Snow Dogs

9 02 2012

The Roman snow is mere memory today, but memories are things that sometimes haunt. I smell more flakes on a breeze calling from mountains to the east. I think my Contessa knows it’s on the way, as well. I led the way as she carried heavy bags of critical supplies into our elevator: A new can of tennis balls, 3 special chew toys, a squeaky, fluffy imitation squirrel that smells like a polyester-clad tourist and a large bag of my favorite kibble (organic, duck and pea). These are the perks of a rare “snow-pocolypse”.

Another perk? Slipping our way across the thankfully level Piazza del Popolo and up the steep steps to the winter wonderland of the Pincio. Dogs romping and racing through snow until the ice between their toes begs them to stop; eating snowballs launched by laughing children (who, by the way, sound much like a pack of puppies) and making snow dogs.

 

I crafted three last Monday. Terriers, of course. Used my nose to push and pack and my artistic talent (mother’s side of the family) to sculpt the creatures. If we get more snow, I plan to do a series: Scotties, Rats and Russells.  It didn’t hurt that the Villa Borgese is nearby. Bernini has always been an inspiration.

Apollo and Daphne,

Pluto and Proserpina…

 

…Truth Unveiled by Time.

I was proud of my work. Tail held high and nose in the air all the way home. Alas, today, the work was merely memory under a fifty-degree clear sky and an icy puddle of H2O.

I suppose that I am a bit of a fraud. No Bernini here. Mere dog, save the fact that, though my creation had not the lasting effect of Bernini’s Truth Unveiled by Time, that is, in fact, exactly what happened.

Art mimics life as life mimics art, no?

Chow.

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Tomato Confit

22 01 2009

The Count works part-time at something (I don’t know what) in Cairo.  He smells of dust and tombs every time he comes back.  Egyptian tomb walls by rhombitruncatedAnd he always bring something home with him, every time.

This time is was a box of tomatoes.  TOMATOES?!Red ripe tomatoes by Lubrico

Each was individually wrapped like something very special…similar to the pears that come each Christmas.  Just looking at them, it was hard for a small dog to understand why one would haul a box of tomatoes all the way from Egypt.  Then the wrappers came off…

The smell of fully ripe pomodori filled the entire cucina.  Heaven.  Just like late summer all over again.  Visions of pushing my snout into overripe tomatoes laying idle in the garden rushed into my little brain.  rotten tomatoes by demetri paridesIt dawned on me: the closest place to find ripe tomatoes in winter: Cairo.

Grazia quickly made off to the counter with every one.  She washed them and cut them in quarters.  She took all the seeds out and the inner chambers were sliced away to appear in some later-on sauce.roast tomato soup by †eardrop

She lay them all inside down on a cookie sheet, drizzled them with olive oil and salted them carefully, then pushed them in a slow oven for 3 hours. 

The result? Tomato Confit After by Jake(ymon)Tomato Confit, to toss with penne nd garlic; to serve with a roasted chicken, to place atop a fine slice of bread with a little goat cheese; all are joyously delicious.  Perfect for a little taste of summer on a cold winter day.tomato confit by chez pim

Chow!





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

Chow!








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