orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Of slimming, beer and mushrooms

The perfect slimming plan! Guaranteed to work.
Step 1: Base your diet mostly around potatoes. You can do with them what you like, boil them, fry them, eat them as mash or gnocchi or whatever else.
Step 2: Grow your own potatoes. Choose a plot some 25 km away from your home, preferably up a hill. Only ever cycle to this plot. Turn an uncultivated stretch of this land over with a spade prior to planting your potatoes, then plant them.
Step 3: After a few months come back and dig over the plot again to retrieve your potatoes. The calories you have expended on growing the potatoes are roughly equal to the calories you take in from consuming them.
Step 3 ½: If you are feeling particularly energetic, you can come a few times in between to weed, water (carrying the water up a few terraces from a nearby river) and earth up around the plants. This will increase your crop, but of course also involve further expenditure of calories.
As you can see here we were out potato digging in Villa today, cycling back with over 10 kg of spuds on the back of my bike, which is particular fun coming back up our hill… Mushroom season has also started in earnest. Around us it’s still to dry, but in Villa we found a good crop of chanterelles last week. Today we found a good handful of little brown button-like mushrooms, which I haven’t actually identified, but I had thrown a couple in last time with the chanterelles and we’re still alive. We also found two beautiful porcini. So we’ll have a lovely mushroom dinner.
This evening we also decided to test my home-made maize beer. As you can see it’s a bit cloudy, but it has a distinct hoppy aroma from the wild hops we picked and a nice dry finish. It actually tastes of beer despite the fact that it hasn’t seen any barley. Alcohol content is about 5% AbV. I only made an experimental 3 litre batch, but shall try a larger amount next time.

Finally the festa on Sunday got pretty much rained off. There was a poetry reading in the small community centre in the village, but the concert was called off. They had actually lugged up this huge concert piano up to outside our house. Anybody who has ever visited us knows how many steps this involves. They just covered it up against the rain and collected it again the next day. We did have a little private festa in our kitchen though. The pianist and two lost Swedish tourists came down for a glass of wine. We had the Swedish couple over for dinner even. They weren’t actually lost. Elin and Martin were on their holiday and, looking on the internet, found themselves a little B&B just outside our village. It turned out a jolly evening.

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