Monday, 28 March 2011

The holiday home kitchen.

    Viva l'Italia. The Italy that goes to work but also that which takes a holiday !   And it is more or less after this cry that we took advantage of the 150th national commemoration holiday to enjoy a long week-end, with it taking the opportunity to reopen our summer house after it'd been shut the whole winter. 

   The kind of house - really I should say 'tiny-winy little house' - where everything, starting from the kitchen, is scaled down in size, just as one would expect of a second home...

    (but no compromises on spices, herbs, and the one essential tool of all self respecting chefs: a good set of knives!)

...and where, whenever you go, you bring the entire contents of your home fridge with you. Then improvise...
So, off you go with a Minestrone soup (perfect for throwing in all that's available, and by definition always surprise because never twice the same).

Lightly cooked, no frying or anything, just a little fresh parsley and  tarragon (my trade-mark) added at the end togheter with a little olive oil to dress it. Of course,  the oil is that made by Erica's mum, whose olive trees I can see from the terrace and check whether they've already been pruned or not....

Other perishables in the home fridge? 
Well, there's always the tortilla solution, another dish that's a perfect excuse to use up lots of veggies. In this case I had a fridge load of artichokes and so here is a tortilla with potatoes and artichokes. 
little green side salad makes it a wonderful lunch. Especially when eaten out in the sun after a whole winter indoors!

If there's something else that just can not bear being left for too many days it's bananas. But then a long weekend also requires some form of cake, particularly for those wonderfully slooooow breakfasts that during ordinary days are no more than a dream. 
Hence, very quickly whilst packing, I baked one of my all time classics,  ready to take with us, then maybe eaten lightly toasted and buttered: my banana loaf, a never let down...

Then there's Sunday, and Sunday is still Sunday - just as in the end we'll always remain part-Brits - so ... Sunday Roast it must be:
roast leg of lamb,  inevitably served, at this time of the year, with sautéed artichokesBecause traditions matter. And the difficulties encountered in northern Italy in finding a properly raised lamb are null compared to the final result and pleasure ...

It goes without saying that in between breakfast, lunch and the occasional snack, there was plenty of time for a stroll through the narrow streets of our beautiful village. And if someone has been wondering where our magic little house is, here are some pictures of Perinaldounspoiled tiny village perched high on the hills above Sanremo.

(this is a slightly unusual post, just so as to share where I go when I disappear ...)

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