Summer’s bounty!

I love when the summer produce is at it’s peak, and that is right now! I always get carried away it is all so beautiful. I buy too much! Saturday at the Zero K market, where it all comes from right around here, I bought what you see in the picture below. On the right (above the arugula and next to the bowl) there are four small red/orange eggplants. I have never seen this color before. I am going to try them in a pasta sauce. I got our first watermelon and I’ll serve it with feta as a salad. The red and white beans are here all summer and I will probably add these to a sausage based pasta sauce. The heirloom tomatoes in the bowl are so sweet and perfect right now. I hope the nice man who is so proud of growing them keeps coming. He has all the types I am used to from the US. I remember last year he only came one time. It was very wet and I imagine he lost his crop. This year is hot and great for the tomatoes and this was his fourth week here.  The peaches on the right are apparently very famous and from Monte Corona. They sell them on Saturdays out of an old monastery and also at the market in Umbertide. We drove over to the monastery and were amazed at the caravan of cars buying them. Who knew!?

So much to cook!
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Last night I made fajitas! It has been a long time. I actually had to make the flour tortillas myself. They are much better than what we got in the US stores too. I had to use ghee (which I had brought with me) instead of the vegetable shortening. I need to see if they have anything like Crisco here. I made a nice salsa with fresh tomatoes (YUM) and onion, lime, and diced jalapenos from my pepper plants. Spicy and good! I grilled onions and peppers and then grilled the steak that I had marinated overnight in cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion with some lime juice and oil. The fajitas came out great and I’ll make them again.

And lately I have been enjoying my new favorite drink – an Aperol Spritz. So refreshing. It is 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and a splash of soda with a slice of orange. The taste of the Aperol is quite bitter so it is not a cloyingly sweet drink. Tastes great at the Bar Mary on the Piazza or anywhere else!

Finally I was contacted by a man in NYC who does the casting for House Hunters International. He sent me a VERY extensive questionnaire. I guess most people know that the show is about people who buy houses abroad. Maybe you didn’t know that they are filmed after the fact. For instance, if we were chosen to do a show they would fly us back to Virginia where they would film the “back story” of us before we flew off to look for a house in Italy. They would do a one day shoot. Then they would do four days here in Italy of us looking at three houses one of which would be our house. They would pack up and move all of our stuff out of the apartment to put it back to the way it was before. Then they put all our stuff back and film us after we had moved in. I am of two minds about this. Seems quite disruptive especially because we are in the Centro and they would be filming and moving stuff about. Not sure how the Umbertidese would feel about that. We probably won’t be chosen anyway but it is something to think about.

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