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Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2022, I’m still doing 99% of the blogging and holding out hope that these two lovely and excellent cooks will participate. They both lead very busy lives, so we’ll see.

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BOOK READING (from Carolyn):

Have only begun Geraldine Brooks’ brand new book, Horse. Oh my, is it a page turner. Loving it so far. It’s a fictional creation but based on a real racehorse owned by a black man, back in the 1850s. Technically, the story is about a painting of the horse but there are many twists and turns. If you’ve ever enjoyed Brooks’ books in the past, this one won’t disappoint.

The Book of Lost Names, by Kristin Harmel (no, not Hannah). Certainly a little-known chunk of history about a woman who becomes a master forger during WWII to help get Jewish children out of France. Not easy to read, meaning the difficulty of anyone finding the means and place to DO the forgery and right under the noses of the Nazis. Really good read.

Liane Moriarty’s first novel, Three Wishes, follows the travails of adult triplets, so different, yet similar in many ways. Two are identical, the third is not. So alike, and so not. It takes you through a series of heart-wrenching events, seemingly unrelated, but ones that could bring a family to its breaking point and test the bonds of love and strength.

Recently I’ve read both of Erin French’s books, her cookbook, The Lost Kitchen, and since then her memoir, Finding Freedom. About her life growing up (difficult) about her coming of age mostly working in the family diner, flipper burgers and fries (and learning how much she liked to cook). Now she’s a very successful restaurant entrepreneur (The Lost Kitchen is also the name of her restaurant) in the miniscule town of Freedom, Maine. She’s not a classically trained chef, but she’s terrifically creative. See her TV series on Discover+ if you subscribe.

Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy. To say that this book stretched my comfort zone is the least of it . . .think about a time in the not very distant future, when global warming has done it’s worst and nearly all animals are extinct. No bird song in the air or fish in the sea. There’s this woman, Franny, who is on a quest to follow the very small, but last migration of arctic terns, who fly from pole to pole each year. She somehow sees this migration as a paean to her own life (of many travails). Is this book a foretelling of what our world will be like?  There’s a lot of angst going on here in this book, with her marriage, with her career, with her perpetual need for travel . . . always needing to go somewhere else other than staying at home and finding peace and happiness there. Then this final, gritty, illegal at-sea voyage trying to find the terns. Very much worth reading if you can stomach the sadness in it. Soul-searching is a common denominator here, but then aren’t a lot of books?

Jo Jo Moyes has a bunch of books to her credit. And she writes well, with riveting stories. Everything I’ve read of hers has been good. This book, The Girl You Left Behind, is so different, so intriguing, so controversial and a fascinating historical story. There are two timelines here, one during WWI, in France, when a relatively unknown painter (in the style of Matisse) paints a picture of his wife. The war intervenes for both the husband and the wife. A German Kommandant enters the picture in this tiny berg in France. Knowing her husband is in a camp, most likely a death camp, she compromises her morals to save the picture and possibly save her husband’s life. Jump to somewhat current day and the painting, which has survived all these years, and is in the hands of a young widow who has an extraordinary connection with the painting. A lawsuit ensues having to do with art stolen by the Nazis and a convoluted trail of how the painting traveled in the intervening years. Even though this was WWI, not WWII, but the law encompasses the past. It’s a heart-wrenching story. There’s a love interest too. Well worth reading. Would make a good book club read.

Memoirs are such fun, especially if you really enjoy/love the author. This was the case as I read Rachael Ray 50, an ode to  her age. So I read online, Rachael discloses more about her personal life in this book than she has done in her many other cookbooks. I really enjoyed reading the book, as she told stories about her growing up, including some of her mother’s recipes and from other family members. She and her family eat tons of pasta, so lots of the recipes I probably won’t prepare, but okay, I still enjoyed reading all the stories.

Eli Shafak’s Island of Missing Trees. This book was just a page turner. If you’ve never read anything about the conflict in Cyprus (the island) between the Turks and the Greeks, you’re in for a big history lesson here. But, the entire story centers around a fig tree. You get into the head/brain/feelings of this big fig tree which plays a very central part of the story. You’ll learn a lot about animals, insects (ants, mosquitos, butterflies) and other flora and fauna of Cyprus. I’m not a gardener at all, but I found the story just fascinating. It chronicles the love story between a young couple, human ones, not trees, one a Greek, one a Turk and their relationship (verboten back in the 70s). It goes back and forth between the 70s (when the real conflict was going on) and current day (2010ish). Loved this book from page one to the last.

