Friends are hard to come by .. good friends that is .. someone who knows you and understands you .. someone you can keep in contact with and enjoy sharing little pieces of life .. someone who shares your interest and zest for food and all things Italian...
I have a friend like that .. a high school friend that I just recently reunited with.. Marti.. she now lives in the hills of Tuscany in a little town called Stia .. Our lives have many parallels... food was her profession and Italy her passion .. she contacted me a few years ago by email & we have been corresponding regularly ever since.. it has been fun and quite an adventure for me to hear her stories.. she is a free spirit and has a very interesting life .. following her heart & her dreams.
Last October when in Florence with my culinary tour ~Clint & I were able to break away from the group for an hour to have a coffee with her & Piero and this week when we came to Rome .. Clint & I made plans to make our visit just a little bit longer .
She was one of the first people I told about this adventure to Rome .. we were both very excited !
We made plans to take the Eurostar to Florence Santa Maria Novella Station & meet them there ~Daily she would send me info on Italy .. weather , train schedules, plans she was making for our visit .. we were to meet at the train station .. she & Piero would be taking the bus from their little town and we would take the early train .. we arrived at almost the same time .. phoning each other from across the station.. we met at the Farmacia ..
We spotted each other immediately and happily held a non stop conversation as we strolled through the streets of Florence on our way to the Mercato Centerale .. the large food market in Florence.This was a perfect place to bring me ! I loved looking at the the stalls asking Piero about the different cuts of meat that I was not familiar with ~ and believe me there was many .. the volume of butcher stalls was staggering .. each selling a specialty .. there was tripe & intestines .. there was cow tails and testicles.. nerves and even .. and I am hesitant to even write this but the face of a cow was on display for sale .. kind of makes rabbit sound benign.. but as I always say about food ~ it is all what you are use to !
We wandered around the market sampling prosciutto and pecorino.. gazing at the fish .. fresh from the sea... we went to the second level where all the beautiful produce was on display .. all this food was making us hungry so we headed out into the Florence sunshine over to a little Trattoria that both Piero & Marti knew of for a wonderful traditional lunch.
We sat in the corner and drank Vino Rosso a casa and orderd a fabulous meal and enjoyed it with wonderful warm friendship .. our afternoon ended too soon.. before we knew it after some wine & vin santo & lemoncello we were headed back to the station .. Us to Roma and Marti & Piero back to Tuscany.It was a wonderful visit and one I will not forget .
Italy is just a little more special with friend like Marti & Piero!
I am an optimistic and happy person.. I would rather see life as exciting and challenging and enjoy every minute than dwell on the negative .. I love to cook and have my family around .. big family dinners and celebrations are always held in my home.. I have a huge table 10 feet long ..filled with food and family.. I have learned many of my mom's old recipes and try to recreate many of the dishes I grew up with .. I am teaching my grandsons to cook .. they love it! I have a wonderful,happy, loving relationship with my husband. He supports me in everything I do and is my biggest fan and taste tester.. he loves all things Italian too!
I love to cook, write, eat and laugh .. I wrote a cookbook in 2004.. the title? LIVE,LAUGH,COOK! what else!