Food, Friends, Family

30 Aug

The greatest benefit we enjoy in returning to Cortona year after year is the friends we have made. Many are local and others are repeaters who love the town and its people as much as we do. Being small in size, it’s nearly impossible to walk down the street and not see familiar faces. Friends here become extended family, and spending time with them is a favorite pastime.

Last night, 25 of us gathered for a traditional Italian celebration of friendship. When we arrived, the setting welcomed us with open arms:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

As did three generations of the family:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The beautiful table would soon be filled with food and lots of conversation, and the bbq in the back let us know that grilled meats were part of the dinner.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The challenge, of course, is pacing oneself.

First up, Aperitivo, almost a meal in itself. Everything is freshly cut and sliced. I’ve yet to be in an Italian kitchen that doesn’t have a deli sized meat slicer! This course is generally served with Prosecco, and soon the corks were popping.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

For Primo, we enjoyed homemade lasagna, both meat and vegetarian styles,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Followed by melanzana, (eggplant parmigiana).

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

For someone like me, who generally feels that pasta è basta, (pasta is enough), sticking to smaller portions is essential.

Next up, time for grilling. First the steaks…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

cooked to perfection.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

followed by sausages…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

and served with salad.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

At this point, almost all are leaning back in their chairs, taking a deep breath, and thinking they have reached the end…until…

Time for dessert!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Fresh fig and fresh apple/pistachio tortes served with gelato, caramelized figs, and moscato, a sparkling white wine.

Una bellissima serrata, as we say here…a beautiful night… filled with great food, great friends, and lots of love. We also had a surprise visitor during Aperitivo. Our dear friend Ted (who is looking terrific!),  joined us via FaceTime. After everyone said their hellos, we raised our glasses and saluted him and his health with a rowdy round of Brindisino!

To you, Ted, from your Cortona family, buona salute!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And many thanks to our hosts and dear friends for sharing their Italian traditions with us.

Ciao,
Judy

22 Responses to “Food, Friends, Family”

  1. Bill Capraro August 30, 2016 at 10:38 AM #

    awesome…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ReVae and Donn August 30, 2016 at 12:13 PM #

    Our mouths are watering! The Italians really know how to live. We are returning to Cortona (our home away from Minnesota) in four weeks. We love that town. Can’t wait to stroll down Nazionale, drop in on Ivan, and laze-away in the piazza (gelato in hand).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvonne Wilson August 30, 2016 at 12:13 PM #

    What great photos of amazing food and wonderful people!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hilary Martinez August 30, 2016 at 12:24 PM #

    Envy you!!! Abrazos!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. karenincalabria August 30, 2016 at 12:25 PM #

    Just beautiful – everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ted Walker August 30, 2016 at 4:58 PM #

    This has to be my favorite of your blogs!!! Grazie tanto tutti.
    I won’t miss the next party!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marisa's Italian Kitchen August 30, 2016 at 5:25 PM #

    Everything looks and sounds perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loren Larsen August 30, 2016 at 9:20 PM #

    I am blown away by this. Cento per cento. Juj, what a truly incredible experience, night, community, celebration. Your pictures are absolute perfection. As usual my mouth started watering as soon as I saw the aperitivo table. The steaks would turn a vegetarian to a meat eater! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly August 31, 2016 at 1:50 AM #

      Thanks for writing – just one more reason for you to visit! xo

      Like

  9. Sandy Holswade August 30, 2016 at 10:17 PM #

    Judy, Judy, Judy, stop. I want to be there and taste all that wonderful food. I know I would enjoy your friends, but I don’t speak Italian. Bummer. You are an incredible photographer and storyteller! Keep the Blogs coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly August 31, 2016 at 1:51 AM #

      Sandy, as you know, you don’t need to speak Italian to enjoy our friends – as long as you can move your hands and smile, you are communicating well enough!

      Like

  10. Royce Larsen August 31, 2016 at 2:24 AM #

    Thank you for sharing this traditional moment
    The pictures are so convincing they elicit a Pavlovian response
    Excuse me while I make myself presentable
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly August 31, 2016 at 6:15 AM #

      You are welcome and stay tuned for many more of these wonderful traditional moments!

      Like

      • Lyn September 2, 2016 at 4:49 PM #

        Cortona takes my breath away. The addition of friends there would be even better

        Like

      • blogginginitaly September 3, 2016 at 12:51 AM #

        That’s so true, it’s the friends that make it feel like home for us.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: