This is the time of year the volunteers arrive at Petraia.  Sometimes they are welcome, sometimes not.  It depends how useful they are. Take this celery plant for instance.  Celery is a vegetable we use every day.  But it is a tough one to grow and when it does it is slow and stubborn….

  The wild asparagus is up and, if you know where to find it, you’ll have to set your alarm clock early around here.  Wild asparagus is a precious and fleeting delicacy on top of the Chianti Mountains and it is the early bird that gets the worm. Unfortunately, at Petraia, wild it doesn’t grow…

  AKA Thermomix.   Along with my pressure cooker this is one of the most valued appliances in my kitchen.   The thermomix is a machine that emulsifies and cooks at the same time.    It’s a common fixture in European home and restaurant kitchens.  Made by the international, German headquartered company Vorwerk, their website credits the…

A Penny For Your Thoughts?

      Thanks to everyone who has been following my new blog these past two months.   So far, I’ve been having lots of fun posting and I promise to do my best to keep things up as our season begins in earnest in a few short weeks.   Any feedback you would like to share…

  Sadly, it’s over.  Here is the last of this year’s citrus I ordered from an organic farm in Sicily a few days ago.  The fruit was picked and shipped that same day.   It won’t be until late next fall when the days get shorter and Christmas approaches that we will see this wonderful fruit…

  Crystal clear and nutritient dense stock and broths in 45 minutes.   White beans like zolfini and cannellini; black eyed peas and chick peas cooked to perfection in 20 to 30 minutes with no overnight soaking.  Ragu, stews and braises in an hour.    My pressure cooker is the most used appliance in my kitchen and…

It’s almost Easter, the days are getting longer and my hens, ducks, geese and quail are busy again laying lots of eggs after a slow winter.  I’m busy too, making pickled eggs for the holidays which is an Easter tradition in my family.  METHOD To make the pickling brine I combine our red wine vinegar…

  Last year was my sixth year cooking for guests at La Petraia and we welcomed more dairy and wheat free diners than any other year previous.  Probably more than all years combined.  We also had more vegetarians and vegans.  “Paleo” and “GAPS” became new words in our dietary lexicon and food sensitivity levels grew…

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