Anne's Blog

  • Rural Richness

Rural Life Richness

Date: July 6, 2015 - categories: , , , , , - 1 Comment

What’s the highlight of a visit to our rural neighbors?

Sharing in eighty-year-old Peppe’s pride in his prosciutti?

Peppe, proud of his prosciutti

Peppe, proud of his prosciutti.

Tasting his wine?

Peppe wants his Australian guests to try his vino

Peppe wants his Australian guests to try his vino.

Salute!

Salute!

A memorable meeting with Peppe

A memorable meeting with Peppe

Meeting Peppa, “Earth Mother,” as I call this warm and joyous spirit? You can see it in her smile as she cuts sprigs of lavender for recent visitors from Australia.

Peppa’s loving warmth shines out

Peppa’s loving warmth shines out

And what pride as she shows us her chickens and rabbits.

Peppa, proud of her rabbits

Peppa, proud of her rabbits

…and of course, you cannot leave Peppa’s farm without a visit to her wine cellar…

Connecting with Peppa in her wine cellar

Connecting with Peppa in her wine cellar

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And the best place to taste Umbrian rural goodness? At Chiarina and Marino’s where lovely daughter Rossanna joins her parents in welcoming us with a feast.

Chiarina, Marino and Rossanna welcome hearts and home to visitors

Chiarina, Marino and Rossanna welcome hearts and home to visitors

But before our feast, Marino has to show us his prosciutti, spalle, guanciali, capocolli, salami, hanging in the cellar and Marino’s peak of pride.

Marino, proud of his prosciutti - and not only

Marino, proud of his prosciutti – and not only

…and if our rural visit is on June 24th, we’ll all wash in the perfumed sacred acqua di San Giovanni before dinner…

Marino shows all how to wash faces in the sacred acqua di San Giovanni

Marino shows all how to wash faces in the sacred acqua di San Giovanni.

L’acqua di San Giovanni -  what perfume!

L’acqua di San Giovanni – what perfume!

Washing together in the sacred water

Washing together in the sacred water

A wash before dinner for all

A wash before dinner for all

…and then, let the feasting begin! Chiarina’s all ready for us, table set with antipastos at every setting…

Chiarina welcomes all into her home

Chiarina welcomes all into her home

Antipasto goodness

Antipasto goodness

The first course follows and as all our Australian group decided, “There’s no better lasagne in the world than Chiarina’s.” After all, how can there be? The sauce is made from their tomatoes, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and olive oil. Marino grows the wheat, turned into flour. Peppe (Chiarina’s uncle) raised the calf which became the veal. The only ingredient not from their farm in the lasagne? Il parmigiano

No lasagne like Chiarina’s!

No lasagne like Chiarina’s!

Verdure gratinate (vegetables au gratin) followed next, served with a beaming smile by daughter Rossanna, proud of her mother’s cooking (and a great cook, by the way, in her own right!)

Verdure gratinate coming up

Verdure gratinate coming up

Rossanna serves the vegetables au gratin

Rossanna serves the vegetables au gratin

And then came the meat course: juicy roasted veal slices (from Peppe, once again!)

Rossanna serves us Peppe’s roasted veal

Rossanna serves us Peppe’s roasted veal

Enjoy this veal!

Enjoy this veal!

A veal dish to remember

A veal dish to remember

Marino and his Australian guests enjoy the veal

Marino and his Australian guests enjoy the veal

We all wished we’d known there would be a SECOND meat course! After the veal, Rossanna served us all tasty roasted chicken (raised by Marino, cooked to perfection by Chiarina).

…and there’s roasted chicken, too!

…and there’s roasted chicken, too!

Fresh garden salad – not just with their vegetables and olive oil but with their wine vinegar, too! – topped off our meal, cleaned the palates, prepared us for the dessert.

What a salad!

What a salad!

Rossanna beamed as she presented her mother’s dolce, lovely to look at, delicious to taste.
The perfect “sweet” ending to a rich day of rural life experience with dear rural friends.

Rossanna proudly serves up her mother's

Rossanna proudly serves up her mother’s

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Read about our rural friends, “givers of the greatest gifts”
Read knowing the rural life is “the experience of a lifetime”
Read about – and see! – cooking up the rural flavors of Umbria
Read more about our treasured rural friends
Read about Peppe, an Umbrian rural “treasure”
Don’t miss an evening with the rural people of Umbria
Read more about rural friends, a rural tradition
Read more about the experience of knowing our rural friends
Read about “countryside treasures” of Umbria
Click here to read about an “Auntie Annie” rural tour
Read about the most memorable moment of a rural life tour

1 Comment

  • Janine Belveal says:

    Wow, Anne! What an amazing experience. I can’t imagine all the hard work that goes into growing and preparing the food for those meals.

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