The Most

6 05 2009

You must know by now that I am a dog of some privilege.  I have an apartment in Rome, our apartment view in Rome by writing (moved in; renovations; London daily) vineyard in Chianti Chianti Vineyard and Farmhouse by jimgeverettand a precious cook. Day 109/365 : what is cooking? by V.I.D.S


That said, I think I am happiest in the park: an unclaimed plot of perfection.  It’s there that rare things are found—if you know where to look. 

A rotting squirrel, This is a dead squirrel #1 by ndangerhe scrubby feather of a duck, slimy slugs Shot of a lifetime, slug eating a  leaf by photogirl7or a well-worn toy.

It all brings to mind a certain quotation of unknown origin:

“The happiest of creatures don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”

Straight from the dog’s mouth.Wolf Dog by storm_gal


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.


I guess it’s any port in a storm.


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.


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