Thursday, May 15, 2014

Persian rice Tah Cheen (or Tah Chin) style, step-by-step tutorial

The other day, while we were having dinner, my son asked me why nests don't fall off of trees.
Besides the basic grasp - if not understanding - of physics (balance, gravity and all that jazz) behind the question, which surprised me to a degree, it once again made me realize how much more for granted we take things compared to the average four year old.  
He usually asks the best questions at the table.
Once he was staring quietly at his hands with great interest. He then proceeded  to ask me what the lines were, pointing at the wrinkles on his knuckles.
Another question he asked me recently at the table that made me smile: why do they put plastic on eggs? He was eating sunny side up eggs and pointing at that transparent film that forms around the edges. Basically he had been eating it his whole life convinced it was Saran wrap (or cling film for those of you non Americans).
Not to mention he calls all meat chicken, so a normal enquiry at dinner will be: from what animal does the chicken we are eating come from?
I guess we can all agree that the questions a four-year old asks are priceless. But us adults have questions too. One of the things I always wondered about was how Persians make that delicious crunchy layer on their rice.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tarassaco comune con pancetta

I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth, in case you were wondering.

I never go this long without dropping by to say hi, but the past couple of weeks were really busy. There were the Easter holidays with good friends visiting from overseas, two long holiday week ends to follow, kids home from school for way too long and major work deadlines plus a little trip.

Now we are back and I can't wait to tell you about a salad we had while we were away.
Crisp yet tender, very slightly bitter leaves interspersed with crunchy morsels of pancetta set off by a drizzle of syrupy, aged balsamic vinegar.

If you want to make this, the first thing to do is head over to the market  take a nice long walk with your family and some good friends. Somewhere like here.

(I'm guessing you could probably find these greens in some markets, but I have personally never come across them in Milan). 

Stride down paths, through fields and pastures and enjoy the nature that surrounds you, breathe in the fresh air, let the sun shine on your face and warm your skin. Be thankful for the beauty this planet has to offer and for good friends.

Run around, climb a tree, stop for a snack of mountain cheese and apples. If you are lucky, you might come across a deer antler, an eagle's feather, some roe deer tracks in the mud/snow and 'blueberries' according to my son (...they were actually a little something left behind by the roe deer).

And then, when you sit down to rest for a few minutes and drink some fresh spring water, you might come across something that looks like this.

Look closely, because this is what you are having for dinner.