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21 August 2007

the honeymoon approaches.

italy is in my eyes

We are counting down the days.

The Chef and I love our lives. By halfway through the day, his fingers are itching to get into the kitchen. Driving into the restaurant, he twitches a bit. As happy as he is with me, that kitchen has been his home for his entire adult life. He sighs into his knife and feels alive when he’s on the line. And me? I’m at home, tapping on this keyboard, trying to learn how to market a book, watching apples drop from the trees in the backyard. Life constantly surprises me. There is so much to learn about food, about how to love him.

We feel blessed.

Still, of all the benefits of being married to a Chef, long vacations together is not one of them. In the first week of January, the Chef had five days off from the restaurant. However, that’s when the book was due to my publishers, the time of not much sleep. We have not shared more than three days together without work. When we have two days off in a row, as we just did, we feel like millionaires.

Imagine the richness of twelve days together, in Italy.

In seventeen days, the Chef and I will be skipping onto a plane, for our first long trip together. Our honeymoon.

When I first wrote about our plans, for this once-in-a-lifetime splurge to the land of tremendous food, dozens of readers responded in droves. We didn’t know where we should go, since every square foot of that amazing place seemed to offer sensory experiences that would take us somewhere new. Fresh mozzarella. Sorrento lemons. Pools of warm olive oil. Prosciutto cured on the premises. Wandering down the streets of Rome, following the knowledge of our noses, and staying in a trattoria for hours. Everything seemed possible.

We were astonished, and moved, by your suggestions and offers. Some of you sent us presents for our honeymoon registry. My goodness, dear people. We cannot thank you enough.

You see, we really couldn’t afford this trip, with our daily budget. True chefs are working-class heroes, not the glitterati you see on tv. And freelance writers? Well, there is no Bentley parked outside our door. We own a trusty little Honda with over 200,000 miles on the odometer, and we pat the dashboard every time we turn the key. Common sense says to stay close to home.

But love rarely feels like common sense.

And I keep thinking about how much our notions of food will be changed — the Chef in his kitchen; me at my keyboard — by this time together, in Italy.

And so we are taking the leap. Our friends and families were generous at our wedding, with their presence, and their presents. Someone I know said: “Did you get a lot of cookware?” No, not really. We have a decent kit already. What did we get? A honeymoon.

And my passport arrived in the mail a few days ago. Whew. The Chef received his a month ago, but the passport office suggested I wait until after the wedding to apply for mine, since I changed my name. When we opened the mailbox and saw that flat package, we both wanted to dance a jig. We are really going to Italy!

We know where we are going now. Even though a hundred places in that land called our name, we really listened to the people who have been there, and especially to the people who grew up there. Over and over, the people who came from Italy told us one place for the food and wine: Umbria.

We will be staying at a little agriturismo outside of Assisi, a working farm with an apartment for us. From the sound of it, they will bring us bottles of the olive oil they grow there, as well as fresh fruit and herbs, in a basket when we arrive. The idea of waking up there, and sitting on the balcony with cups of strong coffee, looking out over Mount Subasio? The image of that brings lightness to my chest every time I imagine it.

We’ll be renting a car — and hoping it has fewer than 200,000 miles on it this time — to putter around the Umbrian fields. Music on, windows open, and only the barest plan for the day ahead of us — we are ready for adventuring. There are so many little villages where we could go, towns to explore. Spoleto, Orvieto, Norcia, Perugia — my mind smiles at the sound of them.

The other day, the Chef and I spent the afternoon with my parents. Unbeknownst to me, they have developed a passion for searching Google Earth for close-ups of the world. Eager to show us the technology, they clicked on cities where we could be eating soon. Quickly, we were hooked too. We’re going there?!

We don’t have a definite itinerary in mind. We’ll make it up as we go along. As the Chef likes to say, “That’s the best way to live.”

But we do know there will be a day in Florence, as the incredible Judy Witts has offered us a private tour of the markets and lunch at her house.

