Birthday Candle in the Tiramisu (Mar 21, 2011)

April 14, 2011

Kathleen and Bob's Arlington, Virginia cooking class was a celebration of Bob's birthday - but the gifts were for all of us! All the "chefs" in this festive group cooked in Italian-flag aprons with sharp (in all senses!) new paring knives... read more...

How Much is Quanto Basta? (Mar 20, 2011)

April 14, 2011

"Q.b." for quanto basta ("as much as you need") is the most common annotation in Italian cookbooks. It's a secret I like to share at the start of each cooking class, whether here in our Assisi area farmhouse or at U.S. cooking classes each winter. Paulette and Jim's group really took the quanto basta to heart when we cooked together in Ft. Washington, Maryland, at their home in mid-March, 2011. When anyone asked me about the right amount of olive oil or wine or salt or vinegar needed in the recipes, my most frequent response was "q.b."... read more...

Sing for Your Supper? This Class Could Have…! (Mar 19, 2011)

April 11, 2011

No one would want to hear me "sing for my supper" but many at a delightful cooking class in Rockville, Maryland certainly could have done so! Starting with hosts, Dick and Mary - and their co-host, Lyn (who opened her home to us, along with husband Larry): last September, Dick, Mary and Lyn reveled in the Berkshire Choral Fest week of Umbrian hilltown touring (how great to guide this wonderful group!) and singing (voice study in the afternoons, with their conductor)... read more...

Umbria Re-Visited in Silver Spring, Maryland (Mar 18, 2011)

April 11, 2011

Jenny and Steve, Liz, Roseann and family, Karen, Katie and Sue, how good to renew the "Umbria connection" over the preparing of an Umbrian feast in Karen's house! We certainly brought it all together, inspite of seeing the baking sheets of toasted bread for our bruschetta slide to the floor! read more...

You Can’t Make a Leek Frittata with a Fennel! (Mar 14, 2011)

April 11, 2011

Che bello! to cook once again with Mark in Massachusetts. It had been a few years since we first cooked together and he had a new group of friends to this class. Mark's enthusiasm, though, was just as infectious: "Second time better than the first! Love it - forever a tradition - don't stop!" he wrote to me after our feast... read more...

Family and Friends Unite in Boston (Mar 13, 2011)

April 5, 2011

What better way to reunite with family then over the burners? My cousin Brian hosted a memorable cooking event near Boston - and my aunts were his sous-chefs, doing all the prep work! Not only: this was the first cooking class ever with four generations joining in.

Open Arms in Connecticut (Mar 12, 2011)

April 5, 2011

"'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it' Ralph Waldo Emerson," reads the plaque near the entry to the home of Kathy and Bruce in East Haddam, Connecticut. No better words to describe their home as those two quite simply embody hospitality. read more...

Revered Rural Rite: La Veglia

April 4, 2011

For Roosevelt, a "fireside chat" denoted intimate dialogue with the people. The fireside chat - called "veglia" ("vigil") - was always an intimate moment of life in central Italy's rural culture. I miss those years of the "andare alla veglia" ("going to keep the vigil") at our neighbors' farmhouses on winter evenings, where so much rural lore and rural wisdom was passionately shared by our farm friends around the fireplace. read more...

Scheggino to MIT: a Long Reach (Mar 11, 2011)

March 21, 2011

Che strano! What an odd sensation to connect with Ginny at MIT: we had first met in a bucolic setting in Italy, in Scheggino, a tiny mountainside village on the Nera River in Umbria's breathtaking Val Nerina. Ginny, host of my mid-March talk at MIT, had participated in the Berkshire Choral Festival group musical week in Umbria last September... read more...