Good day yesterday

Yesterday morning I bought some plants at the Farmer’s Market and planted them. I think of this as Steve’s garden. Above you can see the area where I put the basil, tomato, parsley, mint and oregano plants.

Recently, I wanted some parsley for something I was cooking and walked out into the backyard and realized there was no parsley in our garden.

At the Farmer’s Market, I told the lady I bought the plants from that my wife was the gardener and I was the cook. And that we have a little rule at our house, if you want something done, you do it yourself. The lady said it was a good rule. I said it’s worked for 32 years so far. Heh.

Since reading a couple Donna Leon mysteries set in Venice, I have been thinking about Italian cooking.

I resurrected my old Krups espresso machine and cleaned it up yesterday:

I ran vinegar through it and cleansed it with water. It took a bit for the little vapor guy to start working but lo and behold it seems to be up and working. I made a couple espressos for myself yesterday.

One of Leon’s characters routinely drinks cups of espresso and adds sugar. I have never done this but a little poking around in Italian cookbooks confirms that this is a usual way to drink espresso. Haven’t tried it yet, but plan to.

For cooking I put on a record of La Boheme. Then I proceeded to prepare fresh Asparagus and make a pasta for last night’s meal.

I went out and bought some Italian wine and cheese.

I was interested in a red Venetian wine called Amarone della Valpolicella and a simple white Soave. One of my cookbooks mentioned that the Amarone means bitter or “more precisely, ‘bitter in a big way.’ Yet the wine is not bitter.” I love Valpolicella and this author described the Amarone as a super-charged Valpolicella. I haven’t looked at the wine section at Meijers in a long time so I wrote down the name of the wine and went looking.

I couldn’t believe it. They had an Amarone but it was 28 dollars. I decided that was a bit steep and bought a cheaper Banfi Chianti pictured above. It was okay. Couldn’t find any Soave, so I bought a Pinot Grigio.

Anyway, I braised some portabello mushrooms in good olive oil and mixed in the good cheese the pasta. Yum.

Settled down later and read the first three chapters of “Pastures of Heaven” by Steinbeck. Life is good.

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