Happy Halloween

31 10 2008

I never really understood Halloween.  It’s been a recently adopted holiday in Rome.  I owe it to the influx of American ex-patriots who now call Italy home.  Frankly, I find most of it frightening…except the abundance of treats.  That’s a definite perk.  I did pass a poster in a shop window this week, however, that suggested the best use of the demonic celebration:

Squirrel Potion # 9 by Terry_Lea

Best use of a cat….I say.


Ciao! Pomodori

28 10 2008

The last tomatoes of a late summer are ripeRipe Tomatoes by cityphotographer.  Today, Grazia and I are off to the outdoor market to buy a boxful.Outdoor Market in Rome by Kamera Shy

Forbidden by iandoubleyouThis afternoon we will make pureed tomatoes to enhance Sugo di Pomodori that sees us all through the winter.

It’s easy.  And there’s nothing like fresh (though frozen) tomato sauce to bring back the flavor of summer as one sits in the snow, mid-winter.  Pasta Party by Jean&VicI highly recommend it, not only as a way to spend a glorious fall day, Marano in the Fall by donnacorlessbut sure relief to the short days of January when most people reach for canned tomatoes when they think of saucing pasta.

Wash the tomatoes (try to find the ripest ones you can…they may be blemished, Ripe Tomatoes by Snapshot0703split or even overripe, but let the dog eat the ones that are rotten or moldy…)

Cut them in 2-3 inch pieces, put them in a pot by themselves, cover it and turn the heat on to medium.  Cook them abut 10 minutes, or until they boil and a delicious steam rises out of the opened pot…

Push the tomatoes through a foodmill and cool the puree.  Tomato puree by jesse k.Discard the liquid.  Pour the remainder into ice cube trays and and freeze it.  Then place the cubes in ziplock bags and freeze.  Use as needed in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes…and throw an occasional cold cube the way of your family dog.Diesel the dog eating a tomato by petrusko.rm


Old Cris

24 10 2008

I love Cristoforo Columbo.  Anyone who can follow a scent across the ocean and find land is my hero.  I don’t care that he came to be known largely for things he never did.  He had courage, courage by knezevesand courage is counted as gold by any dog.

It is said that he was born sometime between August and the end of October, 1451.  I’m going with October 24, as tonight our cook, Grazia, is making Paella, and Paella reminds me of Spain, and Spain reminds me of the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa MariaThe Nina! The Pinta! The Santa Maria! by monmouthdailyphoto…I don’t know why, but there it is…

Columbo is credited by many to have

1) proved that the earth is round;

2) put the first European foot on North America;

3) been a friend of the natives of that continent.

But, hate as I do to credit the Greeks with anything, it was PythagorasPythagóras by steenjep who, in the 6th century BC came up with the theory to prove the curve of the earth.

My Foot Prints Leaving the Sunset by inneriAnd, Columbo never even set foot on North America…he only made it as far as the Caribbean Caribbean Beach by frank_berlinand South America.

Finally, if old Cris didn’t kill the Indians he met along the way, he sent them back to Spain as slaves.

So much for the Myth of Columbo…but I still love him…almost as much as I love Paella.Paella party by toyohara


Secret of Life

22 10 2008

One of the greatest secrets of life is having both patience & wisdom.   


Wisdom Meets Patience

Wisdom Meets Patience

As illustrated by the uncommon dog…


All Roads

19 10 2008

We have a neighbor in the apartemento next door.  She is French.  Sexy French Maid, Sexy Hot Women, Fishnet Stockings, Sexstacey by Sexy Stacey LiEvery time she makes a trip to her home country she returns with a case or two of french wine.  Obviously she is a francophile, French Women are Proof of God by brewbooksfor good reason, I suppose.  But, really.

After all: When in Rome.

Far be it from me to suggest that anything French may have been invented by the Italians but let’s look at the subject of oenology, Grape bearer by klausthebestshall we?

My people and I spend the summer and early fall in our vineyard just outside Sienna so I know something about the process of turning fruit to fermentation.

The best part, to my mind, is rolling in the lovely aromatic glop of must, Red must in stainless tank by angelocesareCrushed Grapes by Kurt Preisslera by-product of the crush.  It leaves my fur a pleasant royal purple hue.  Purple Amigurumi Dog by djonesgirlzHeaven.  But I digress.

The making of French wine was greatly influenced by the many Popes who made their homes in Avignon.  Memories of France  October 2006 - Sur le Pont d'Avignon by Tintagel22Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape (meaning, new castle of the pope) Château Neuf du Pape by Grégory Hervésits just to the north of Avignon and is regarded by many to be a mecca for great wines…rooted in Roman culture, of course.  All roads do, indeed, lead to Rome.Roman Roads by chlywhite

Neuf said.


Not Me

13 10 2008

Speaking of numbers: I have no idea what a trillion is, I’ve just been hearing it alot on the television the last few days, in English AND Italian.

But here’s a dog who might understand the value of such a rarified number.

FYI, I could NEVER do either one of these tricks…especially the one with the treat.  If it’s in my mouth, it’s MINE.


The American Economy

9 10 2008

My Contessa was reading Il Giornale this morning, something about a group of mongrels from a place called Wall Street The Wall Street Bull at the Financial District, Manhattan, New York City by Scandblue(spoken as a small, male dog, who wouldn’t love an entire street lined by a wall…?).China - Beijing "The Great Wall" by mr_sandro1

Anyway, the way she explained to Il Conte, these rascals made the equivilant of a zillion EurosSlovenian Euro coins by *melby* (that’s molto dog treats, Dog treats by ..Beci..in any language or currency), bankrupt their companies, then asked the government for a loan to cover their mistakes.

What did they do with some of that loan money?  They went to the beach, of course.  A very expensive beach.Ritz-Carlton Beach Area by neepster

This is totally contrary to canine logic, I just want all the American people to know.  As Mark Twain once wisely noted:Mark Twain - Author by Butterflies-R-Free

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.  This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

You Americans may think that, at the moment, congress is littered with dogs (pun intended), but I say, throw out ALL the curs and fill the vacant seats with rescue dogs~My "Rescued" Dog~ by Red~StarThe very name implies their mission.

Prosperous dogs will never bite the hand that feeds them.This Is Presley, He's From Rocket Dog Rescue Dog...The 1st Dog I Snapped Today...And Guess What...He Found A Home! by mybluemuse aka PJ Taylor

I know.


Papal Marathon

7 10 2008

Pope Benedict XVI by Jari Kurittu

Pope Benedict is holding a seven-day bible reading marathon here in Rome.



Over the next week 1200 people will take turns reading from the 73 books of the Catholic version of the bible.Old Bible by eye2eye





I’m wondering how much of the bible is devoted to dogs?Resting on the Word by greenwillow crafts

Perhaps there should be a mini-marathon devoted to dog passages: Anecdotal bible stories concerning the role of dogs in growing spirituality, as it were.  Just long enough to inform and inspire; short enough to hold the attention span of a terrierAmiDogs Boston Terrier crochet amigurumi by planetjune (which is fairly short unless a squirrel is woven into the tale).

After all, that calm feeling one gets when petting a dog is as close to God as man gets, non e vero?The heavens declare the glory of God by 1blessedmom (Free Time Until Oct.8)






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