We will spend at least one day in Modena, at one of the balsamic vinegar factories, since a dear someone sent us a check, and said, “Buy yourself the best bottle of balsamic vinegar you can find, the one you would never buy for yourselves.”

One of my favorite former students, the wonderful Monica (who took most of the photographs for our wedding) has a grandmother in Italy. It’s possible that she will be there at the same time we are. We might end up in a tiny village in the Abruzzo, where her grandmother will cook for us all day.

And it’s also possible that our friends Don and Michelle — the ones who made the incredible lamb for our wedding — will be visiting Volterra while we are in Umbria. We could end up in the kitchen of the villa, cooking with both of them.

After that, it’s three days in Rome. (But no car. No thanks.)

You can probably sense why we are jumping up and down together whenever we talk about this trip.

I hate to shock the art lovers among us, but I’m pretty sure we’re not going to visit a single museum. (Except for the Vatican. We have to go see the Pope.) We don’t have a checklist of Important Sites to see. We are not seeking the perfect visit, the epochal experience, or the archetypal honeymoon. We just want to greet every moment, laugh together, and eat well.

We can’t wait to meet the people who make our food. The butchers, the olive oil farmers, the cheesemakers, the vintners, the truffle hunters. I am forever enchanted by the people who make food. Those are the experiences we can’t wait to have.

Mostly, we want to eat.

Of course, eating in Italy (or eating anywhere, for that matter) is more difficult for me than the Chef. Eating gluten-free in Italy, I have been told, will be easier than it might seem. I’ve been doing some research, and asking around, but I have much, much more to learn.

So we would love to hear any suggestions that anyone has. Have you eaten gluten-free in Umbria? Oh, please send us names and addresses. Did you eat gluten-free pizza in Rome? Found the best rice pasta in the world in a tiny restaurant in a village no one else would visit?

Oh, and if anyone has the name of a tiny hotel in Rome that charmed you, but didn’t empty your wallet, we would love to know that too.

What I can tell you, for certain, is this: whatever we learn, whatever we eat, we will share it with you. Expect juicy pieces of writing, and photographs galore. We know, without a doubt, that this time together will yield surprises, and joy. And joy only expands when shared.

We may not know entirely where we are going, but we cannot wait to go there.

pasta with potatoes and shrimp


Pasta with potatoes, zucchini, and shrimp
, adapted from Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Willinger

This recipe is only loosely adapted from a recipe by Faith Heller Willinger. Her addictive new book — Adventures of an Italian Food Lover: With Recipes from 254 of My Very Best Friends — has been my favorite guide book to Italy so far. Instead of listing places to stay or the best restaurants to eat in, she has written little essays about the people she knows, all of them passionate food lovers. I’m making notes of the places we could drive for bottles of golden olive oil, or vineyards that grow organic grapes, or butchers that create pork products that could make us cry. That’s my idea of living.

And boy, would I love to be her 255th friend.

At first, you might think this dish sounds strange. Who makes potatoes with pasta? Let me tell you, I will, from now on. These julienned potatoes cooked in sea-salt water stay slightly crisp with this techniue, but they wrap around the pasta like a lover in the morning. The zucchini does too, a little green taste amidst the comfort of starches. The original recipe called for spaghetti, and I only had gluten-free shells in the house. But I actually love the differences in shapes in my mouth. Add fresh prawns, and a splash of lemon juice, and this tastes like the Pacific Northwest, transplanted to Italy.

Just like us.

2 Yukon gold potatoes
2 zucchini
3 tablespoons sea salt
14 ounces gluten-free pasta
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
juice of ½ lemon
2 ounces chevre

Cut the potatoes and zucchini into julienne shapes. (Here’s a recommendation: buy yourself this Messermeister julienne utensil. My goodness, I feel like a chef with this in my hands.) You should have about 1 ½ cups of each when you are finished.

