2016 begins

I have been busy what with the trip back to the US and other holiday type things. I felt the need to do a little catching up.

Our trip back home was nice. It was great to see my Sister and spend the holidays, not to mention two significant birthdays (hers and mine) together. We stayed with her on top of her mountain in the Blue Ridge of Virginia. It is beautiful there. We had warm weather and lots of fog. More likely cloud as in we were up in them at 3,700 feet. She fixed many of my favorite things to eat to include a gorgeous standing rib roast and chili as well as several southwestern and Mexican things. These were all things I had missed in Italy so it was great. I was sad to leave after six days.

We had gone to the US with two ginormous suitcases. One was mostly packed with Umbrian specialties like olive oil, lentils, faro etc to give away as gifts to friends. Then we did some shopping for things we cannot get (or are hard to find) in Italy to fill up the, now empty, suitcase. Mostly things like heavy duty aluminum foil (they have very flimsy foil here), ziplock bags, medicines and spices. Carolina rice is a special rice we like so we stocked up on that and pozole for southwest recipes. We also got some things for friends. And I bought some new clothes. A lot of it I had ordered online in advance and had them sent to my sister.

During the trip we had time to catch up with many friends and family. We got to see all my nieces and nephew at a lovely Christmas dinner in Old Town. I also got to meet Alex, Niece Rachel’s boyfriend, and congratulate my nephew on his recent engagement. Lovely family. Thanks to Mike and Anne (Luther’s brother and his wife) for a lovely dinner!

Another thing on my list to do was visit a couple of ethnic restaurants in hopes of getting that spice I craved. Alas, I was disappointed in both of them. Maybe my tastes are evolving? nah…

We had a  beautiful view of the Alps on the way from Germany to Rome. Much more snow on the way back than on the way over to the US.

We’ve been back for six days now and our jet lag is mostly over. The logistics of the trip worked fine. The air tickets were half the cost of tickets coming from and returning-to the US. I have NO idea why this would be but it was good for us. The car park in Fiumicino turned out to be great. Very efficient and quite cheap; only 38 Euro for 13 days and included the shuttle to and from the airport. A very easy and convenient way to use the Rome airport.

Our weather has settled into the typical cold and damp winter. The final days of the Christmas season were this week with Befana, the witch, visiting the children to bring candy or lumps of coal. We celebrated with a lovely lunch at Calagrana. There were about 14 people there.

And finally, last night I decided to try cooking on our kitchen fireplace. I am slowly getting the hang of using this fireplace. It takes a while for it to warm up enough to draw well so I keep the glass doors closed for the first couple of hours. Then I slowly can open them and use the fire to cook on. Last night it was Spigola or Sea Bass. Easy to do and it came out crispy and fluffy white inside. Future plans will be grilled vegetables, steak, lamb, other fishes and bruschetta. Maybe even flat breads. I am on the lookout for an iron pot.

Here is the fish-a-cookin’.

Buon Anno to all! I hope it is a Happy and Healthy 2016!

Feel the need to comment? You can do it here!