when life deals you lemons…

forgive the cliche, but where did that phrase come from?  CLEARLY, whoever coined that phrase had never been to the amalfi coast.  the lemons there are amazing.

we are back and so happy to be back to our great life.  but we are changed, probably forever.  how we are changed, i can’t exactly say.  but when you have an experience of a lifetime, you re-enter your life a little dazed and confused, and speechless.  i wanted to blog or journal throughout the month, but there was no way.  writing on a shaking 95-degree train or in a hotel room with no air- conditioning is just not possible.

after our experience in italy, this blog could easily turn into a food blog.  ha!  but seriously.  it was a food pilgrimage, starting in florence, then rome, then the amalfi coast (home of the glorious lemon tree), and the motherland of all amazing food ~ TUSCANY.

i did manage to write down many of my amazing food experiences in my journal, especially the ones i wanted to try making at home.

i begin with THE TOMATOES:  every day for the first half of the trip, i ate caprese salad, with the juiciest tomatoes, the creamiest buffalo mozzarella, and a glorious basil leaf in between each one.  of course we make this here in the states.  i make it all the time at home.  but the flavors really popped there so much more.  i find myself dousing my caprese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and salting it to death, because it needs more flavor.  this needed nothing.  not even salt.  so i had it about 10 times.  or more.  i lost count.

THE TUSCAN BEANS:  what did they DO to those beans?  they were large pinto beans, in some sort of magical sauce.  i’m ordering an “under the tuscan sun” cookbook and will find the recipe for those beans.  can’t wait.

RAVIOLI CON LIMONE CREMA:  we were in a little town on the amalfi coast called maiori, and i had the most delicious ravioli, which was made from scratch with some kind of meat in the middle.  i don’t remember the flavor of the meat because it could have been cardboard and still delicious with that lemon cream sauce covering it all.  SO. DANG. GOOD.  i am learning how to make ravioli from scratch for sure.

i’m also learning how to make GNOCCHI:  the most delicious pasta dish i had the entire time.  of course it was ~ it’s made with potatoes, and i’m a die-hard potato lover.  there was a decade or two where i wouldn’t admit that i love potatoes, not even to myself, because they were supposedly unhealthy and make your belly big.  who the HELL cares?  they’re incredible!

here’s a somewhat blurred picture of the gnocchi with cream sauce that i had in florence:

it’s like food porn.  i know.  the sprinkles you see on the top are crushed walnuts.  and the cream sauce has a touch of truffle in it, i think.  i can taste it right now.

there’s more food porn to come.  i just need to lie on my couch and stare at this picture for the rest of the day.

thank you, readers, in advance, for enduring the next several posts filled with bragging and salivating and dreaming about what the hub and i just experienced.  i don’t know what you’ll get out of reading this self-indulgent recount of my summer in italy, but maybe there will be a word or two of wisdom.  but i doubt it.


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