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add the sea salt. Cook the potatoes first, until they are tender. (About two to four minutes.) Take the potatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Cook the zucchini in the same water. When it is tender, put the cooked zucchini into a colander and rinse cold water over it.

Put the pasta in the still-boiling water. (Follow the directions for your favorite gluten-free pasta as to timing.) While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet. Add the olive oil. When it is hot, start to cook the garlic. As soon as you smell the garlic — but long before it burns — add the shrimp. They should start to curl and darken immediately. As soon as they have turned solidly pink, add the vegetables to the pan and turn off the heat.

When the pasta is cooked almost al dente (do not turn it to mush!), drain it. Reserve at least one cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the shrimp and vegetables. Turn on the heat and cook it all for about five minutes, or until everything is sizzling. (If it all feels too dry, add some of the pasta water to the mix.)

Take the pan off the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice on top. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Add dabs of the goat cheese and serve.

Feeds 4.

31 Comments:

At 5:24 AM, Blogger jennsquared said...

That sounds amazing! Enjoy your trip, and I can't wait to hear your story, as my soon to be husband and I will also take a trip to Europe, maybe not specifically just Italy, but it is definitely part of our destinations. We can't wait to see the little gluten free places that you visited.

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, Shauna, I hope you two have just the grandest time! Your plans (and lack of them) sound just perfect, just the way I like to travel. My best times away from home have happened at friends' ovens, on long winding no-particular-place-to-go walks, and over countless glasses of wine. Have a wonderful time! I can't wait for the stories you bring back!

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger chris said...

If you can, please make a reservation for Rome before you go. You will pay a lot less and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have a comfortable place to stay when you arrive, a real bonus when you don't have a car. Hopefully one of your readers will recommend a great place.

Looking forward to reading about your trip and seeing the photos. Have a wonderful time!

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Gaile said...

OO, i am so excited for the both of you. i lived with a chef years ago, i know how precious his time off is, and this trip will be, for both of you. I'm sure you already have, but i'd suggest printing off the dining cards in italian, so that when you are in restos you can just give them that and avoid the language barrier.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Erin S. said...

Shauna, I am planning a family trip to Italy for October '08. I had bookmarked the Italian Celiac Association's website months ago. There are a number of listings for Umbria. Much of the site is in Italian, but it might be a good resource. Here is the link: http://www.celiachia.it/ristoratori/default_eng.asp

Have a wonderful (and much deserved) trip!

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jodi said...

This trip - I can't believe it's already here - sounds amazing. I like the idea that you aren't running from one tourist place to another. What better way to rest than to eat the local foods and do what you want to do.
You make recipes sound like they taste, causing many of us to anticipate when we might try to make it. Your pictures are so beautiful that I want to get my camera and start shooting - anything.
Shauna, you inspire me, and I'm so glad that you share your life with us. Enjoy Italy.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Shauna, you must check out my friend's travel blog, The Tiny Guide. She visited Italy last year and has great advice about eating in Rome.

http://tinyguide.typepad.com

Sadly, she hasn't updated it in some time with her more recent adventures in Ireland and France.

She would probably also welcome your questions.

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Marce said...

This sounds like the perfect trip all around, I know you both will have the time of your lives.
As for a small hotel in Rome, I stayed in a place called La Accademia (http://www.hotelsclick.com/indexe.php?country=Italia&city=Roma&hotel=Accademia&hotel_id=9411&language=eng)
that´s just a block away from the Fontana di Trevi right in the middle of the city, which is great if you are walking around (and you definitely should, since the traffic is impossible and it´s the best way to see the city anyway). And it wasn´t expensive at all when I visited.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Jessa said...

