Picnic - Palmerino style

Trip Start Jan 19, 2007
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Trip End Jul 03, 2007


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Monday, March 19, 2007

(S) A picnic in Italy. A PICNIC?! In Italy? And it's in our backyard. What in the heck are we going to make? I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest NOT something Italian. While we have become pretty adept at making pasta sauce and putting it on every food imaginable, that's not going to cut it. Wait - how about American picnic food. Great idea, Sara. Now how in the heck are we going to make fried chicken and potato salad?

Plan B - I'll make my broccoli salad and you'll make meatballs. Well, it turns out, broccoli can be be found in Italy, but regular bacon, cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds, all essential in broccoli salad, are a bit sparse. Like nonexistent. I spent one whole day on the Internet searching for a place to get cheddar cheese in this city. To no avail. (author's note - I would wait until April when I found a small chunk of cheddar cheese for about 40 Euros in Cap d'Ail) Second cheese choice - pecante provolone. Score. And bacon = pancetta. Pine nuts will now be playing the role of sunflowers seeds. Luckily, Europeans love mayonnaise so we're in business.

As for the meatballs...well, they were awesome. Chad had to make his own BBQ sauce out of about 30 different things, but it tasted great.

I am proud to announce after 30 jugs of naturale wine and 3 full tables of food, all of the salad and meatballs were eaten and both are now considered "world famous."

(C) Yeah, that was a great idea.  BBQ meatballs in Florence.  I spent the whole morning rolling little balls out of pork and beef, then frying them up in olive oil - since we didn't have an oven - then making bbq sauce out of honey and tiny bottles of Euro ketchup, and some other stuff I can't remember.  Funny thing was that once people got a taste, they flew out of the bowl so that after just 20 minutes or so, the broccoli salad and the 150 meatballs were gone.  Weird, the raw beans and leeks were still there.

The naturale wine went fast.  Thanks to Stefano's quick draw on his giant jug of homemade hooch, we put down a few jeroboam and then passed out in the sunny afternoon.  Wonderful day gratis from our superb landlady, Federica, who runs a truly remarkable Florentine homestead.  Thanks for the memories.  Hope to make new ones again soon.
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