Buttermilk and Bees

Carla is in Rome for the week with Rebecca, so we invited Giorgio over for dinner on Wednesday. I made him peach crisp for dessert, since he couldn’t make it on the 4th of July when we had Carla and the missionaries. Just before dinner, Tony went out on bicycle to buy gelato to go with the crisp. As he left the house, he noticed that Giorgio was just behind him on motorcycle. In fact, he seemed to be trailing him. They drove all the way through town, with Giorgio just behind. As Tony reached the gelateria, Giorgio veered off in the other direction.

The mystery was solved when after dinner, Giorgio brought out a tray of those lovely (and delicious) little Italian pastries: cannoli, bacchie di dama, tiny cream puffs, and some others whose names I don’t know. He had actually been on his way to get gelato, but guessed Tony’s design and executed his own Plan B.

We had pasta with tomato-buttermilk sauce. I’m sure that’s very strange to serve, but I made it with my own buttermilk (my cream cultured up quite beautifully all by itself as it was waiting in the refrigerator to collect enough for butter). I am mortified to serve pasta to Italians, since I am sure I don’t cook it for the exact time to make it perfect, and I know my pasta sauces aren’t exactly right, and I imagine there are a lot of other things I haven’t even dreamed of. The fewer the ingredients, the more important the technique.

But Giorgio was very cordial, and complimented the pasta, as well as the tomatoes, which we had gotten that very morning from Beatrice across the street. She also threw in some free basil, so of course I had to make caprese salad. I think the salad was good. I feel pretty comfortable with salads. She also gave us rosemary, which I put in a cream sauce yesterday to go over quinoa. I just put green onions and rosemary in at the end, and then some sliced boiled eggs. The colors were quite lovely.

I think I should try making some cream soups. We have plenty of delicious raw milk these days. We get two liters a day (except on Sundays), which is enough for muesli every morning, Tony’s yoghurt experimentation, my forays into butter, and all the crepes and creamy sauces we want (I use milk, actually, since the cream is for my butter). I’ve not felt the need to buy any meat at all for weeks. It is summer, after all.

Gloriously summer, although a bit hot. Axa is also getting periodic asthma from something in the air. I need to do some research on natural remedies for asthma. I’m looking for a local source of organic bee products (honey, royal jelly, propolis, etc.), since I’ve read that helps with allergies, and I’m fairly sure the asthma is allergy related.

What do you think?