Walking here is of course wonderful. The view is stupendous and today was very clear so the mountains were particularly beautiful on the way into town. It is so disappointing though that the ground is littered with so much trash. I expected more from the people who live on the land, but they are also human and I should not expect more from the Italians than the Americans, who for the most part are the same.
The stray animals here also upset me. The two "Mortadella Dogs" are now one. The mother lost her son who was her sole companion and now is alone in the field everyday. She dug herself a "bowl" in the ground to sleep in day and night. We give her mortadella and I can tell others feed her too. Orsetto is gone. I assume dead. His daughter is here and is pregnant or has worms. She is so small it is hard to tell. Mr. R cooks for her and we bought some cat food. She also had 1/2 of my Angus steak from our big dinner in Guardiagrele, which included wonderful handmade pasta with either saffron (we are in the capital of saffron production here) and butter (Mr. R) and mine which was handmade pasta from farro and a sugo simplece di pomodoro. The cherry tomatoes tasted like fruit. The desserts were wonderful as well. We do not eat out so I believe the 64 euros was the most we have either paid for a meal by ourselves. It was a treat, and I was very happy to share with Orsina (the cat).
Everyone who received a handmade gift this year seemed to be really grateful and happy to receive it. One person in particular, who asked for socks last year, and started the idea of making many of the gifts we gave this year, was very excited. Only one person who is too self-absorbed to consider the work that went into the gift seemed ungrateful, but maybe he is just low key and I misunderstood. Eh! Whatever, I expected that from him.
Today for lunch Mr. R made sugo simplece di pomodoro with pasta and we had homemade white wine that his friend made last year, with gassosa (a 7-Up type drink). Mr. R calls it "poor man's" Champaign. I like it! Even though I still have to wash the dishes I could just fall asleep at this moment.
After my failed attempt at hand quilting and a nap, we set off for Penadoma for the best tarallucci al vino in the area. We usually go to this "forno" (bakery) on the last day we are here to purchase about 60 cookies to take home, but the cookies from Rocca were so awful and the bakery that has the second best cookies was closed yesterday, Monday, and did not post a sign, which annoyed Mr. R enough to not do business with them, at least this week, that we took the ride. Heaven in a shell of crispy, flakey dough covered with sugar... Heaven is a filling of grapes, wine, crushed walnuts and cocoa that tastes nothing like those ingredients. We bought enough tarallucci and other sweets to be happy for at least a week or more.
Tonight we had another simple dinner of a freshly made vegetable stew and bread, cheese and honey. The region is known for many things including potatoes, which were the base of the stew. In fact, per capita, Roccascalegna is the highest producer of honey in Italy.
I will get some gelatti at the snack bar later and then knit and read for a while. Also, I have to watch the hand quilting videos again when I have access to WIFI as I am doing something wrong. I am not able to bend the needle back to bring it back up through the fabric. It may be the extra layer of muslin foundation for the strip quilting.
Anyway, baci e abbracci.
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