Sunday, November 19, 2006

Love and Food

One more post between then and now...I'm almost caught up!

11 November 2006
"I've never had a trip where I wanted to remember every single meal," Bowden said as we drove to Milano and took notes over the last 10 days of pasta, cheese, meat, desserts, and wine. What a high compliment, I thought. The memory of his first trip to Italia would be full of tastes, smells, and views from across a table.

One Italian food fan wrote, "A meal that does not cause an outpouring of memories is not a memorable meal." As Bowden and I sit down to many more meals of ribollita, tagliatelle al ragu, gnocchi di castagne, cingiale, panna cotta, and all bottles that make the meal complete, I'm sure we'll remember the homey bustle of Mario's in Firenze, the montepulciano we drank in Montepulciano, and the superb dessert wine in Cremona, which made up for a kitchen that closes abnormally early. We'll recall trying to tear into the delicious, whole scampi (or was it a garnish?) while eating near the sea. How could we forget the soft jazz and relaxed (maybe too relaxed?) meal at the trattoria we stumbled upon in Milano, thanks to a local stranger who warned us about the chance we might be taking if we'd eat at the place we'd set out to find. We'll never serve panna cotta without thinking about the three topping options available everywhere in Italia: cioccolato, caramela, frutti di bosco.

As terrific as the food and the art and the history were, one memory of Bowden's trip will always be my favorite. With all of Firenze twinkling beneath us, he asked me to marry him and I said yes. I think it's a spectacular sign for our future that after exchanging rings, we went out for gelato. Here's our promise for a lifetime of memorable meals together. Ti amo, Amore Mio!


The contorno (or side dish) Bowden and I enjoyed at that stumbled-upon trattoria in Milano was deliciously simple, made to show off a perfect pairing of ripe produce. Enjoy this salad when the veg and fruit are prime.

Insalata di Finocchio ed Arancia
Very thinly slice a sweet, young fennel bulb. (You might try slicing the fennel with a mandolin to get fine, feathery slices.) Arrange the cut fennel on a platter. Peal a juicy orange and remove all the pith possible. Slice or pare the orange and lay the pieces over the fennel. Buon appetito!


At 5:18 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

we're so happy for you and your engagement! it was so neat to have you stay with us in macerata and to be a part of bowden's first trip to italy!!! hope bowden liked the food in macerata as well (and of course the door store!). miss you, corrie! good luck with school starting!


At 3:07 PM, Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Congratulations and best wishes you you both! Sounds like your restaurant experiences would have been memorable even if the food wasn't!
P.S. Fennel orange is a great salad.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tanti, tanti auguri bella!
I am so happy for you both and send you my bestest wishes, can't wait to meet the lucky gent!

Good luck with your first day of school, bella, in boca al lupo!


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Big congrats to you Bowden! Wishing you all the best.
ps. Danilo and I are going to have to start having our meals with you two, everything sounded wonderful!


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