If you’re a fan of Kazuo Ishiguro, you’ll find his newest book a league apart. Klara and the Sun. It takes place in the near future when we humans can go to a store and buy an AF (artificial friend). These robotic humanoid “things” have knowledge and personalities. The book follows along as a family buys Klara, an AF with perhaps a better personality than some. She has feelings, but not very many needs. The reader never really “sees” Klara except for a few descriptions of her human-type shape. You get into Klara’s brain (her PC chip) and know how she feels about her family. Her main job is to be a friend to the daughter, Josie, who has some kind of unnamed illness. The AF must spend a part of every day in the sunshine (some kind of hidden solar unit must be within Klara). There are any number of other characters in the story (mostly human, not AFs) which add dimension. I was quite mesmerized by the story and am in awe at the creativity of this author. Loved the book. May not be for everyone. I’m not a science fiction fan at all, but this was believable. And you’ll fall in love with Klara who wants so much to be wanted and loved.

Also read Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty. Ohhh my, such a good book. I couldn’t put it down. Whatever you do, do not read the ending before you start the book. I’ve never understood people who do this. The book chronicles the day a mom just ups and disappears. The grown children come back home, in panic. The dad isn’t much help, and he becomes the prime suspect of foul play. There is no body, however. The husband and wife own a tennis school (this takes place in Australia) and the children grow up surrounded by tennis everything. The children don’t necessarily get along. The parents haven’t always gotten along, either, although through many years the parents were quite besotted with each other, to the detriment of the parenting. Much travail from all the family members. But oh what a story. It had me riveted and wondering, until the last 5 pages of so when the resolution occurs. Big surprise.

Amor Towles’ new book, The Lincoln Highway: A Novel. Literally it’s a page turner. I think it’s still on the best seller list. A young man, Emmett, is released from a youth work camp (back in the day) and is returned home (by the camp warden) following the death of his father, to find that the home they’d lived in was in foreclosure. His mother abandoned them years before. His intent is to pick up his 8-year old brother and they will head off for Texas, but then he discovers two of his work-camp-mates had hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Oh my goodness, such a tangled web. Fascinating, and Amor Towles has such a way with words. His sentences are like blooming flower vines, with metaphors in nearly every sentence. Such a gifted writer.

If you’d like a mystery read, try Dete Meserve’s The Space Between. It’s just the kind of page-turner I enjoy – a wife returns to her home after being away on business for a few days, to find her husband missing and what he’s left for her is an unexplained bank deposit of a million dollars, a loaded Glock in the nightstand, and a video security system that’s been wiped clean. Oh there are plenty of twists and turns. Couldn’t put it down.

Read Alyson Richman’s historical novel called The Velvet Hours. Most of the book takes place in Paris, with a young woman and her grandmother, a very wealthy (but aging) woman who led a life of a semi-courtesan. Or at least a kept woman. But this grandmother was very astute and found ways to invest her money, to grow her money, and to buy very expensive goods. Then WWII intervenes, and the granddaughter has to close up her grandmother’s apartment, leaving it much the way it had been throughout her grandmother’s life, to escape the Nazis. Years go by, and finally answers are sought and found. An intriguing book, based on the author’s experience with an apartment that had been locked up similarly for decades, also in Paris.

Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors. This book, The Nature of Fragile Things tells a very unusual story. About a young Irish immigrant, desperate to find a way out of poverty, answers an ad for a mail order bride. She moves to San Francisco and becomes the bride, and mother to the man’s young child. But all is not right with the world. Sophie senses an undercurrent about her husband’s life. He’s elusive, leaves her alone for days on end, doesn’t share her bed, and she begins to feel the only reason he wanted a wife was to care for the child. Then the world turns upside down with the 1906 earthquake. And then there’s more. . . and more. . . very gripping read.

Also read Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk. You could call this a romance. A young professional, a writer of one successful book, has writer’s block. Then she’s asked to go to Florida to help her mother (from whom she’s mostly estranged) through chemo. She goes, hoping she can find new inspiration. Oh the various twists this book can give you. There’s a guy she meets, but she’s keeping her boyfriend at home on the string, sort of. Then there’s the desk itself, that has history. Oh my, does it have history. Really interesting story, light reading.

One of my book clubs has us reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library: A Novel. What a premise for a book. About a library you can whiz to in the middle of the night and discover other lives you could have lived. And experience them. To find out the answers to those questions we ask ourselves sometimes, “I wonder what would have happened if I’d . . . .” taken that other job, gone out with that guy, taken that trip. That kind of thing. You’ll find out what happened to one particular woman who thought she had nothing left to live for. Good read. Very different. A bit space-agey. Sort of time travel, but not really. But yes, maybe.

