Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not quite

done with this journey...

More moments... and in no order whatsoever so if you've read/heard these already, skip ahead.

The world famous (Pictures of Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith eating it) gelato I had in San Gimignano was good but not as good as the several licked in Vernazza which had lemon pits still in them. Hmmm... seems I'm back at food again. Oh well, let's see where that goes...

Food: the 8 Euro dinner in the Verona hostel: perfect pasta with olive oil, garlic and parmesan, grilled chicken with vegetables, freshly picked grapes, and a glass of vino rosso. Breakfast next morning in the same place was coffee and hot milk ladled into soup bowls and the previous night's leftover rolls. Everything evens out!

The decision to eat fish in Venezia (if you've understood the issues of plumbing in much of the Mediterranean, you'll understand how momentous this was for some clean freaks) and the waiter trying to get the table of six to order a whole fish and forgiving us for not doing so by making a dessert at the table which involved cream, gelato, wine, a whisk and bowl and a very accurate pour into some very small glasses. He did the same thing for two other tables and then finished off the last table by standing on a chair to do the pour.

Champagne Truffles - there is nothing more to say except they had an expiry date and they didn't last that long!! Thanks Cousin in Zurich and New Daughter in Paris!!

Salad of frisee, fried potatoes, more endive than I've ever had at one time, Roquefort, walnuts, tomatoes and cucumbers in a Paris bar while the opening act of "West Side Story" played outside the windows. Salad: fabulous; Paris Emergency Force Response: Excellent: 5 Police cars including 1 dog, 1 Ambulance, 1 Fire Truck. Metro station entrance happily immediately outside the bar and the action cooled off by my leaving time.

Good bottle of Rose (which would be ros e acute accent if I had a French keyboard but I don't) wine, serious sourdough bread, Brie, grapes, apples and pate (also missing some accent marks but you know what I mean) for under 7 Euros = dinner for two in a hotel room. And creates a short friendship with the shop owner who thinks that pique-niquing in Parisien hotels is a great idea and has useful suggestions for other nights' pre-cooked food.

Three pub meals with Cousin and one with Himself which say that soggy veggies are definitely things of the past and that going back to England to eat is not such a bad proposition.

Apples for supper after Vimy.

Pasta and fresh buffalo mozzarella and still quivering basil and tomatoes from Lizzie's garden in dishes she made and fired.

Cafe au lait et pain viennoise

Things learned: it is better to eat no chocolate than bad chocolate. Starbucks doesn't have a clue. Sliced endive might look like onions but isn't. Fresh in the markets is completely different from "fresh" in North America. That stuff in the shakers sold as "parmesan" isn't. Our wine is overpriced. Unsalted bread tastes a bit odd but is very useful for cleaning one's plate and cutting down on the mung swirled down the drains. Unsalted butter is addictive but enough walking will take care of the logical consequences!!

Now, it's time to see if there is any wine here... further reflections to follow.

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