Showing posts from August, 2020

Italian ideas for Ferragosto

Italy marks 15th August with a holiday. Strictly speaking, it's the feast of the Assumption, an important religious festival for Catholics. However, you'd be hard pushed to find an Italian who uses that name for it. Throughout the country it's known as Ferragosto - the feasts of Augustus. Romans have been enjoying a summer break since the very first emperor provided games and other entertainments at this time of year to maintain his popularity. Nowadays the word applies to both the Assumption day holiday and the fortnight's break that most locals take following it. The Beloved and I love visiting Italy. Being lovers of good food and wine, it’s natural that much of our holidays (and cash) are spent enjoying the local cuisine. Over the years, I’ve started to notice something in the Italian approach to food that you don’t spot at first. Every good cook knows that you’re supposed to take quality ingredients and let them shine, but nobody really tells you what that means. O

Barbecue entertaining

The British summer is doing its best to surprise us, with its usual mixture of rain, gales and glorious sunshine all in one day. In many parts of the UK, Coronavirus restrictions are gradually being eased, and we're getting used to socialising outdoors and at a distance. The traditional British barbecue of burgers and hotdogs with a range of unmatched salads and plenty to drink doesn't hold the same attraction in the circumstances. Do not leave your barbie to gather dust, though. There is so much you can cook on it, and our current circumstances provide just the opportunity to experiment. A barbecue - charcoal or gas - is nothing more than a fire and a wire rack. It's just a heat source. That's it. And anything you would normally cook under a grill, in the oven or even things you'd do on the hob, can be cooked on a barbecue. All the flash gadgetry of a top-of-the-range gas barbecue is designed to make the heat more controllable, but you can achieve great results on