The hot Italian sun and spring in the air!

I just read an article about something called the one hundred mile diet. I had never heard about it before, it comes from the US. In the US they also have restaurants adhering to the diet. So what is it? It is eating foods that has been reared or grown within a one hundred mile radius. I haven’t seen any restaurant in London but assume it is only a matter of time. I believe there is a restaurant here that only serves food that comes from as far as the tube system runs but am not sure.

I spent a gloriously sunny spring weekend in the Italian Le Marche region with good friends.

Being there, going to the shops, the market, the butchers, the veg and fruit shop – they all have one thing in common, everything is local produce. If you asked a local Italian they would most likely wonder why they should ship their sheep or pigs across Europe, or eat sheep and pigs that have been shipped around like well, cattle? Why eat fruit and vegetables that are not in season, one of the secrets to all that great tasting foods, freshly made pasta, wild asparagus, sun ripened tomatoes, fresh flavours of excellent quality. All eaten in the most gorgeous surroundings, the mountains snow covered peaks in the backgrounds, the hill top towns and the Adriatic sea not far away.

One of the dogs of the nearby shepherds had puppies just a while back, they are large, white fluffy dogs, a bit like polar bear dogs. They came over with a puppy for some friends of friends and for a few hours it was all ours and it was just adorable. Highly suspicious of most everything with a preference to be carried around it took to the bigger sister straight away, Lola. There were also spring lambs and we got in to a bit of a traffic jam where we got stuck after a herd of sheep with little lambs running around!

I am so lucky to have such good friends and to be able to visit them! My friends had cooked a Bolognese when we arrived and it was lovely, served with fresh pasta, followed by veal with creamy mushroom sauce, I haven’t eaten that much most likely in years! There were pizzas, more pasta, salami, antipasto by the time I went home and sure I had gained at least two kilos and this in only in a weekend! All washed down with that gorgeous locally produced red wine had with friends and surrounded by Lola the dog and the cats. How can it be better?! It is a matter of when I will go back, never if.

Before I left for Italy I finally got around to buying some saltpetre, I headed to the butcher who didn’t have brisket but a lovely silverside beef. With this I started the salt beef that should mature for 10 days. Saturday is the day, time to boil the beef until tender, cool and eat! I have never done salt beef before and can’t wait to see how it will turn out.
I have friends coming over this weekend and need something easy for the evening they arrive, not sure what to cook and realised how I love slow cooking. I will have to have a think what I can cook for them. No matter how lovely the surroundings, no matter how good the food is, it always tastes better when shared with friends!

One Response to “The hot Italian sun and spring in the air!”
  1. Jess Littlemore says:

    My goodness Petra – this is making me so hungry and it’s only 9:30 in the morning! And I’ve already had a huge breakfast!


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