Not Just Whistling

28 04 2009

OK…I can corner a scorpion in the cucinaBaby Scorpion II by Sublime ®

I can think in at least two languages, I can write a blog—-I can howl.Howling dog sculpture by Scorpions and Centaurs

But I can’t whistle like this:

Just put your lips together and blow?  Lauren Bacall by twm1340

What lips.

Chow.





Any Port in a Storm

26 04 2009

We’re visiting our farm in Chianti this weekend.  The weather is windy and rainy but I don’t mind.  Thunderstorm over Tuscany by Peter GorgesThere is a fire in the fireplace and bread in the oven. 

I love it here: a good cook in the cucina, young leaves on the vines, Grapevines by Laurie Yorkchicks in the hen-house, and the addition of a puppy to the family of the caretaker.

Alas, the poor young creature has not yet taken a good look in the mirror.

hen-and-dog

I guess it’s any port in a storm.

Chow.





Dog A-Tax

20 04 2009

For those of you who filed for an extension in the USA last week, Buried in Tax Forms by thedailyhamsterhere’s something else to try to figure out:

1040-Dog

In Italy, Dogs are considered dependents, of course. 

You may defer any tax——-unless you add a cat.wet-cat-3.jpg by insearchofwater

Households with cats always pay extra, one way or another.Watch Out for Angry Wet Cat by The Rocketeer

Chow.





Jump Higher

16 04 2009

OK: I have a crazy idea on how to get these rodents to jump higher, faster.  Employ a certain small dog, no?

I feel the need for speed…

Chow.





Simple Acts

13 04 2009

Two tenets of Dog Logic:

It is in simple acts, whether pleasant or unkind, that points of view are turned.  And in so turning, the flow of life is changed.  Like the moon draws the tides to a different course, lives are altered until, one day, another shift corrects the stream. 

You can’t judge a dog by it’s collar.

Witness:

And, if you can’t access the link, use this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY&feature=related

Or simply go to YOUTUBE.COM and search Susan Boyle.

It’s worth the trouble of cut and paste or search…not that I would know.

Chow.





Buona Pasqua

12 04 2009

I love Easter in Rome! 

The shoes are spectacular. 

We walk to St. Peter’s Square.  It’s filled with thousands of people from all over the world and the footwear is incredibly diverse.  Easter in Rome, 2007 by bluejay82Running shoes with rubber soles and canvas sides, fine Ferragamos, shiny patent leather, suede, plastic and even wood.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes! by francophony

And on each sole, the tell-tale hint of origin: French pastryGluten Free:  Homemade Croissants! by Kate Chan, Dutch gumGum on Shoe by catclawtub, Polish mudrocky gap state park, md by psimpson101 and Malibu sandSandy Beach and Rocky Cliffs at La Jolla in San Diego, California by Scandblue.  It’s heaven.

Then there are the shoes of the Swiss guard: Rome with the Finozzi family, Easter 2006 by morrisjeanetteChocolate, of course.

I’d love to get close enough to the Pope to smell his footwear.  Bratwurst and beer?  Sacramental wafers and wine? 

Angel style splash wing prototype by Jen ShikamiOr, scentless, like the wings of an angel?

Buona Pasqua.

Chow.





A Home in Rome

9 04 2009

Berlusconi by Antonio Paolo SannaSilvio Berlusconi just relaxed the rules for architectural expansion.  He says he wants to spur a boom on housing, predicting that the change will bring in billions of Euros to the Italian Economy.

Certainly there are, no doubt, thousands of people already calling their architects to build a new room onto their houses here and there.  God only knows what those homes will look like when the addition is complete.  Random Italian Architecture Falling Down by Malinki

There is already ample evidence of “bastardized” remodels from Milan to Sicily.Case veneziane by fede_gen88 by od.Horrid by Baz61

Isn’t this a little like deciding to eat your own when you’re starving?  The problem is, as soon as good times return, you wonder what ever happened to old Spike.

Old Dog's Eyes (Are Sleeping Now) by Vincént

Even a small dog has standards.

Chow.





A Crack in My Palazzo

6 04 2009

There’s a crack in my pallazzo. 

The bed shook last night; a few pieces of the ceiling fell like dust across the room.  It was the middle of the night.  My Contessa and the Count leaped out of bed then just stood there, looking at each other as though one of them must have been the culprit in some big joke.

When the lights came on, the first thing we all saw was a long jagged crack in the ceiling of the appartemento. 

I heard there are many who were not so lucky in the tremor and I am sorry.  3.32 am by etna walk ©We are blessed to be in Rome 70 miles away from the center of the terremoto.  The city sits on a crown of tufo which supposedly cushions us.  All of our shakes are moderate–so far.

Repair to our ceiling will follow in due course, as it always does after a little shake: plasterers, painters, all with lunch bags and willing hands.

There are always small gifts in disaster.  Sympathy for Italian Earthquake by Kuzeyli48The key is to find them, no?

Chow.





Sunday Dinners

6 04 2009

I was trying to explain to a friend of mine how splendid Sunday dinner was last night and what a wonderful effect it always has on me, from head to toe. 

Pictures are so often worth the thousand words that, as a dog,  I will never speak:

Chow…exactly.





Easter Bunnies

4 04 2009

I know why rabbits are a ubiquitous sign of spring; and it’s not just the Easter Bunny.  rabbit - looking at you! by phamp197xRabbit traps are set in Chianti like clockwork come spring.  The man who runs our farm in the country stacks them high in the flat bed of his Ape, Rabbit trapping by State Records NSWand off we go, down a white gravel road, deep into the wood to set them.Wabbit Twap by a.d.miller

Two days later we return.  Only one trap holds a prize, but it is just enough for a proper Sunday dinner.

The local Italian rabbit is fat and tender and toothsome, especially when the farm cook , Grazia, prepares them.  How to cook rabbit by hans sThis is the way:

Heat the oven to 350.  Whisk together one bottle of Chianti, 1/4 cup of red-wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Cut a 3 lb. rabbit into pieces…Braised Rabbit by MindtoEyetoss the fur to any small dog who might be nearby.  Season it (the rabbit, not the dog) with salt and pepper, then dredge each piece in flour.

In 1/4 cup of olive oil, fry the rabbit, turning once, until browned…about 6 delicious smelling minutes. Braised Rabbit by MindtoEye

Transfer the rabbit  into a deep baking dish.  Add a hand-full of crushed garlic cloves (about 16-20) to the skillet until golden: another 3-4 delicious smelling minutes.  Pour the wine mixture into the skillet and scrape up the browned bits.  Pour the sauce over the rabbit in the baking dish.  Scatter the top with a handful of sage leaves(about 15) and 5 or 6 rosemary sprigs. 

Cover with foil and braise in the oven until tender…another 45 delicious smelling minutes.  Then, uncover and raise the over temperature to 450, basting rabbit until the sauce is thickened….yes, another 25 minutes of splendorous scent. 

A little salt and pepper; a bottle of Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico by S.Stavroucrusty bread Peter Reinhart's French Bread by foéÖþoooeyand green salad Green Salad by Sarah89j  Ecco, you have the perfect spring-time Sunday dinner.

Chow.








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