Friday, 2 February 2007

A Day of Theatrics....


Act One: Lucca. A beautiful winter's day - piercingly clear blue sky, brilliant sunshine, and a touch of frost on the statues in Piazza Napoleone. The scene: a neo-classical courtroom, populated chaotically with a portly judge with a taste in colourful neckties, a pregnant lady-lawyer, three protagonists, two assistant lawyers - one serious and skeletal, the other bleached blonde and doubtful - a translator, a second lawyer, and not enough chairs to go round.....The noise level got louder and more frenzied, as the overall impression increasingly resembled one of the more disorganised scenes from Cosi fan Tutti ! End result? Not one millimetre further on in the process at the end of the morning than at the beginning.......and a date set for the next scene in this particular Opera Buffa at the end of the month.....Da Capo...........


Act Two: End of the afternoon. A starkly modern Notary's office, stainless steel and glass furniture and unremittingly modern 'Art' on the walls. The notary's costume seems derived from The Man from Uncle - black turtleneck, and serious thick-rimmed spectacles - although the overall dramatic reference is probably more likely Pirandello. Through the elegantly thin slats of the venetian blinds, night draws in, as the notary's voice drones on in a river of impenetrable italian legalese.......

Fortunately, for the intermission, we repaired to the Ristorante Lo Schiaccianoci, last redecorated in the late seventies with a cheerful mural of the Vondel Park in Amsterdam, which sits awkwardly amidst massed framed copies of nineteenth century engravings of Tuscany, and the occasional mistaken semi nude from the sixties in lurid pink. The food was excellent - a mouth watering dish of squid and black olives, as a salade tiede, and some sausages accompanied by perfectly grilled courgette, aubergine and red pepper. The half litre of nameless wine was slightly frizzante, light and interesting in flavour, and precisely what was needed.


Tonight's Dinner - reflects the sort of day, in being distinctly labour light!

Endive braised in Prosciutto Cotto, with a creamy Emmental sauce.

Scaloppine alla Milanese.

Ricotta Rum Cream. See below for the recipe.

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