Now this is where I get confused… my Italian friends variably tell me this is a main course.
But my old Italian teacher Donata said that it’s a primo and that the secondo be chicken, meat or fish along with the contorno of vegetables.
Chicken cacciatore, all across Italy: Should you decide a bistecca is not for you and object to, or just don’t like, veal then pass up on the Bistecca alla Fiorentina.., besides its serving suggestion isn’t well done enough for mio.
The simple to make (and most Italian dishes are) chicken cacciatore which involves frying chicken cuts with base ingredients of onion, garlic and tomato is something even I could cook.
Particularly as I’ve been shown my penne from my tagliatelle by my friend Catherine Fulvio at her Ballyknocken House & Cookery School https://ballyknocken.ie.
Fragola Gelato, Rome: Now, you might be expecting a tiramisu here but I’m not a coffee, creamy signore… in fact the only cream I like is ice cream.
So dish me up a fragola (strawberry) gelato and you’ll not get a peep out of me (well, maybe!). See https://www.rome.net.
And I’m going to deviate from the script here with una ciocolatta calda densa, a hot chocolate that is more of a thick chocolate pudding.
A Grappa perhaps, or a Limincello… and the latter has made it over in our move from Ireland to Scotland.
And returned to our freezer. And now that mia moglie has gone into the distilling business with her alcohol sanitiser then it’s a small step surely to making Limoncello.
Now we just need some lemon trees and a Mediterranean diet.
Of course a full Chianti or Valpolicella is usually what il dottore ordered.
But instead I’ll opt for a pinot grigio seeing that it’s a white meat dish.
And seeing that I want to evoke Rome and an al fresco family meal just outside the Pantheon.
Then I’m going to plump for due bottiglie di Lazio Pinot Grigot Cantina Gabriele.
And we’ll maybe slap on some Vivaldi and look up at our painting of the Castello Sant’Angelo in Rome and know that we’ll be back.
Because, of course, we threw some coins into the Trevi Fountain.
There are three new countries to the Journeys product line. As well as us here in Ireland there’s Singapore and Greece.
It doesn’t surprise me that Ireland is included. I remember well a story-telling afternoon in an authentic Irish cottage in Killiney, Co. Dublin when I stayed at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel http://www.fitzpatrickcastlehotel.com.
Some things were never meant to be finished… take The Scary One (please). She is always finding things that still need to be done to the house.
Word reaches me that Antoni Gaudi’s magnus opus, the Sagrada Família, first begun in 1882 but only a quarter completed by the time of his death in 1926, has hit another snag.
And just when they looked like getting over the line after Barcelona’s city authority granted La Sagrada Familia’s first building permit. I’m not even asking under what terms they built what’s already up.
Seventy per cent is done (so they had chipped away at it at some point since the Great Man died).
Eight of its proposed 18 spires have been completed and the plan is to have it all finished by 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.
But I guess nobody counted on the 3,000 residents living in the nearby apartments and their objections.
Watching the cranes above the psychedelic spires while draining a jug of sangria recently I couldn’t help wondering whether Antoni had been on something.
And whether they shouldn’t just tear it down and start all over again.
I hope you’re having a good one. I won’t wish you Joyeux Quatorze Juillet, or Bonne Bastille, as the French don’t really do that in the way the Americans wish you Happy Fourth of July.
If you want to find out more French nuances then pop by the French Corner in Dublin where Alliance Francaise Dublin and the French Library with the French Embassy will be putting on free workshops and games and face painting for l’enfants.
From 11-5pm today. City Spectacular, Merrion Square, Dublin.
As I revealed in one of my random Did You Knows yesterday, the Battle of the Boyne was on July 1 and when converted to the Gregorian Calendar became the 12th of July when it should have been the 11th of July.
Of course we were more interested in commemorating another royal victory this week on the 11th.
The final piece of the Game of Thrones tapestry has been woven in at the Ulster Museum in Belfast to mark the end of the saga.
Before it gets taken to Bayeux where it will be exhibited from September to December.
The Ulster Museum is one of the best cultural and historical museums on this island. And it’s free. Visit it. http://www.nmni.com.
I’m heading up to Royal Portrush on Sunday for the final day of The Open Golf Championship.
I love an oul’ festival…. they’re almost always not what you expect, and even better too.
Take for example the Festival of the Trays which too me conjures up an image of people banging beer trays over their heads.
It used to be popular in the Seventies and was featured in one of Esther Rantzen’s That’s Life shows I’m sure. I have vague recollections of doing the same one Hogmanay (or New Year’s Eve to those not of the Scottish persuasion).
This Festival of the Trays in Portugal though is far more serene. In commemoration of Queen Saint Isabel and the Holy Spirit, this is all about hundreds of young girls carrying trays of gifts on their heads.
The trays are blessed, there are street decorations and quilts in the windows. Flowers are thrown over the procession too, naturally!
The Procession of the Tabuleiros, heralded by pipers and fireworks is led by the Banner of the Holy Ghost and the three Crowns of the Emperors and Kings.
Bringing up the rear are cartloads of bread, meat and wine, pulled by the symbolic sacrificial oxen with golden horns and sashes. Visit www,tabuleiros.org and http://www.visitportugal.com. The festival starts today and goes on until July 8.
Ah! But if Maria and the Von Trapps had climbed every mountain as The Sound of Music told us they did they would have ended up in Hitler’s back yard.
Sorry, I just tell it like it is and so do the Salzburgers who burst our bubble on a tour of the city…. they do take you to some great Sound of Music sites and it is seriously good fun.
Me telling it like it is, it’s important to flag up what a great summer destination Austria is and what great deals there are out there.
TUI has last-minute deals for July 3, seven nights B&B staying at the *3 Hotel Obermair, Mayrhofen, from €449pps or seven nights half-board at the *3 Pension Hannes, Neiderau from €469pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
An offer you can’t refuse
I went into the doctor and told him that I felt like a small Mediterranean island. He told me to stop being Sicily.
Like many who have visited Malta I spent way too short a time in Sicily on a day’s catamaran cruise. Of course, I will be back and when I do I will take it all in, The Godfather history, the beautiful coastline and vibrant villages.
You can get great value with a late deal to Sicily with Sunway. Seven nights for €499 on July 6. Visit http://www.sunway,ie,
The best China
Zhuhe, Tang Yixin and Zhang Ruoyun. Which, of course, is congratulations, but you knew that anyway.
And maybe that they are a Chinese celebrity couple who chose Adare Manor to marry.
Tang and Zhang are TV drama stars back home and have 33 million followers on Weibo, the social media platform in China. Now Bandanamann followers with a wee nudge we might make a dent in that!
Tang and Zhang’s combined showbiz name would be Tang, meaning she’s in charge which is a bit like most marriages really!
Yes, I know any excuse. I’ll tell you what every time The Other Donald tweets something daft or puts us on the brink of war…. and I’m not forgiving him this week after his antics caused the rearrangement of my trip to Iran… then Ill put up a photo of The Real Donald.
And anyway American Sky has a great saving of up to €530 per family on a seven-night stay at the *4 The Grove Resort Hotel & Spa in Orlando, valid for travel before February 11 2021. This holiday now costs from €649.
This is a new resort, just a few minutes drive from Walt Disney World Resort and it includes a kids Surfer Water Park.
There are four on-site restaurants.
Based on two adults and two children sharing and return flights from Dublin with transfers and accommodation on a self-catering basis.