Anne's Blog

  • newslider-blog

A San Francisco “San Valentino” Cooking Feast (Feb. 14, 2014)

Date: February 20, 2014 - categories: , - Leave your thoughts

Bruschetta time

Bruschetta time

A festive Valentine’s Day table greeted all cooking guests entering Rich and Cathy’s San Francisco home on February 14th. But during our cooking class introduction – while I talked about Umbria, Umbrian rural life and rural cuisine – I neglected to mention Umbria’s tie to Valentine’s Day! San Valentino, born in Terni (Umbria) in the late 2nd C AD, was named bishop and legend says he was the first to marry a young Christian woman to a Roman soldier, pagan. Another story says he gave a rose to a quarreling young couple, praying to the Lord to care for them. Countless other stories associate him with the cult of loving, forgiveness.

Though i overlooked San Valentino at this Valentine cooking class, I did share lore on Umbrian rural cuisine. What makes the cooking “Umbrian rural”? The ingredients, the time it takes to cook (very little cooking time for each dish).

Un pugno di sale

Un pugno di sale

The foods will be those grown on the land: each farm family has their own olive oil, wine and vinegar and in their garden, all the ingredients we used, from the vegetables to the herbs (rosemary, sage, parsley) and will raise fowl.

Ah, yes, when adding the olive oil, it’s also time for “un pugno di sale”, i.e., “little fistful of salt.” Needed for about every dish serving 8 to 10 persons. Added to our peperonata dish, pasta sauce, mushroom dish, salad, too.

All our cooks mastered “un pugno.”

Rich and chicken

Rich and our savory Umbrian chicken cacciatore

And everyone learned a final bit of rural lore as we sat down for our feast: farm families have one plate per person. But Italians do not wish to mix flavors, preferring to fully savor each one, slowly, course-by-course, no flavors interacting. How to do that without changing plates?

Simple: “fare la scarpetta.” “Make the little shoe (slipper)”, i.e., clean the plate after each course with a small slice of bread. Years ago, the bread was then eaten: there was never enough food. At our cooking classes, the scarpetta is usually set aside, for cleaning the plate for the next course, but not to eat at the end. No one leaves the table hungry!

Mille grazie to Don and Michele for pulling this all together to Rich and Cathy for opening home and hearts to our cooking team…and to all who joined in the cooking …and feasting!

“Thank you, Annie, how special our evening was!” Randy and Marlene

“Great San Francisco evening and dinner and thanks so much for a spontaneous evening. We look forward to seeing you in Umbria and touring together.” Creighton, Patricia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)