It’s a perfect spring day and I’m drinking morning tea looking down Via del Corno from my Florentine palazzo. It’s Earth Day, April 22nd, 2018 and I am reflecting on my time here on earth. I’m writing from where I am at this moment, appreciating every twist and turn.
I live half the year in a 16th-century palazzo built by wealthy Florentine families during the Renaissance. It must have seemed like a palace in those days, one block from Piazza Signoria, the center of town and of historical significance to the Medici’s. [Read more…]
This time of year represents yet another opportunity to wake up from winter’s deep dream and celebrate the rising sap of spring! Flan is on my mind with freshly picked wild asparagus.
I would like to share a recipe for Sformato di Asparagi ~ Asparagus Flan ~ from brilliant chef Angelo Cabani.
Persimmons hang like jewels on leafless branches of the tree, like ornaments. Harvested and strung up in front of Japanese country houses like coral necklaces, this colorful display announces the end of fall and beginning of winter. Time to go in ~and digest~ and dream the year to come. They say if you can dream it, you can make it happen.
I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty lately. How if we look for it, we’ll see it. There’s a feeling of acceptance that comes from the perfection of nature and how it maintains its beauty even as it changes. The Japanese call this wabi-sabi, the simple, slow aesthetic that reveres authenticity above all.
We walked from Magome to Tsumago on the Nakasendō Trail, in perfect Basho poetic atmosphere. The bright orange and red maples peaking through the tall pines gave depth and color to the green and brown forest.
I recently returned from Japan where I encountered persimmons hung like jewels on leafless branches of the tree, like ornaments. Harvested and strung up in front of Japanese country houses like coral necklaces, this colorful display announces the end of fall and beginning of winter.
That memory (read more here) prompted some late-night baking to create a holiday cake with persimmons and pecans, plus prunes with Armagnac! The result: a travel-inspired treat, great for a cup of tea.
Pasta con le vongole verace. It might be my favorite pasta dish when I’m near the sea. . .
This one was a collective effort during our recent Culinary Adventure in the Aeolian Islands, prepared by our group and Chef Michael Sampson at the magical Capofaro.
When cooked in an open kitchen overlooking the sea with Stromboli puffing in the distance, a glass of Regaleali wine on hand, it is even better!
A trip to the aromatherapy garden near Marrakech is not only scintillating, but tasty.
Understanding how to make Berber bread (khobz) is simple, but it’s all in the know-how. Incredible how fast it cooks in the mud Tashelheit ovens. We eat the bread made from freshly ground semolina and barley warm with herb tea from the garden.
After a walk through the garden of various herbs used in distilling, we have a delicious picnic of kefta wrapped around rosemary branches and a vegetable tagine. Did I mention foot baths? Rose argan oil for the face? Come with me to Morocco in March.
Stepping into a culture with an open mind and heart reaps surprising long-lived benefits, a shift in thinking and ways of being. . .