I lived in Rome for a summer, but I'm afraid I wasn't gluten-free when I was there (although I came home a week early because I was having horrible, crippling abdominal pain - and eating nothing but pizza and bread). It might help you to know that there's a supermarket in Trastevere that is quite well stocked. While small shops and markets are lovely, sometimes it helps to have a place with some choice when you're looking for gluten-free X. I've had nice grilled seafood, usually served alone on a plate. The mixed salad tends to be kind of boring - oil and vinegar and a bunch of lettuce. Romans tend to be pretty clear that risotto isn't "their thing". They're pasta fiends. I imagine you'll have better luck with that in Umbria. I've seen people talking about gluten-free pizza places and so forth. I knew nothing about this when I was there, but it was years ago and the celiac craze in Italy hadn't begun.

And tell your husband that the absolute best pizza in Rome is in the Jewish ghetto... you'll know the shop when you see it. It sells pizza by the foot and is on the main street in the ghetto. I loved the artichoke. It's meant to be a snack, so you can go get some gelato as you're walking and no harm, no foul (no feeling of pizza deprivation). The better gelato is all gluten-free (the non-factory-made stuff). I think Rome does the fruit flavors better, but I don't like Italian chocolate much.

Do reserve your Roman hotel ASAP. They are extraordinarily expensive.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous a. said...

I'm finally coming out of lurking to say how touched I am at all your tales of love, food, passion, and optimism. I wish I could meet you in person to learn how you look at the world with such un-jaded eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible love with us. It doesn't even inspire envy, just genuine happiness for you. I can only hope to be as lucky!

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Erin said...

We stayed here at Locanda Carmel. It's in Trastevere which is close to all the attractions, but still a residential area of mostly Romans. Here's the blurb I found

"Locanda Carmel is a one-star accommodation with just 10 extremely clean rooms. The staff is friendly. Breakfast is served at a fabulous little bar/bistro next door (where you can also get lunch or dinner). Book well in advance and ask if the room on the roof, with a terrace, is available.
Via G. Mameli 11, 00153 Rome
Phone: 39 06 580 9921
Fax: 39 06 581 8853"

We would definitely stay there again. It was indeed very clean, did not break the budget and a 10-15 minute walk across the river to the Coloseum, Plaza Navaro, etc....

 
At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Zaza said...

I went to Rome 9 years ago. A wonderful "walkin'able" city.
I stayed at "Papa Germano" near the train station. Recommended by "Let's go" (I was backpaking.)Google it or go to hostelworld.com for more infos.
Also, gelato in Rome are ...
Try San Crispino's Gelateria:
Via Panetteria,42, near the Trevi Fountain
The nicest thing about that place :
"The owners believe that anything else interferes with the pureness of their gelato. So the gelato is served in a simple cup with a plastic spoon for you to carry out (there is no place to sit)."
SOooo no cone and no cross contamination for gluten-free afficionado.

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Heather K. said...

Congratulations on all your happiness! I can't wait to hear about your trip in a cafe somewhere that serves gluten free pastries. I have to warn you, I might be bald by then. But I will surely be wearing the most fabulous hat, and the the biggest smile.
All the best,
Heather K. (with the lung tumors)

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Tanner said...

Shauna

I stayed at Hotel Aberdeen. A double runs about 125 Euro per night. AIR CON is a must in Italy. www.travel.it/roma/aberdeen, hotel.aberdeen@travel.it
This is Rick Steves endorsed hotel.

I absolutely love reading your blog and hearing about you falling in love with the Chef. I am engaged to my own Chef and so I feel very much connected to your story.

Cheers! Tanner

 
At 2:53 AM, Blogger Jane Richardson, writer said...

Hi - if you're staying in Umbria be sure to pick up a copy of Viva Perugia! from a newstand. It's a 'what's on' type of booklet and lists current events in the region as well as restaurants, including those who have a menu 'senza glutine.' Often you have to book in advance so they can prepare the kitchen. They are often checked and given a certificate to show they understand the diet and about cross-contamination, etc. I don't know restaurants in Rome but we have found that smaller local restaurants will sometimes be able to prepare your own gf pasta if you take it with you and explain the situation. Your aritourismo might be able to suggest places locally and maybe call them on your behalf. It's more and more common in Italy. We even heard GF frollini biscuits advertised on radio!

