I was moaning about the fact that my ribollita never tastes right in Australia, Elena went through all the ingredients with me (Amika translating) and we discovered that I never used juniper berries.

So here, for your cooking pleasure, courtesy of Elena, with un caro saluto - 

la ricetta ribollita Santa Felicita

Ingredienti per 6 persone:

2 patate
1 cavolo nero intero
1 cavolo verza intero
4 mazzetti di bietola
3 gambi di sedano
1 cipolla
2 zucchine
2 carote
300 grammi fagioli cannellini ( in scatola già cotti) 300 grammi
fagioli borlotti ( in scatola già cotti) 400 grammi di pomodoro
pelato in scatola 100 grammi di pomodoro concentrato Sale Pepe a
piacimento 50 grammi di olio extravergine di oliva

Per l'olio a parte
Mettere nella pentola
200 grammi di olio extravergine d'oliva ( per far bollire gli aromi
poi aggiungere nella ribollita a
3 rami di rosmarino
1 testa intera di aglio ( lasciare intera )
3 rami di salvia
6 perle di ginepro
Riscaldare il tutto a fuoco molto basso per 20 minuti.

Procedimento per la cottura delle verdure Nella pentola mettere
l'olio e fare un soffritto con la cipolla e sedano tagliato molto fine, quando si è rosolato aggiungere le carote dopo un po' il cavolo verza, il cavolo nero, la bietola, dopo 10 minuti il pomodoro pelato e coprire il tutto con acqua aggiungere il sale e il pepe, quando l' acqua bolle aggiungere le patate, le zucchine, la metà dei fagioli cannellini e dei fagioli borlotti. Il resto dei fagioli cannellini e dei fagioli borlotti li deve frullare e aggiungere 10 minuti alla fine della cottura. Il tutto è pronto quando si è cotta la patata. Alla fine aggiungere solo l' olio evitando gli aromi girare ed è pronta. Poi quando la deve servire aggiungere un po' di pane tostato e fare bollire per un po'.

Spero che questa volta possa gustare la vera ribollita Fiorentina

English translation as per ELEVEN requests. (Demanding,? You lot? Nah...)

Ribollita Santa Felicita

Ingredients for 6 people:

2 potatoes
1 whole cabbage
1 whole cabbage
4 bunches of beets
3 stalks of celery
1 onion
2 zucchini
2 carrots
300 grams white beans (canned pre-cooked) (reserve half for blending)
300 g pinto beans (canned pre-cooked)  (reserve half for blending)
400 grams of tomato
100 grams of peeled canned tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
50 grams of extra virgin olive oil

At the side –
Herbed oil.

(ie: 200g  extra virgin olive oil to which have been added
3 branches of rosemary
1 whole head of garlic (leave whole)
3 branches of sage
6 beads juniper
The whole warmed over very low heat for 20 minutes to release the aromas.

Procedure for cooking vegetables

Heat oil in pot, and fry the onion and celery chopped very fine until softened.
Add the carrots, , leave for ten minutes.
Add cabbage, chard, let soften
Add the peeled tomatoes and cover with water add salt and pepper
Bring to the boil.
Add potatoes, zucchini, half of cannellini beans and pinto beans. The reserved half are to be blended and added as thickened ten minutes before the end of cooking.

The soup is ready when the potatoes are done,

At the end, add some (strained) herbed oil and stir in. Cover pot.

Can be served immediately, but is better the next day.

Do note that this is pretty much my own (attempted) translation of Elena's recipe, based on my knowledge of ribollita, Tuscany and the conversation with Elena, googletranslate and help from some canny Italian-speakers on AW.  If anyone can see any glaring errors please let me know. Any mistakes are mine - not Elena's. 

You may have to go to the restaurant to taste it yourself. It is worth it. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

...and now I'm all falling-in-love with Florence

which I've seen a few times before, but always in Spring.

She's even more lovely in mid-winter, the darling old girl..

Paul's photos. Tiny camera. I have no idea how he does it...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, my fickle heart....

Totally smitten with Venice, and I'll be sticking photos here soon (but none as lovely as the painting we bought today in a backstreet on the way to the Jewish quarter... by Daniele Scarpa Kos.)

Isn't he gorgeous?

Love you, Venice

Thursday, January 17, 2013

we're in Venice -

Hearing on the news that there  are, well, newsworthy snowstorms in the south of France.

Joss? Update? Photos? (I would especially like a photo of a snowman outside Bruno's, holding a pain au chocolat or something. Just if you happen to have a pain au chocolat, or something - and a snowman...?)

 Venice is lovely, btw.

Apart from all the expected gorgeousnesses, there's this sort of thing

                           And this, at night

And opera in ancient castles (stunning soprano!) and walks through the old town; and finding the fishmarkets quite by chance -

and catching a shot of this marvellous lady.

                                                             Plus, there were books.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

froid et venteux..

We're reading about heatwaves in Sydney and terrible fires in poor Tasmania, and here it is six degrees -

and feels like two because of the Mistral. I love that wind - but it blew me back before I'd gotten half way to Seguret today, and I think it looks set to stick around. It still surprises me after all this time - the fierceness of it, and the unexpected shifts and swings in direction. Joss warned me that it was no day for walking - but what's a little bit of wind? I thought.

Live and learn...

(Just after I moaned about it here, I received this delicious little note: enfin tu as connu le mistral sous son vrai jour! tu es maintenant une vraie provencale!!! So now my undignified retreat down the hardscrabble track through the vineyards seems quite poetic. Why does everything always sound so much better in French?)

It's cold and bleak and there's none of le glanage or grapillage any more. The earth is resting.

Heart you, France.