....of disaster! Gremlins in the computer software meant that I've been hors de combat (blogwise) for several days, and it was only due to judicious action on the part of the Technical Department, and a painstakingly detailed seventeen hour (!) intervention using something called BitDefender - available for free on the Web, and highly recommended - that I'm here now. It seemed a close-run thing......
Fortunately, gremlin activity didn't reach as far as the kitchen, and all has been pottering on much as normal in that department. Sarah passed by for a night, on Thursday, having spent a week at Peralta, just above Camaiore, where she'd been enjoying theatrical Wagneresque thunderstorms in the hills, while we - all of twenty minutes away - were continuing to bask in glorious sunshine.....In fact, basking to such an extent that I wouldn't actually mind a Wagneresque thunderstorm, for a change!
Louisa came for supper when Sarah was here, and we sat late on the terrace, by candlelight, enjoying the stillness of the summer's night. She brought a bottle of Sardinian wine - which I thought unusual, as I've not really come across Sardinian wine before, which Louisa in turn thought was strange, as she clearly drinks little else. The label was Terre Bianche, and although the grape wasn't identified, I think it was probably a Chardonnay. Deliciously full at first taste, but a bit lacking on follow-through. Technical Department and I drank it on Saturday, to accompany a plate of griddled triglie, which we were having as a late supper after the heat of the day.
Before departing on Friday, Sarah treated us to lunch at Casa Mia - somewhere which had slightly fallen off the radar and we hadn't been for a couple of years or more, probably because it's some distance away, towards the end of the Medici aqueduct. It's a bizarre place, but with excellent food! A suburban twenties bungalow where the interior has been stripped out and re-fitted with what look like the contents of an aristocratic clear-out sometime after the last war - the main dining room is dominated by two gloriously battered neo-classical chandeliers that must have graced a noble Pisano ballroom at around the time that Napoleon was passing through!
Lunch. Was. Excellent! Sarah and the Technical Dept went the Mare route, and I opted for Terra. Many, many courses and several bottles of very good house white later, and we staggered out into the afternoon sunshine. Mine host - whose house it really is, by the way, and in the hallway are displayed photographs of him playing in the garden as a small child, several decades (plus) ago - clearly thought we were mad to be walking anywhere in that heat, but in fact we needed to walk some of it off, even before collapsing into post-prandial siesta.....
Sarah managed to rouse herself - just - in time to head off to the airport for her flight to London, but I confess that we remained sufficiently pole-axed that we didn't make it to the Duomo for that evening's performance of Verdi's Requiem, which had been the previous intention. Oh, well - you can't have everything!
Quiche Lorraine (Pomiane version - light and delicious!)
Petto di Pollo, in Capers and Lemon Juice, with an Umido of Peppers, Courgettes and Basil.
Egg-white-only Chocolate Souffle.