.....and as much as I wish I had spent the past week in Assisi, where this photo was taken, I wasn't; instead, I was in snowy, cold, rural Alberta visiting my family!
We were celebrating my Mom's 83rd birthday. She was thrilled to have most of the family together and I was happy to be there as well. I dislike traveling at Christmas, so I prefer to fly out West a bit off season; say, November or February.
I felt bad about failing in our Slow Travel February blogging challenge. I had intended to keep up my blog while I was away, but a few days before I left, I discovered I wouldn't have Internet access after all. So I missed the final 8 days of the challenge.
But congratulations to all of my fellow bloggers who kept up throughout the month! I now have so much reading to catch up on, and I can't wait!
Although nothing terribly exciting happened during my trip, it felt really busy. Besides my mother's birthday brunch (followed by a birthday dinner at my sister's home) I got together with several friends; watched some old movies with my brothers; visited my Mom's seniors' home several times (where they stuffed me with cookies) and even took my mother bra shopping. That was an event.
I did some cooking for my family as well. I made Letizia's lasagne and panna cotta from our cooking classes near Assisi (the photo above is the view from Letizia's agriturismo, Alla Madonna della Piatto.) That went very well.
I also tried some bread-making, using the famous no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times. That was a disaster, despite the NYT promise it was fail-safe! I think I have to double check and see if the Times issued any corrections on this recipe!
Instead of a lovely round loaf, my bread was terribly flat, like a cheese cake. I'll never live that one down.
The recipe is fairly simple, relying on a long (20-hour) period for the bread to rise, rather than kneading to stimulate its growth (as my mother says, bread really is a living organism -- at least, until you bake it.) But I think the recipe's call for one-quarter teaspoon of yeast must have been a typo. I've never seen bread use so little yeast, and while I thought that perhaps this was a quirk of the long rising period, I'm now thinking that the recipe was incorrect.
But it gave my family endless hours of amusement, which is what really matters.