Monday, February 16, 2009
Valentine's Day and a trip to Palermo
Here's a link to our most recent round of pictures.
Ang made a couple of amazing pizzas on Friday, along with a delicious dessert. So awesome, words don't do them justice, so I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
We had a really nice visit with our friend Manfredi Barbera, his wife Paola and their son Lorenzo in Palermo on Saturday. Manfredi produces the most famous olive oil from Sicily (you may have seen this bottle in specialty food stores in the States), and he lives, with three cousins (in separate apartments) in his families' beautiful villa smack in the heart of the city. We thought we were meeting him to go out for lunch, but he prepared a feast for us and his in-laws, who came over to visit - neonata (which are tiny baby fish, served raw with lemon juice and olive oil), calamari (a recipe so perfect that Manfredi's friend Lidia Bastianich included it in her book Lidia's Italy (Manfredi's Steamed Calamari, although Manfredi pointed out that he uses balsamic vinegar and omits the peperoncino, but Lidia didn't think she should include Balsamico, from Reggio-Emilia, in a Sicilian recipe!), two pasta dishes (one I couldn't eat because it had shrimp, but Ang assured me it was delicious) and fantastic dolci for dessert. Manfredi is an inspiring guy, after lunch, we talked for a few hours about Sicily and its hidden attractions, the olive oil business and food in general. Afterwards, he had to go out on business, so he took us to Villa Niscemi, a beautiful home preserved for the last couple hundred years and now home to the Palermo county seat. It was closed, but Manfredi was able to convince the guards to let us in to take a look around.
We were so happy after lunch - Manfredi and Paola were so warm, their house was so amazing and the food was awesome! He's a busy guy, and Paola has another son on the way, but we're hopeful that we can get together again soon. Altogether, it was a pretty awesome day!
(Oh, and when we got back to Balestrate, our electricity blew out in the kitchen and bedroom. Our landlord fixed the problem this morning, and luckily the stove still worked - for cooking dinner, for heating up our precious hot water bottles - but still, it was kind of a bummer after spending the day in Palermo!)
Posted by Scott at 11:19 AM