Friday, October 2, 2009

A day out in Umbria

Today was one of those lovely days of nothing.
Well, not nothing exactly, I have nine days of the blog to catch up as I know many of you realise! Thanks for all the reminder emails, I think! Trouble was that for the last little while with Helen travelling with us we were getting back from dinner too late for me to be bothered too much with doing the days blog. They were pretty full days and I was getting very tired. But look out world - I'm ba-ack, as the saying goes and by Monday I hope to have it all back on track. Once there are more than just a few days passed though, it takes longer to do as I have to use our photos and brochures to recall all the litle details!

So today I sit here in the converted old farmhouse that is Azienda Agrituristica Il Sarale with all the resources spread around me. We slept in this morning and did not surface for breakfast until about 9:30 am. Breakfast was OJ, great big mugs of steaming coffee with the delicious unsalted dry italian bread, local honey, Sarah's peach jam and a tangy provolone style hard cheese and more of the smallgoods made by one of Sarah and Alessandro's neighbours from pigs raised here on their farm. Great wholesome country food!

Michael is outside in the sun reading. Earlier he went for a bit of a walk back up the road and took these photos of the surrounding area. It is so peaceful and quiet - really really lovely and relaxing.

Sarah cooked for a group of 8 local businessmen for lunch while I continued to plough away through Pompei. Later, I headed for the bedroom with Dan Adams latest book 'The Lost Symbol' while Michael added his bit. Of course, I dozed some too.

Then it was up to get ready for dinner. Served at 8:30 pm. Tonight we are joined by another two couples meaning that Il Sarale is full. As with last night, the food was magical - the sort that makes you want to hold each morsel in your mouth and savour it for as long as possible. We sit at three long tables with plenty of space between each couple. Tonight's offerings are: Antipasta:
Four sets of toasted Italian bread spread with different toppings: Straight olive oil, olive oil topped with a shaving of cheese that is spread with a smear of honey and rosemary spines, a tomato paste that is salty and with garlic and finally one with a tapenade that is smooth and tastes of the saltiness of anchovies with the olives. Centred on the plate are a few pieces of a small salami.
Prima platti:
Ravioli filled with potato and herbs in a fresh chunky tomato sauce
Secondi platti:
Roast chicken that has been rubbed with lemon juice and olive oil which is served with chopped small pieces of potato roasted in the same pan
A shortbread style biscotti slice filled with almonds and chocolate.
The meal is accompanied by a local San Gervoise wine and sparkling water and we finish with espresso and grappa. Wow, what a meal!

And tonight I learn that the correct thanks after a meal is molto buono, not molto benne as I have been using for the last month. Why do people not correct it when we get it wrong - maybe they are thinking that they are polite!

Gen is online for a chat and a game of scrabble. One of her friends from school, Victor Nyeste has gone missing in Brisbane and has not been seen for over a week. The police are now involved, so spread the word - someone must have seen him somewhere. All his family and friends need is to know that he is safe and well.

So, in the words of Peter Cundall, well folks, thats your lot! Ciao

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