As for food shopping, the big supermarket chain IperCo-op is great for frozen gf pizza - their own brand is great - biscuits and crackers, different pastas, and the DS range of frozen foods like filled ravioli, ice cream and tiramisu - YES, gf tiramisu! IperCo-op are also good for bread and cookie mixes. For rice pasta, the Scotti range (blue packs) is delicious and easily available. Always check for the 'crossed grain' symbol, that's common there too.

We found the Italian GF group (celiachia.it, in erin's post) to be very helpful. Find their local Umbrian branch at their site. They even put us in touch with someone who we met up with in Italy, which was fabulous! She recommended restaurants and we exchanged info and food samples!

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful time!

Jane x (regular visitor from the UK to Italy and mum to 2 kids one of who is coeliac!)

 
At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Allergy Asthma Zone said...

HI Shauna,

enjoy your trip to Italy ....

"Take the pan off the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice on top. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Add dabs of the goat cheese and serve." tastes good. :)

 
At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Karen said...

Oh, Shauna...you will love Italy. I went to Tuscany last year to celebrate my 40th birthday and I can't wait to go back! We're wine lovers as much as we are food lovers, so much of our days were spent exploring wineries. But it was so beautiful and the people were wonderful. I'm not gluten-free so I don't have much advice to offer you there. Other than some time in Florence, we spent most of our time in the small hill towns of southern Tuscany...just beautiful!!!

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous crumchic said...

Shauna,

I was in Sicily in March, and very concerned about what I could eat, and communicating that I had celiac disease. It was, amazingly enough, a breeze! Italian food is so fresh and so simple, it's easy to figure out what is in each dish. And apparently, 10% of Italians have celiac disease, and unlike America, which is still quite behind on the times, Italians are all familiar (at least the ones I met - even in the tiniest of rural cafes and trattorias) with the disease. All you have to say is "sono una celiaca (pronounced cheliaka). non posso mangiare farina(wheat), pane (bread), pasta, etc." This simple phrase was often met with a deep nod of understanding and a quick run through of what I could eat on the menu. I notified our agroturismo in Agrigento about my restriction and they bought me special gluten-free cereal for breakfast, little butter cookies to have with my tea, and a specially designed dinner senza pasta. It was amazingly delicious everywhere we turned.

The only thing that I found difficult was snacking and eating on the fly. Most snacks or walk-n-nibble type foods (pizza, panini, pastry etc) were off-limits. We did have the most amazing honey, pistachio, and sugar tortone, and kept going back for more. However, all this sitting and eating, particularly when the dollar is so weak, was particularly pricey. However, honeymoons are meant for splurging. The most decadent and expensive meal I've ever had was on the last night of my honeymoon in Quebec City. In my opinion, Italy is the most special place in the world, no matter where you go. Enjoy this wonderful trip.

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Smitty said...

My husband and I went to Italy last year a few months before our wedding, and treated it like an early honeymoon. I have to say, the best meal we had in Rome was very expensive, but incredible. Its a seafood restaurant called Quinzi & Gabrieli. Here's a write-up. http://frommers.com/destinations/rome/D33594.html

The seafood is so fresh it tastes like fruit. They truck it in from the Adriatic every day.

Happy honeymoon!

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger nm said...

I am a recent convert to you writing (and yes, pre ordered your book on amazon). You have picked the best place in the world to honeymoon, imho.

We usually stay in an apartment, but the one time we stayed in a hotel, we stayed in santa maria in trastevere which is a lovely hotel in trastevere, but is not inexpensive, but lovely none the less.

Supermercatis will have some Gluten Free crackers which may be good for snacking on when others are eating crostini. I think you can get risotto in Rome, but you will have much better luck in Umbria (yum).

