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Sweet Friends

Lamb with artichoke drops



How is your winter going? Here in Umbria the weather is fairly good , yes days are wet and gray but we can’t really complain after all it is still winter, right?
These  months, when you live in the countryside, are always very slow and boring. Each day starts with taking care of the chickens and goats then filling two wheelbarrows with wood for the indoor fires and then when all the chores are finally done, a hot double espresso coffee as a reward.
Last week I was able to use and improve on my newly acquired butchery skills, and I must thank my friend Eva for that. Her and her husband Fumo own a fantastic Agriturismo (holiday farm)   near us where they breed lambs, pigs and chickens. The great feature that distinguishes their farm from most is the total freedom their animals have to roam around wherever they wish. Not only is this great for the animals but also means all this activity turns and ploughs acres of land for Eva and Fumo.  Wonderful, there aren’t so many Agriturismi left in Italy  like that! Anyway, Eva gave me the opportunity to carve and select  pieces of one of their lambs. The meat was fantastic and what you see in the picture are some delicious lamb chops with an artichoke sauce that Nick and I dined on that evening, many thanks to you Eva.
Another great opportunity that came my way in the last few days was a chance to visit a charming Wine Cellar named Paolo and Noemi d’Amico, not far from Orvieto. Thanks to another sweet friend Elodie,  who is a French agronomist and his companion Guillaume who is the winemaker of the winery, a few of my Sommelier friends and I were able to spend an absolutely fantastic wine tasting afternoon. The beauty of this winery, which I definitely want to go back to with Nick , is not just the attention and love they put into the wines produced, but also the style and dedication put into every aspect. Details like large candles and carpet gracing a long corridor which is full of wine barrels and has a huge fireplace at the end ….I very much felt like a princess walking the plush length of  that corridor. At the end of the day I was so happy that I came home with two boxes of wine, which made Nick even more happy !!!
The rest of my time is spent experimenting with  new dishes and I’m also in the process of organizing my diary for the spring/summer period with the cooking classes, catering for private parties and setting up tours of the wine estates in the Orvieto area etc etc. It won`t be long before spring has sprung and everything will start again and to be honest I can`t wait, I love it.

Anyway, for now I should stop thinking about tomorrow and concentrate on today: in fact I had better get down to basics and go  fill another wheelbarrow with wood! A big hug to all of you from a lovely green Umbria.

2 comments to Sweet Friends

  • jackie

    I hope you don`t have to chop the wood as well as everything else. Keep up the good life.

  • Kathleen

    Ohhh—you make me envious….we are currently in “Deep Freeze” mode on our majestic, beautiful island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean (Newfoundland & Labrador)!! It’s been sunny, but we are patiently tolerating temperatures of Minus 15 to 16 degrees Celsius with windchill factors of around -22 C.

    I look forward to reading your blog like I do a good novel—keep it up and enjoy your beautiful indoor fires and your delicious coffee :o )

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