Tuesday, 1 September 2009

holiday round-up

No updates for the past fortnight because we've been away, lording it up in Italy for a week and then enjoying the social event of the year in Florent-en-Argonne for Matt & Virginie's wedding.

une bon mariageI could list out everything we ate and did, but that would take *forever* and it's supposed to be a holiday so I'll highlight a few things instead.

1. Italy was mainly Parmesan and beer/wine-based. I cooked twice - classic St Hugh ratatouille for our Tuscan Ashes Party. Yes Ronald, our ASHES PARTY. I also sprayed a bottle of beer into the pool.

ratatouilleEarlier in the week I also 'knocked together' a meal for eight, as you do. It was the usual chorizo & tomato salad, parma ham, mozzarella and peach salad and a chicken, spinach and pasta dish one of spana's friends cooked for us on the Isle of Wight years ago. I'd forgotten about it, but desperately searching for a recipe based on what we had in the fridge which would feed large quantities of people inspiration struck and I cobbled it more-or-less together. The kitchen was very small though.

cooking for eight2. We had a lady come to the villa and cook for us twice. She was amazing! I'm going to attempt her risotto at some point, once I've decided what went into it. Veg mainly, and definitely celery and celery salt. I'll have to experiment...

3. Eating out in both Italy and France is the best thing ever. We swanked it up in Italy, and other than the wedding, we ate in a local brasserie in France and EVERYTHING was brilliant. We didn't eat the local French delicacy of Pieds de Cochon however, although we did have Pike as part of the wedding feast. It was curiously very nice, who knew?

5. Florent-en-Argonne is the home of Dom Perignon. Ana didn't get too over-excited because she's a lady.

champagne6. The milos will eat *anything*. On our last night in Italy we went to a beautiful Osteria where he pretty much had everything I had: spiced chickpea soup, fresh spaghetti with duck and truffle, roast duck and salad, plus my fruity pudding. Oh, and Italians heart blonde babies who have been trained to say 'Bongiorno'.

spaghetti7. The diet starts now!

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