I would think sticking antipasti which can be a meal in of itself, roast chicken, fish and roasted potatoes, a nice puntarelle salad and you'll be set.

I can't wait for my next trip, whenever it will be..

nm

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Oh my goodness! My mom is off to Italy after her wedding in September, and though she isn't a foodie like me I know she'll have a ball! That cookbook is amazing, too - I have a review pending for Random House! Glad to know that pasta dish is good!

 
At 7:48 PM, Blogger Susan Bridges said...

I want to cry, seeing all of the amazing things you can eat in Italy. Because I'm not the only gluten free one here -- my beautiful four-year-old son is in the same club I am.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

jennsquared,

Thank you. We will definitely share the story!

lisa,

Grand time? oh yes. laugher is bound to happen. i love that phrase: "long winding particular place to go walks." yes.

Chris,

luckily, thanks to some suggestions for readers in emails, and a bit more scouting, we just reserved a bed and breakfast in the Travestere district. now, if you have any suggestions for that district!

Gaile,

You understand. Chefing is hard work. I'm so happy I can take him on vacation! And I will be printing off those cards, to be sure!

Erin,

Thank you. I've been looking at that site, reading what I can. Apparently, when we're in Italy, we can call a certain telephone number, and it will give us places to eat and addresses! So excited.

Jodi,

Thank you for all your wrote. What a lovely comment to find.

Laura,

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of your friend's blog. I'll be sure to ask her questions!

Jessa,

Thanks for all the suggestions! i'll definitely walk the Chef to that pizzeria. It gives me happines to see him eating something great. i'll happily go without just to see that satisfaction on his face.

a,

your comment brought tears to my eyes. truly. if we do meet, let me know who you are. i'd love to share some food with you.

Erin,

Thank you for the specific suggestion! i'm certain that other people will be reading this post and comments, planning a trip to Rome, and they will benefit from your advice!

Zaza,

Great gelato suggestion! oh god, the gelato. my mouth is watering already.

Heather K,

My god, I hope you're doing okay. You sound in great spirits. If I find a gluten-free pastry in Rome, I'll raise it to the sky in your honor.

Tanner,

I'm so glad you enjoy this. All the happiness in the world to you and your chef.

jane richardson,

what a wealth of information here! Thank you so much. And i'll be sure to follow up on all of this.

Allergy Asthma Zone,

i'm so glad you made the recipe and enjoyed it! I'm besotted with it, still.

karen,

Thank you! i'm growing so excited about all this, after reading comments like yours, that I can hardly breathe!

crumchic,

Your comment gives me even more hope! I love how aware of celiac Italy seems to be. And I just don't feel any fear. i know that, given your experience, we will be fine!

Smitty,

My goodness, I was just reading about that restaurant! Seafood that tastes like fruit. you definitely have my interest piqued!

nm,

Antipasti sounds great to me. After all, my first focus is on the foods that are naturally gluten-free. As long as I have some fresh mozzarella, I'm going to be fine!

Sarah,

Tell your mom I said have a great trip. Maybe we'll bump into her and not even know it....

Susan,

I agree. The world is filled with amazing food. There is so much we can eat....

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Meg said...

Where outside of Assisi? I used to live on via S. Francesco (before the earthquake, so ages and ages ago). I think I'm too dated to suggest a restaurant, but walking out the Porta S. Giacomo (the one a bit east of the basilica S. Francesco) at evening, along the cypress lined road, looking at the sunlit valley and hills through the black of the cypress, is a tranquil and wonderful experience (it leads to the cemetery, as more than a few cypress-lined roads in Italy do). Nothing to do with food, but I wouldn't miss it. And seeing the west face of Assisi as the sun is setting, and the light turning honey-colored, is remarkably beautiful. I never, ever tired of either one. Taking random staircases in Assisi is very rewarding (if a bit tiring). Rome... most gelato is gluten-free, isn't it? I thought the raspberry at Pica, at the fringe of the Jewish Ghetto, was amazing. Even if you were going without a bit of advice (or ignored it all), you would have a lovely time, I'm sure. Congratulations!

