…wandering the rural highways of Colorado – stepping visually into the past…
…connected to Colorado by family rather than residence, I love to visit, to feel the pull of the Italian immigrants who were my grandparents; their children, one of whom was my mother…
Webster’s definition numbers 9 and 10 under the word savor:
‘to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish
‘to give oneself to the enjoyment of: to savor the best in life’
Giving oneself to the enjoyment of family around the table – a double entendre of sorts: to savor family and food.
Setting the table with family memories…vases from a beloved aunt…
high chair well used by sons, now by their little ones…
silverware from my grandmother…
loving the memories, making new ones………savoring all!
Atop a ridge overlooking the Carmel Valley…
in the midst of oaks,
and a sparkling pool,
the bottling of fine wine:
from the barrel
to be siphoned into bottles
-with a time out to restore the siphon-
This year’s production…a careful blend of four varieties
Amazing family, friends, and food + grapes crushed, blended, aged to perfection
all working together = a job well done and fine wine at the end of the day!
So grateful to have been part of the equation!!!
‘Twas the night before Christmas…….Eve
Christmas Eve Eve!
Each year, those of us who are family and those lucky enough to be invited, gather at Gail and John’s,
around the kitchen island for Bagna Cauda.
(I may be the family historian, but these cousins keep alive the Italian traditions of the palate!)
All I would need to make the meal complete:
The Bagna Cauda – ‘hot bath’ in Italian: a mixture of olive oil, butter, sliced garlic, anchovies and cream.
The method for eating: dip cabbage in the hot bath with one hand, while taking a slice of dill bread with the other, catching the dripping sauce and cabbage on the bread, and into the mouth it goes – absolutely sublime!!!
Others like to dip carrots, celery, fennel, small potatoes, peppers….
…this is just the beginning…wine is being poured, acquaintances are being renewed, little ones are wonderfully under foot, absent dear ones are being recalled and missed…
….blessing are being counted and appreciated….body and soul are being fed….
Always interested in family history, I have now become the family historian.
A favorite quote from ‘Healing Old Wounds’ by Judy Ryden speaks to my love of the subject:
“All children deserve two things: one is roots, the other is wings.”
As the ‘children’ have gotten older and found their wings, they, and their spouses and children have become more interested in their roots. Beginning with Christmas 2001, and every year since, I have given a segment of their history to each one interested. Choosing an individual or two,
I copy pictures,
– all things pertinent, interesting and many times, beautiful.
To this I add short written summary or vignette of the ancestor’s life,
then a ‘Key’ to explain where and how to integrate the new segment into those already given,
and wrap them with love as a gift from my heart.
I’ve dreamed of being spontaneous – ready instantly for any eventuality life might bring. Alas, I am not by nature given to acting on sudden impulses. To paraphrase Webster, I am not given to acting without effort and premeditation. Consequently, I am learning to plan to be spontaneous.
I don’t know about your world, but in mine, being spontaneous with family and friends most often involves food. Having ingredients on hand is essential – a complicated recipe is not.
enamel roasting pan
add lemons, cut in wedges and squeezed
garlic cloves, peeled
lemons halved, squeezed into and put in the cavities
seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary
partially baked, potatoes added
baked a bit longer, carrots added
served on a big platter in the middle of the table
along with arugula dressed with olive oil and balsamic,
enough to feed and appeal to a crowd of various ages.
Are you naturally spontaneous, or working on it???….I’d love to hear your stories!
My sous-chef and I have quite a history: we’ve been cooking together for about seven years – not long by some standards, but for us, nearly a lifetime…….hers.
Today we carried on the tradition:
we assembled the ingredients………..
Coming next: the process and results!!!