Election 2009

17 08 2009

The Roman exodus that began August 1 is yet in full swing.  The streets are oddly quiet; the heat is turned to high and, up on the Pincio, the vendors of small squeaky playthings have even closed up shop until the cooler days on late September.

Thunderstorms roll across the city like thick blankets from time to time.  The air becomes 99% water and it’s hard to breathe, especially at ankle level where the rain hits the hot cobblestones and steam rises like fog.

So, I am content (I guess) to stay in the air conditioned appartamento. I roll the ball around a bit until it ends up under the low slung couch.  I check the dirty laundry by the washer for my Contessa’s underthings.  My nose searches out an empty breakfast bowl.  Finally, I turn to the computer and use one particularly long toenail to search “cute dogs”.  Eccolo!

I go to “the gallery” and click:  Up comes Axel!

Axel

Axel

My old pal from across the hall stands in the snow, a fuzzy, green ball in his mouth, cutting quite a fine figure (though he’s put on a kilo at least since we last ran on the Pincio together.)

Seems he’s trying to win a contest for cutest dog (I’m afraid I have that title…alas, I am not entered).  Grand prize will pay for his trip back to Rome. He says he misses pizza…real pizza.  And Rome has just the spot for that.

So, if you care about a small dog and his pizza (not to mention the fact that if he makes it back to Rome I will have something to do other than modifying my Contessa’s silky things…),

VOTE FOR AXEL by clicking the cute dog link above. Send the link to your doggish friends.  You can all vote once a day. Let’s send Axel to Rome.

Chow.

Advertisements




Mozzarella in May

23 05 2009

 Mozzarella cheese. (dy1) There’s nothing like mozzarella cheese, especially when it comes in spring.  Fresh on the heels of calving, mozzarella in May is glorious. 

The Italian buffalo is a huge, red-eyed beast which lumbers across the grassy hillsides and wallows in the cool mud-streams along the valleys.  True mozzarella comes from Italy’s Campania region.  Naples is it’s center.  The mozzarella dairy, or caseificio, La Fenice, near Presenzano, is one of our favorite haunts for fresh cheese.

We drive about an hour south of Rome and in we walk.  The smell of buffalo hangs like overripe raw meat in the yard outsidePaestum buffalo's - and do they make great mozzerella! by rubinsteins_in_spainbut inside the dairy is immaculate.  The centerpiece is a large, shallow vat with a hundred white balls of mozzarella bobbing like tennis balls in the milky water.  The finished product, room-temperature and gooey heaven.

A man in the back room is beginning a new batch.  I watch as buffalo milk is brought in and curdled.  The whey is separated and the curd is ground in a mill, then molded and placed in hot water, stirred and kneaded like bread until it is smooth and shiny.  Then, small pieces are pulled away and formed into balls and brined for a short time.  Mozzarella made in the morning is ready by dinner time.  Warm, soft, rich and fresh.

Sure, it’s good with tomatoes and basil and a drizzle of balsamicMaking pizza by borud; tossed with pasta and tomato sauce; on any thin crust pizzaHomemade Pizza - Making of a Dough God by Bumbling B.

But there is nothing like true, fresh, still-warm mozzarella, hand held by the one you love, melting on your tongue and into your memory as spring fades into summer.

Chow.








%d bloggers like this: