We wanted to share this post with you on Tuesday but, as we live in NJ, we lost electricity thanks to Hurricane Sandy. As of this posting we still don’t have power, heat, or working internet at work or home. We held out hope we’d get it back within a day or two. We ate well the first day (hooray for a gas range and matches!) to use up some perishables. After that, using ice bags and coolers we salvaged the essentials from our fridge – 5 blocks of cheese and my favorite soy sauce included. Then we attempted to make brownies stove top (works in a pinch, but if you have an oven, use it!). But, by Thursday night and still no power, we packed up the babies and headed to my parent’s house where, thankfully, they had gotten back power.
We are grateful to have a place to go. Our thoughts and prayers are with the many people don’t have a warm place to go, or worse, no longer have a home to go back to due to flooding or hurricane damage. So, we are thankful. Thankful our family is safe.
It’s pretty crazy that everything is still such a mess. I waited on line 45 minutes to get gas, only for the station to run out before getting to the pump. I drove by the small handful of stations that were still open and with gas, and all had lines at least a 1/2 mile long. I finally did get gas later on in the week-after spotting a tanker filling up a station, I hopped on line. 90 minutes later I had gas (and breakfast! as it was near my parent’s house and my Dad ran me a bagel and tea while on line ). Hurricane Sandy is definitely leaving us with stories to share with the kids and grand kids.
Speaking of grand kids, my Grandfather passed away this week. Not hurricane related, it was just his time. Kind of a “it was expected, but still unexpected” thing. We visited with him just last weekend, he got to meet our newest member of the family- his 13th great grandchild. I’m grateful for the time with him. He will be sorely missed.
That all said, this post is not all sad news. Family memories are to be treasured. And there are delicious recipes you can make without power. Let me share with you what we’ve been wanting to share- a wonderful recipe from a delightful family cookbook, plus, a give-away!
We were asked to review the book A Family Farm in Tuscany, a collection of family stories and recipes by Sarah Fioroni. If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile, you know this blog is a place for us to store our own family recipes and stories. So it was with great enthusiasm that we agreed to review and share Sarah’s collection with you.
A Family Farm in Tuscany is really a story of Sarah Fioroni’s family, spanning back a few generations, and a vivid portrayal of the life and workings of their family farm. Sarah personally takes the reader through her family history, the history of the land, and the inner workings and details of the farm they still work. It is easily to see why tourists from around the world travel to the farm to visit, relax, and indulge in the flavors of the countryside.
The book takes you on a journey through each of the calendar months on the farm; giving you a firsthand account of the activities in the kitchen and in the fields during each of the seasons. Spread throughout the book are family recipes, each deliciously appropriate for the season.
We finally settled upon this Autumn Spinach Salad with you. It’s a very simple to make salad but the thing we loved most about it was the addition of pomegranate seeds. Have you ever opened a pomegranate? It’s beautiful. The inside of the fruit is divided into 5 chambers. When you cut it open and peel apart a chamber you are greeted with a beautiful collection of ruby red seeds, which are juicy, pleasantly crunchy, and slightly tart. Paired with the cheese, and lightly drizzled olive oil on spinach, you’ve got a wonderful simple “fresh from the farm” tasting salad.
A Family Farm in Tuscany is a worthy edition to your book shelf, though maybe not to be stored upon your recipe book shelf. Not because the recipes aren’t good – this one was and the other ones definitely look appealing, but because the book is more filled with the stories of the farm and the family, details of how wines are made, livestock raised, produce harvested and is not heavily laden with recipes. If I had to make a complaint about the book, it would be that there aren’t more recipes in it!
Learn more about Fattoria Poggio Alloro, Sarah’s family farm at their website Fattoria Poggio Alloro.
And now to the give-away!
We are pleased to be able to offer one reader a complimentary copy of A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro. Check out the entry requirements just after the picture.
A big thank you Sarah for this opportunity to share with our readers!A Family Farm in Tuscany
Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and concerns regarding both the ongoing ordeal in New Jersey post Hurricane Sandy, and the more personal grieving process the Keenan family is going through with the loss of my grandfather. <3