We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mrs. BD and I have concluded that Umbria is a more varied and interesting place to visit than Tuscany. I have a well-travelled friend who agrees. Umbria is, except for the tourist magnets of Perugia and Assisi, off the beaten track. We have been around much of Italy in the past, and the Latin and Italian scholar lad has been literally everywhere there.We had not toured Umbria and the old Via Flaminia (which it is still called). Mrs. and I just returned home from our delightful adventure. As I get my thoughts and pics organized, I will go over some of it: History, food, geography, etc.
I do have some ideas about how to make it more interesting and educational than a totally dull photo slideshow for Maggie's. Will do my best with a multi-part series of my travel snapshot journal. Bear with me: I will try to make it interesting.
Too tired to begin that now, but here's one photo to maybe inspire some interest in my posts to come, from one of Norcia's (pronounced nor' - cha) famous pork, cheese, and Black Truffle shops. They love their aged Cinghiale meats and sausages in Umbria (Cinghiale is Wild Boar, not our American feral pig which is not too tasty). In much of Europe, wild game is sold in markets (which is illegal in the US).
The market shops always have samples of their own aged ricotta dura (a harder and delicious version of ricotta which is good for salads), their superb Pecorino from sheep milk, or of their sausages. I was tempted to smuggle a large wheel of Pecorino Dura, but decided not to test the mysterious customs laws on importation of foods.
They roll the aged ricotta in toasted wheat for a skin, as below:
Well, one bonus of living in the Ottawa Valley is that right across the Ottawa River is Québec, home of a hundred different unpasteurized cheeses and the best commercially available selection of game meats (gibier) in Canada.
I get all my sanglier (wild boar) meat from there.
"That looks like a lepus corsicanus (Italian hare). Quite yummy when cooked in red wine."
A pair of European hares (lepus europaeus) took up residence in my cedar woods this spring. I have to admit I've now become too fond of them to ever contemplate catching them for dinner, much as I like such fare.
Besides, they're doing a great job on my dandelions...
Way back in 1910 or so, some resourceful immigrant German farmer in Ontario came up with the idea of importing these hares to raise them commercially for meat.
Yes, you guessed it - there were a number of "escapees" from the farm and the rest (as they say) is history.