28 11 2008

We went out last night…Thunderstorm in Rome - July 2006 by Surfcanariasforged a thunderstorm to arrive at the door of an unfamiliar apartemento.

Il Conte rang the buzzer and, Roman Door by Jim Charles Photographyas though attached to the doorbell in some fashion, the doorknob immediately turned and we were invited in.  English ensued, spoken by the all four of the apartemento occupants.  But there was something else in the air: The elegant fragrance of demi-glaceOH Dayton - Tasty Bird Poultry by scottamuspoultry of some sort, I reckoned. 

I followed the perfume into the cucina where there stood a small copper pot, heavenly steam rising above a low gas flame.Copper pots and pan by Phil Punton

Now, my Contessa doesn’t cook much, so when she and the lady of the apartemento reached the stove, the hostess began to recite the method of the bubbling nectar of the dogs above.

Four turkey legs (I KNEW it was poultry), BBQ Turkey Leg from NY Renaissance Faire by Plaid Ninjafour turkey thighs, two turkey necks, chop one large onion, two large carrot, and one bunch of celery, all into a roasting pan for two hours until brown.  Then…white, red and black pepper, a bay leaf…put all into a large pot and cover with water.

Cook for forty-eight hours, she said.  demi-glace by nikaboyceHow can one wait THAT long for food, I thought.  Then press all the liquid out of the remainder, strain, discard the remainder (DISCARD!!!??????), and set back upon a very low flame for another FORTY-EIGHT hours!!!  When it is cooked down to a mere two to three inches in the pot, it is finito.

The lady of the apartemento made gravy for dinner that night wth said demi-glace.  Pure ambrosia.  I know because she saved a little of the “remainder” in anticipation of the presence of one small dog at what these Americans fondly called “Thanksgiving”.

She placed it in a fine porcelain bowl, with a little something called “stuffing”…not at all like what frequently falls from one of my plush toys…and drizzled the heaven-like gravy over the top.

Frankly,Passporto by astro twilight it was enough to give up my Italian passport for…

I LOVE America!



18 11 2008

No, that’s not a gender term.  Though, I do think many women might equate the two meanings and, perhaps, since Latin is in play, there may be some truth to the parallel…especially if Latin was invented by a woman.

Male in Italiano is pronounced ma-le…to be sick.  Thermometer by covemanMy Contessa is sick and I’m in heaven.bed of clouds silhoutte by moemoechi

I do not mean to make light of her influenza, but consider this:

What is the one place a dog prefers to be on a cold, blustery autumn day?  In bed.Lonely in bed by Joey Harrison

What is the one thing a dog loves to have in bed?  A heating pad with three levels of warmth. Electrex Vintage Heating Pad by Yee_Haw

What is the best sensory thing a dog wishes for?  Chinese take-out; Fried rice to be exact.57 炒飯 (Vol. 3) Fried Rice by Eat-My-Heart-Out 你吃,我看

The first three days of the flu are heaven.  What dog is unable to sleep through a little coughing and wheezing in exchange for the time of his life.

Alas, soon it will be over.  We’ll be back on the wind-swept Pincio in the bitter cold.  The only warmth with three degrees of setting will be how far I place myself from the fire every night.

And no more Chinese.1940 Booklet Dogs of the World Rival Dog Food by Vintage Quincy

Health can be hell. Please read + pass it on! by myla kent


Just A Dog

14 11 2008

Someone anonymously wrote the following…it’s too bad they didn’t own up to it because, in my eyes, they are a hero….

“From time to time I hear people say, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”  They don’t understand the distance traveled, Dog Grooming Show  by white dogtime spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.”Dog Grooming by Svadilfari

Some of man’s proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.”  Many hours have passed with man’s company being “Just a dog,”  A Man and His Dog by AnnieD62and not once has man felt slighted.

Some of the saddest moments can be brought about by “Just a dog.”  Brownie - Old dog waiting to be carried up the stairs by perryw1958In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provides comfort and purpose to overcome the day.Dog lick by vickygr

If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “Just a friend,” “Just a sunrise,” or “Just a promise.”  “Just a dog” brings to life unbridled joy. Joyful Dog by Ross Hill “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes men better human beings.She Loves Dogs by monerxz

Because of “Just a dog,” humans rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.  Dogs are he embodiment of all man’s hopes and dreams for the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in man and diverts his thoughts away from himself and the worries of the day.Walking the dog by orlando72

Dogs are not “Just dogs.”  We give the humanity to humans.  We save them from being “Just a man ro a woman.”

The next time you hear the phrase, “Just a dog,” Walking the Dog? by Bernie Ledsmile because they “Just don’t understand.””

‘Nough said.








Is He Kidding?

7 11 2008

Silvio Berlusconi

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gave an enthusiastic, if unconventional, welcome on Thursday to the election of Barack Obama, citing among his attributes youth, good looks and a suntan.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, the 72-year-old media tycoon also said Obama’s election to the White House had been “hailed by world public opinion as the arrival of a messiah”.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a meeting in Beijing October 23, 2008. (REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool/Files)

“I will try to help relations between Russia and the United States where a new generation has come to power, and I don’t see problems for Medvedev to establish good relations with Obama who is handsome, young and also suntanned,” he said.

Berlusconi, who prides himself on being a friend of outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, shrugged off a barrage of criticism in Italy as his remark quickly appeared in print and audio on major media websites around the world.

Italy’s left-wing opposition parties accused him of bringing discredit on the country with comments which they said were at worst racist and at best a diplomatic blunder.

Berlusconi called his critics “imbeciles” without any sense of humour, adding, “God save us from the imbeciles.”

Berlusconi, who himself sports a year-round tan, is famed in diplomatic circles for making sometimes inappropriate quips.

On his first meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 2002, Berlusconi complimented him with the words: “Rasmussen is not only a great colleague, he’s also the best-looking prime minister in Europe.”

He added: “He’s so good looking, I’m even thinking of introducing him to my wife.”

Is he kidding…on both counts…or what?  Even a small dog knows that judgment, whether good or bad, can not be based on the superficial color of ones fur.color dog by WangHua

And Silvio’s wife must be ready for change, too….


I Wouldn’t Leave Heaven

4 11 2008

A new book my Contessa is reading:I Wouldn't Leave Rome to Go to HeavenI Wouldn’t Leave Rome to Go to Heaven.

Exactly.roman street dogs by AugustGarage

Anyone with a studied eye for Italian truth, knows heaven exists in every corner, cobblestones in Rome by Malou7between every wedge of cobblestone.  Other-worldly scents and historical markers in layered dust.

Joie Davidow knows of what she writes, according to my Contessa.  It is a recommended good read.

Chow.Cobblestones by pricklypearbloom

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