Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Taste of Summer to Warm Your Winter

As much of the USA gets pummeled by Old Man Winter at the start of 2014, I reach into my freezer in search of random ingredients I can assemble into meals.  Deep at the bottom I have found a memory...  One bottle bearing one last, sweet, delicious sip of summer.  Though the central coast of California continues to see beautiful spring temperatures and sunshine, I know I have something in this bottle to brighten and warm the days of the rest of you.

Golden like sunshine, slightly thicker than water and packing a punch if you are not careful, an ice cold limoncello will brighten any day and instantly transport you to a summer afternoon.  In fact, for me limoncello always transports me to a specific place and time.  July in Florence, Italy is hot and sticky with tourists.  Though I love Firenze, I cannot say I would recommend July as a time to visit.  However, if you are there save Santa Maria del Fiori, or Il Duomo, for late afternoon.  This iconic church, the first dome constructed in Europe since the fall of Rome and the dominating structure of Florence, is sheathed in white, pink and green marble.  In late afternoon in July the setting sun lights up the fa├žade.  Take a seat at one of the many sidewalk cafes that circle the piazza.  Order a limoncello (don’t mind the exorbitant prices) and sit back to watch the show.  It’s a slow dance of golden sunlight with pink and green marble.  Savor the sweet tartness of the lemon-yellow nectar.  Let all these colors and flavors dance in your head and warm your soul.  Let all the worries and the stressors of your life melt away.  Enjoy that dance and be warmed amidst this snowy, chilly winter.  And look for some limoncello deep in your freezer.  You might find a Tuscan summer in there.


Here are a couple explanations and recipes for limocello –
For those with less time and fortitude - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/limoncello-recipe/index.html
If Batali really uses this one in his restaurant, Lupa, then it’s the best limoncello I have ever had - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/lemon-digestive-assistant-limoncello-recipe/index.html
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