James Shipman has written an intriguing book, It Is Well: A Novel, about a man who has lost his wife. And about a woman who has lost her husband. But their relationship stalls, big time, because the guy made a promise to his wife, and he feels duty-bound to honor it. There is much angst about it all. Much wringing of hands, some tears on her part. Nice book; good read.

I wrote up a post about this book: Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York by Tom Roston. Go read the full write-up if you’re interested. The book is a complete history of the famous restaurant on the 107th floor of one of the Twin Towers.

Also recently finished The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. The book goes backwards and forwards in time, from the 1600s in London with the day-to-day lives of a group of Jews (who had to be very careful about how they worshiped) to current day as an old house is discovered to hold a treasure-trove of historical papers. The story is mostly about a young woman, educated, a Jew, who is the scribe (in secret) to an aging religious leader (in a time when women would have been verboten to hold such a position). And about her own curiosity about her religion and how she eventually begins writing letters (using a male pseudonym) to various Jewish leaders abroad, questioning their religious beliefs. The book is extraordinarily long – not that that kept me from turning a single page! – and complex with the cast of characters from the 1600s and the cast in today’s world of highly competitive experts analyzing the ancient papers. Altogether riveting book. Loved it from beginning to end.

I’m forever reading historical novels. The Lost Jewels: A Novel by Kirsty Manning is a mystery of sorts, going back in time in London in the time of aristocrats and their jewels (pearls, diamonds, gems of all kinds) sometimes made it into the hands of the digger or a maid. Then to current time as a young woman tries to ferret her family history and particularly about some old-old jewelry that they can’t quite figure out – how the grandmother came to have them. Fascinating tale.

Not for the faint of heart, Boat of Stone: A Novel by Maureen Earl tells the true tale of some misplaced Jews at the tale-end of WWII who ended up on Mauritius.

Colleen Hoover has written quite a book, It Ends with Us: A Novel, with a love story being the central theme, but again, this book is not for everyone – it can be an awakening for any reader not acquainted with domestic violence and how such injury can emerge as innocent (sort of) but then becomes something else. There is graphic detail here.

Erin Bartels wrote quite a complex story in The Words between Us: A Novel. We go alongside a young girl as she goes to high school, trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to be anonymous (because her mother and father are both in prison), taking on a fake name. She meets a guy and they share a bond of reading and some romance. Years go by and she’s now owner of a failing independent bookstore (and married, or separated) and suddenly begins receiving a used book (that she recognizes) every day from a different place in the country. A message for sure, but where will it lead? Yes, it’s a romance. Lots of introspection going on. Enjoyed it.

Nicolas Barreau’s novel Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel  is very poignant, very sweet book. Seems like I’ve read several books lately about grieving; this one has a charming ending, but as anyone who has gone through a grave loss of someone dear knows, you can’t predict day to day, week to week. “Snap out of it,” people say, thinking they’re helping.

Another very quirky book, that happens to contain a lot of historical truth is The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World: A Novel by Harry N. Abrams. Set in Japan just after the tsunami 10 years ago when 18,000 people died. At a private park miles away, some very special people installed a phone booth, with a phone (that didn’t work) at the edge of the park, and the survivors of the tsunami began wending their way there to “talk” to their deceased loved ones. Very poignant story.

No question, the most quirky book I’ve read of late, a recommendation from my friend Karen, West with Giraffes: A Novel by Lynda Rutledge. Back in the 1930s a small group of giraffes were brought across the Atlantic from Africa to New York, destined for the then-growing San Diego Zoo. The story is of their journey across the United States in the care of two oh-so-different people, both with a mission.

Riveting story of post-WWII- Japan in Ana Johns novel, The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel. About a young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American serviceman.

Also read Rishi Reddi’s novel, Passage West: A Novel with a very different take on the migration of Indians (East India) to the California agricultural lands east of San Diego during the 1920s and 30s.

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Mary Morris book, A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime tells the true day to day life of a young Irish girl who becomes a nurse, in England, France and Belgium in the midst of WWII and immediately after the war.

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s. At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. They escape, and they are “on the run.”

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young black woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress.  Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, and the second in current day as a group of friends purchase a crumbling chateau. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. It’s about her journey and escape to America.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice joins the Horseback Librarians in the rural south.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, who becomes a shepherd. Not just any-old shepherd – actually a well educated one. He knows how to weave a story.

