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Autumn Harvest in the Alps

The seasons are changing. My garden is preparing itself for a long winter’s sleep, fresh snow has dusted the glacier capped Alps, and the cows have returned from the mountaintop pastures.  Also, it is really cold.  I realized the other day that I wear a winter coat eight months out of the year. Eight. Months.  […]

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Yes, your polenta should be be that thick!

Whenever I make polenta with Americans I often hear the same question…. “Isn’t it done yet? It looks too thick!” People usually say this when the polenta still needs to cook another 45 minutes or so.  And here’s the answer: “It ain’t done… it shouldn’t be that thick, it should be thicker!” Polenta isn’t grits. […]

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Italians and their relationship with food

After a fun trip to the US, we were gathering the bounty of our weedy garden, and set to cooking. We were eating a garden salad, roasted rainbow chard, polenta crusted baby zucchini, and homemade fig gelato, when my very Italian husband had himself a bit of an epiphany regarding the important difference between Italians […]

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Rustic Fire Roasted Polenta Gathering in Asheville and Grumpy Farmer Polenta!

Today we are heading off on a marvelous journey…. to my Appalachian hometown of Asheville, North Carolina!  I have a suitcase  filled with Fontina cheese and colorful stone ground heirloom polentas.  Speaking of polenta, I found an incredibly cool polenta this week, which I have dubbed grumpy farmer polenta. The dairy farmers around here are […]

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Spring in the Alps and a Tasty Springtime Snack!

Oh, I love spring!  Winter in the Alps is hard, long, and cold.  This week winter has officially come to an end.  Yes, I know that for the rest of the northern hemisphere it ended nearly a month ago, but in my neck of the woods official dates regarding seasons don’t mean much.  This week […]

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A Polenta Rainbow

Last weekend was my time to shine as an American in Italy.  On Friday, I played fiddle in a blues concert  dedicated to Mississippi John Hurt-particularly strange given that I’m not a blues musician- , on Sunday I taught an American pie making class to a bunch of Italians (they loved it), and then my […]

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Hands in the Dough: Introd Black Bread Festival

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet.  It was just such an incredible experience that I had to let it marinate for a while so that the words came out right…. but then I forgot about writing it.  So here we are, six months later. Seuppa valpellenentze ready to go in the oven […]

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Italian Men and Their Cheese

Italian men love to talk about their local cheese.  Within moments of meeting an Italian man, likely as not, they will wax poetic about the cheese of their particular village, and how it is better there than anywhere else.  Don’t get the cheese from the neighboring town, it’s not as good.  Their cheese is the […]

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Black Bread Adventure and Zuppa Valpellinese

A few days ago I took my mom and her friend Randy up to the village of Ozein.  It’s a paradise…there is no other word for it!  Well, a paradise for people who love ancient picturesque villages immersed in a sea of wildflowers, with breathtaking views of the tallest mountains of Europe.  It’s pretty spectacular.  […]

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Raw Milk Vending Machine

I’ve mentioned the raw milk vending machine before, but it is so cool I think it deserves a post all to itself. Just to set the scene: I live in a small village across the river from Aosta, a 2000+ year old town nestled in the steepest part of the Alps. So, while I live […]

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