the paper table cloth guide to dining in Rome

A writer I do not know personally, but whose writing I very much like for its directness, recently wrote of a Roman trattoria; why can’t we have more of this unpretentious shit in Sydney?  She hit the nail on the proverbial head because Roman food is, on the whole, very simple, and the environment in which it is served very basic, and I love it that … Continue reading the paper table cloth guide to dining in Rome

more than just milk

Latteria – from latte, means a place that sells milk, making it the Italian equivalent of a milk bar back in the day when milk bars sold milk and a few other milk related products. Over time Roman latterias morphed into bars (that sell coffee – but that’s another interesting story) or little grocery stores, and there are still plenty of gems from the 1950’s around … Continue reading more than just milk

ten.9 the art of simple

The Italy that I love, that I inhabit, that I feel content to be bringing my children up in, is what I call everyman’s Italy.  It is above all an accessible Italy, where the best things in life are free (or at least cheap); a world made up of rambling public parks and bustling markets, of boisterous small town festivals and homely trattorie.  A world far away … Continue reading ten.9 the art of simple

ten. 8 eat the season, or what Italians do with vegetables

Green is a winter vegetable around these parts, or in other words, so many winter vegetables are green.  And when I call them winter vegetables that is because they are.  Only.  As in only in winter.  Not a broccoli in sight around here over the warmer months, not even in the most shady of supermarkets. Greens of very shade fill the market stalls in the … Continue reading ten. 8 eat the season, or what Italians do with vegetables

ten.7 something old something new

What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel’s pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome but which she now probably makes using notes from the very same Dan, her friend and baking mentor.  Dan is reminiscing about all things baked in … Continue reading ten.7 something old something new

ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

The late summer harvest season has been wonderfully satisfying in its very humble way on our little patch of volcanic soil at Lubriano.  Apart from the tomatoes and (Lebanese) cucumbers, we have had blooming amethyst like plums and our own crop of hazelnuts from the tree that rose from the shrubby bush inherited three years ago.  There have been trips to collect blackberries and baskets full … Continue reading ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

candied peel and walnuts

Originally posted on rustica RETRO:
? Mum always starts early on her Christmas baking; plum puddings, shortbread and rich fruit cakes might be made from about July onwards, so bags of candied orange peel, used also in her Genova cake and other regulars, can generally be found in her pantry year round.  Being a lover of such sweet sticky delights I know just which old… Continue reading candied peel and walnuts

to shop or not to shop

If a city, especially one like Rome, is a great outdoor museum, then shopping is one of the (legitimate) ways of exploring it.  Lexically speaking to do the shopping or fare la spesa is a needs based activity, consisting mainly of a long list stuffed into your back pocket (or left at home on the kitchen bench) and a slightly unpleasant haul through the nearest supermarket.  Certainly it becomes … Continue reading to shop or not to shop