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Flabellina said...

First of all my best wishes and my thanks for your lovely blog.
I live in Rome, I don't know much about gluten free but you can have a look a this B&B www.bedandbreakfastbio.com, also here they produce bread and pizza gluten free: www.cosedellaltropane.com/chisiamo.htm
It's in italian if you need help let me know. You could like the market in Piazza Vittorio, it's the "ethnic" part of Rome, you will find food from all over the world. The Chef might like to try pizza at Pizzarium, via della Meloria 43, not far from the Vatican and you can have a suppli' which is a sort of fried ball of rice. It's not a restaurant, it'a take away with a small standing space to eat, but then in Rome "pizza al taglio" it's the typical way to have pizza. For any other info on restaurants or anything just ask. One last thing, you should really try to go to the Amalfi Coast, especially Ravello, to me it's the perfect honeymoon place. Have a nice time!

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous megan said...

This dish sounds delicious; thanks for sharing! As for the honeymoon? I hope it's even more wonderful than it already sounds, but I'm not sure that's possible. Wow. Oh, and that's just how we spent ours (in Hawaii, though), without plans to cram our precious time full with activities. So many people looked at us like we were crazy for not DOING more, but it was perfect: we ate and swam and drove and ate and swam some more. But back to you - enjoy your wonderful adventure! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story! :)

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Paige said...

The Locanda Carmel looks nice...when I lived in Rome it was in Trastevere a truly lovely neighborhood, but then what isn't lovely in Roma?
Hotel Smeraldo near the Campo dei Fiori...lovely...http://www.smeraldoroma.com/where.htm
Not sure of the prices since their remodel, but it is a lovely place. Alternately, this is a great little hostel that also has apartments to rent..the Beehive http://www.the-beehive.com/english.html

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger Divina said...

Oh boy.. you are almost here!

In Rome... you have to go check out GUSTO, a culinary center.. bistro, shop, restaurant.... outdoor dining fun!

OBIKO is a mozzarella bar, rather hip with a vast selection of cheeses, Burrata too!

Write me! My apple email blocked with your dates!

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Girl Upstairs said...

It all sounds wonderful...travelling for food. As I am stuck to my computer for the next 8 months (phd...sigh) I can only dream for now. I was in Greece recently for four days - but it was not a food trip. Although I little cards translated into Greek which explained the Gluten problem I discovered a cultural issue I thought I would mention - the waiters kept telling the chef I couldn't have starch! Even though we clearly used the word gluten in English conversation they would go back to the kitchen and come back telling me the chef had said no potatoes, no rice...etc. I finally figured it out, but only because the Greek word for starch is very close to the French word for starch! Repeating gluten, not surprisingly, did not get me very far. So it might be worth your while to learn the word for starch along with the word for gluten! Have a great trip!
megan

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to share with you that I am so happy I found your blog. I began feeling the way you described in your earlier blogs about 6 months ago after my mom died tragically. I couldn't figure it out...and for years my ANA levels were very high, which I found in my research, is a clue also. I discovered Celiac online myself after Googling my symptoms. That is how I figured it all out. I was tested today with an edoscopy, colonoscopy, and blood tests, and now am just waiting to see. I know for sure I am gluten intolerant at the very least.
Thank you for putting your life out there for others to see and benefit from. Keep up the good work!

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Kara said...

I love your recipes. Pasta dishes are tricky. My husband's gluten-free diet is stricter than most: he can't have any grains at all. This includes wheat, rice and corn. So, I was pretty thrilled to finally find black bean and mung bean pastas. They're really good! This has made it possible for us to make delicious pasta dishes again! If anybody else's restrictions are as daunting as his, hope this helps: https://www.navanfoods.com/Explore_Asian_Black_Bean_Spaghetti

 

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