Shopping day in the big city

LOCATION: Housesitting in Cingoli, italy

WEATHER: Mostly sunny. High about 60

Today’s plan was to re-stock the refrigerator. We drove to Jesi, the largest town around here, population 40,000 and about 20 kilometers away. The homeowners have left us one of their cars, very generous on their part.

Again, thank goodness for the GPS system. Our first stop in town was the train station, where we bought our tickets for Bologna, where we will be vacationing after this housesit. Easy-peasy buying them., communicating to the kind train clerk. A 5-hour trip for 18 Euros each, about $22 USD.

Then to the supermarket. It was very tempting to buy too much of delicious-looking food items. These huge Parma hams sell for about $125 USD each.

Our purchases included lots of good-looking veg, fresh (not dried) pasta, interesting looking sausages, and a strangely named “bastarda” cheese.

Then, we looked for a restaurant to eat, but it was nearing 2:00, at which time they all seem to close. So, we drove on home, and had an indoor picnic of some of that sausage and cheese we had just bought, and some olives.

The sun came out in the afternoon. The wildflowers in the yard are liking the sun and light rain.

The old barn on the property has lots of character.

I sat out on the back patio, soaking up the sun while I read a good novel. The tree in the background is an almond tree. Full of bees right now, it promises to provide lots of almonds to the homeowners later in the season.

DINNER: In a word…..Wow! I’ve been carrying around (on my ipad) for about a year, a recipe from Lynn Rosetta Kasper, a great “foodie” that I used to listen to on Minnesota Public Radio. The recipe is called “Cacio e Pepe” — cheese and pepper. She writes that if her cooking students could master this dish, they could do any Italian meal, due to its simplicity and the requirement of attention to detail. So, the challenge was on! The recipe has only a few ingredients: pasta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. The most important part of preparing the dish is buying the best ingredients. So, since I’m here in Italy, I bought fresh tagliatelle pasta and sumptuous Parmesan. It really turned out great. As an appetizer, we had artichoke hearts. They must just be coming into their season, as I see lots of artichoke plants in people’s gardens and they were bountiful (and cheap) at the supermarket.

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