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Pretty Pretty Good!

Chocolate and gelatin pear dessert served with coffee cream.



After a fun filled hectic Christmas spent with family and friends Nick and I decided we would have a quiet New Years eve with a good dinner, maybe watch a movie and then go to bed! In short, no big celebrations saving all our energy and enthusiasm for New Years Day when we would take a trip to the Tuscan beach with Lui the dog for a long long walk,  then go to a restaurant  for a good fish lunch on the Ansedonia beach .

But let’s start from the beginning on the 31st:  Although we had planned a laidback evening  I decided to wear a little ‘make-up , a pretty outfit, nice shoes and a dash of Chanel No.5. Nick had spruced himself up too and he had put on his best  black shirt. By 7pm the aperitif was ready, some canapés and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the house was nice and cozy with both the open fires lit and outside the night sky was filled with lots of bright shining stars, giving off a beautiful light. Then during the aperitif, suddenly, a  piece of coal jumps from the fire place and lands on my favorite skirt making a huge hole (a beautiful vintage skirt made from white organza and taffeta ). I must say ,the expression on my face was not happy so Nick spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince me  that (a)  the hole wasn’t too bad,” in fact only you can see it,” Nick said” because Simona you know it’s there” and (b) maybe it wasn`t the right thing to wear in front of an open fire. My dear friend , his theory did not go down at all well so to take my mind of it I opened a second bottle of wine and I tried to forget all about it!

By 9.30pm  the fish was prepared and ready to go in the pan, our handmade black tagliolini pasta (made with squid ink)was cooked in boiling water, drained and cooked for a few more minutes in the pan with the fresh fish and thyme. Dinner was ready ,Nick lit the candles and poured more wine.
Believe it or not, after dinner the hole on my skirt was still there! So I then decided to change my clothes for something more country while Nick was busy  putting on some music.

Then when I came back to the party that wasn`t really a party, I do not know how or when it happened but we began to dance. A little jive and a little bit of tango, or at least we thought it was jive and tango dancing ,going through one room and into the other to the sound of Frank Sinatra on the player bringing in the New Year!
At midnight we walked outside to  watch a few fireworks coming  from the village of Allerona and then we came back indoors and carried on dancing, just like Fred and Ginger. An unexpected beautiful night.

Unfortunately, the next day a certain someone had a headache and the idea of a long drive to and from Tuscany was not so attractive anymore.” All that journey just to enjoy a few minutes on the beach,” this  voice was saying “ frankly Lui (the dog) is so old  he will only want a 5 minute walk ! Plus , let’s face it , Simona , the fish at the restaurant will probably be left over from the day before”. In short, the party’s over, my Fred Aster had hung up his dancing shoes.

However, as an alternative to the Tuscan sea trip we did decide to have a nice long walk by the Bolsena lake , our dog Lui (much to the amusement of other walkers in the car park) refused to get out of the car , preferring to sleep (nothing it is more exciting than a long siesta in the car!)


Lago Bolsena


Before coming back we made a short visit to Pitigliano and with the sound of our snoring dog in the background we made our way back home.
Nick offered to cook us a full roast English dinner and I  prepared a chocolate dessert. By 9pm we were on the couch by the fire with a nice rich chocolate and gelatin pear dessert served with coffee cream.




In the end ,these two days had been nothing like the plans we`d made, but still they had been pretty pretty good!

So as for my New Year’s resolutions I’m going to: (1) live each day without too many plans (2), learn how to dance, (3) never wear  dresses that easily catch  fire!

Buon anno a tutti voi. Happy new year to all of you and I hope we all have a fun year, full of good food, lovely wine ,good health ,silly stories from Umbria and beautiful pictures by Nick.

8 comments to Pretty Pretty Good!

  • Kathleen

    Beautiful story….hubby & I also had a nice quiet night on New Year’s Eve too. We ate fresh scallops and had champagne and chocolate around midnight as we watched the fireworks around town from our front verandah.

    We also spent a non-traditional New Years’s Day with dried salt cod and fresh molasses-raisin bread for brunch and a plump duck for supper….yummmmm

    Happy New Year to you and yours!!

  • jackie

    Beautiful story and beautiful photos.Loved the romance and reality of it all.
    Happy New Year.

  • jackie

    Beautiful story beautiful photos.Loved the romance and reality of it all

  • Estelle tieman

    Oh, so that is why we didn’t see you for a drink New Year’s Eve. Sounds like a scene from a movie, Casablanca ? As to the fire hole in your skirt, have no fear it can be repaired at Estelle’s fix it shop on via Della buca. I have great experience in closing fire holes, as while at the folco barn fire the week before, I was grilling hamburgers in front of one of fires, and was attacked by lying ash. Got home and noticed four large holes in my coat. Good thing iwas leaving for Malaga the next day. Have a. Great new year, Malaga is beautiful, hint.

  • Natalie

    So sorry about the skirt! Happy new year to you, Nick and Lui!

    What a small world.. we are going to Pitigliano next weekend!

  • LindyLouMacinItaly

    What a lovely story, even if your skirt was ruined, you had a lovely couple of days, great resolutions as well Simona. Happy New Year and may 2013 bring you and Nick all that you might be hoping for. I love the photos of the lake, which I am missing, but thankfully I am loving being near the sea at the moment.

  • Krista

    What a gorgeous place to go for a walk. :-) It is so lovely and peaceful. I just found your blog via An Italophile and Life in Italy and am so delighted to read about your world. :-)

  • I would like to thank all of you and also the people who have sent me emails with good wishes.Plus, a big welcome to the new people who have joined the blog . I hope you have a nice, interesting, fun and healthy 2013. Ciao e grazie ancora.

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