 

Tasting Spoons

My blog's namesake - small, old and some very dented engraved silver plated tea spoons that belonged to my mother-in-law, and I use them to taste my food as I'm cooking.

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Posted in Travel, on April 28th, 2015.

travel_log

Do you keep a travel log when you take a trip? Especially if I’m abroad I do. I just kept a short running commentary of notes about what I did each day and what I had to eat.

At the Masseria Cervarolo, we enjoyed two wonderful dinners; multi-course gastronomic enjoyment. I can’t tell you exactly what I ate, and some of the photos were way too dark to enhance.

But, what I am going to tell you about is fava beans. I can recall, growing up, at Italian festivals in Rhode Island. I lived there from about age 14-16, and I ate some marinated fava beans. The kind that you squeeze between your thumb and forefinger and out pops a nice big kernel of bean. It was good. But here in California I almost never see jars of fava beans. You can buy plain, canned fava beans, though. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen fresh fava beans.

So, enter Puglia in the picture, and fava beans played a very frequent dinner role. We had fava beans multiple times while we were there. And what they do with them is cook them and puree them into a kind of mashed potato consistency. I suspect they add garlic, seasonings (although only once did we see anything like herbs in the puree), some broth or water and most likely some amount of olive oil. And then they cook some kind of bitter greens to put on top. I did find a recipe online that looks much like the dishes we had in Puglia. It seems that this fava bean dish with cooked chicory is unique to Puglia. I think (someone correct me if I’m wrong) that when fresh, fava beans are very green – so I think this was dried fava_bean_escarole_red_onionfava beans, which turn a light brown once they’ve dried and hardened up. For certain it was chicory season, so that may be why we had it so often.

At right is a photo of the first one we were served. And I wrote escarole on the photo, but I think it was chicory (same family). They drizzled a bit of olive oil on top. For awhile we didn’t know what that mound of puree was – we thought mashed potatoes until we tasted it. Definitely not potatoes. Finally one of the waitresses explained about fava beans.

We all cleaned our plates it was SO good.

The next day we ventured out to a city 20-30 miles away and our group went on a walking tour. I decided not to do that only because I was concerned about overdoing it with my foot. After their tour they came and got me and we had lunch out at a  trattoria a few blocks away. IMG_0606We ordered fresh grilled vegetables, which were plentiful in nearly all the trattorias. I couldn’t get enough of them. They prepared eggplant, peppers, onions, leeks, zucchini, tomatoes, sometimes mushrooms, sometimes sun dried tomatoes, all grilled and drizzled with olive oil. And guess what? They brought us a plate of fava bean puree that was done just slightly differently. This one was more chunky (see left). Still chicory on top, but they served it with garlic croutons on top. We also had a platter of salami (salume or salumi in Italian) and cheeses too. We couldn’t believe it when we were done – we’d eaten nearly everything they brought out. All with lots of bread. bread_and_snailsBread is the staff of life, and there’s no doubt in my mind that I ate more bread in those  3 weeks than I’ve eaten in the last year. It was so fresh, so yeasty, so tasty. None of us could stop eating it.

There at right was a small basket of bread with the little snail-things in the middle. Those are a frequent cracker. I can’t remember what they call them – snails, shells, or worms, or something like that. We ate those too. They’re crispy like crackers. The grilled breads were the best, by far. And a bottle of olive oil was nearby so you could drizzle some on top. No butter.

fava_bean_garbanzo_pastaHere is yet another fava bean dish. This one had a mound of it in the center of the plate, but then they’d made a sauce with onions, I think, garlic, garbanzo beans, mushrooms and some little flat pieces of pasta. All that poured over the puree of fava beans you can seein the middle. It was absolutely scrumptious, and I had to talk to myself out of eating the entire plate. This was one of the courses at the Masseria.

fava_bean_greensHere again, at right, is another fava bean dish with a piece of mushroom plunked on top, and 4 lovely mounds of greens around the outside. This one wasn’t my favorite – the puree was too thick. I ate all the greens, though, and they were good.

As in many places, it’s hard to get enough vegetables when you’re eating out all the time. At the Masseria, roasted_grilled_veggieswe did have a course of grilled vegetables. Picture at left. We had eggplant, zucchini, leeks and chanterelles. It was really delicious and since we all knew we weren’t getting enough veggies, we ate most of it. Yet we knew we had several more courses to come.

caprese_sandwiches_AlberobelloMore than once we ordered caprese sandwiches – they’re very inexpensive and almost always the trattoria served them with a bowl of local olives. It was fresh mozzarella, always, and slices of fresh tomato, all very tasty and ripe, and a drizzle of olive oil and maybe a slice or two of fresh basil leaves, or sprinkled with some dried Italian herbs.

gnocchi_tomatoes_peas_masseria_cervaroloI think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of gnocchi. Well, at the Masseria one of the courses was gnocchi, and I looked at the plate, thought “oh dear.” I didn’t want to not eat it at all, so I thought I’d pick at it, move it around on the plate as children do, but I did take one gnocchi. OMGosh. This was unlike any gnocchi I’ve ever had. All I can tell you is they tasted like little pillows of pasta softness. They were absolutely fantastic. The peas and tomatoes along with it was a perfect pairing. I ate most of it. I’ve never had gnocchi that were so good.

On occasion in the mid-lauren_gelatoafternoon we’d all have a craving for a little something – maybe a gelato, as you can see in the photo at left of Lauren with a double scoop. She fell in love with gelato (doesn’t everyone?). That particular day Lauren was the only one who had room for any as we’d just had a big lunch. espresso_masseria_cervarolo

One day I craved an espresso, so at the Masseria they had a lovely espresso machine and I made myself one and dipped into the jar of cantucci (little cookies) that Italians like to accompany an espresso.

If you’ve ever watched Italians standing at an espresso bar – most of them are stand-up only at a tall counter –  it’s just a place to get an espresso, throw it down and leave. First they pick up the sugar dispenser (no packets, this is the real thing, a big glass jar with a special spout) and they pour in about 1/4 CUP of sugar, stir it around and down it in one big gulp. cornetto

At the Masseria, they offered a huge table of breakfast food, full of cold cuts, salami, a daily frittata (room temp), hard boiled eggs,masseria_cervarolo_latte several fresh breads and jams, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, fresh ricotta cheese, the wonderful cornetto (Italian croissants) and at least 2 dessert cakes. When I asked for a latte, they always brought it in a tall glass. It was lovely. If we’d really eaten our fill, we could have gone from breakfast until dinner without additional food, but we never did! We breakfast_plate_masseriaalways needed more food around 1:00 or so.

There’s my breakfast plate at left – from the top: tomato, ricotta, ham, mozzarella, frittata and then a slice of the lemon layer cake topped with powdered sugar. On another plate I cut fresh bread and had a croissant. So much food. Way too much food!

I have more food pictures but I think this post is long enough. Hope you haven’t been bored. . .

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  1. hddonna

    said on April 28th, 2015:

    Bored? Not a chance! Now I’m wanting to head for Global foods to pick up a package of fava beans, grill a big batch of vegetables, make some fresh ricotta…I did buy whole milk this week for the express purpose of making some ricotta, so maybe that’s where I’ll start. I love hearing about your food adventures!

    Thank you, Donna! Appreciate your comment. See if you can find some fresh chicory??? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, have you?. . .carolyn t

  2. hddonna

    said on April 28th, 2015:

    I don’t believe I have seen chicory, but Global Foods has quite a large selection of greens. It would be interesting to see if they carry it.

  3. hddonna

    said on April 28th, 2015:

    Guess what? I’m sure you have seen it, and so have I. I just learned that there are two salad versions of chicory, “the narrow leafed version is also called curly endive, and the broad leafed variety is also known as escarole.” (wisegeek.org) Does that jive with what you had in Puglia?

    Well, somebody on the trip said that chicory was in the same family as escarole. It definitely was NOT curly endive, though. It was very dark green with more green leaf part than curly endive offers. So maybe chicory (the green leafed type) IS the same as escarole – that is in my markets sometimes. Thanks for the sleuthing. . . carolyn t

  4. Toffeeapple

    said on May 1st, 2015:

    Not boring at all. I was amazed at how many vegetable dishes you had, very unusual for Italy. Fava beans or, as we call them, broad beans are bright green, right inside, see here:

    http://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/step_by_step/how_to_double_pod_broad_beans.html

    I love it when the new seasons crop comes in; if you grow them you can eat the whole thing, pods and beans together when they are very young. Not long to go now and asparagus isn’t far behind!

    We had asparagus in Italy and in France. Oh yes, in Switzerland also. It was just great. And they’re available in profusion here in California at our markets right now. I didn’t know fava were the same as broad beans. I’ll have to look and see if we have them by that name here. . . carolyn t

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