Recently in Dining & Travel category:

Pantelleria

Well, what can I say? After everyone telling me so much about Pantelleria. I didn’t quite get it when I arrived. But when it was time to leave, it was hard to go. On the day after I landed, by the time afternoon rolled around, I had curled myself up on a cushioned chair with a book I’d been looking forward to delving into. Then…

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There were two things I heard repeatedly about Pantelleria before I got there. First: every person in Sicily told me I would love it; second: I had to try the capers, which wasn’t difficult, considering they were everywhere. And I don’t mean in shops or on restaurant menus. I mean, they’re growing everywhere on Pantelleria; on the sides of roads, around stores and buildings, on…

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I didn’t want to cause a ruckus by sharing pictures of such a spectacular cake without a recipe. But on the other hand, it’s quite a chore to make a Cassata alla Siciliana and although Fabrizia Lanza sailed through it without breaking a sweat, between using the right pan, mixing up your own almond paste, finding ricotta as good as the ricotta in Sicily, and…

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Well, that was quite a day! After a much-delayed plane ride to Pantelleria, an island off the coast of Sicily (it’s technically Sicily, but — let’s hold off on that discussion for another day…), I was told to be prepared to be seduced by the place. But it didn’t hit me until day #4. We’d spent yesterday morning watching people harvest capers (…more on that…

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My life seems to have, as they say in modern-speak (or whatever you want to call it), a “long tail.” Which means that what I do today, or did in the past, will continue to have meaning. Fortunately, that’s not true for everything (I can think of a few incidents in the past that are better left back there…), but something that’s stayed with me…

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The tone was set when I let my airport pick-up in Palermo know that the entire French rail and transit system was going to be on strike the day I was set to fly to Sicily, and she replied with something along the lines of, “It’s not a trip to Sicily without a little travel chaos.” And boy, was she right. On top of the…

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The first true weekend of spring just happened here. Well, there may have been some nice days when I was gone, but the weather was fairly glorious the last few days. And being a holiday weekend in France, off we went to the countryside (campagne), enjoying the clear blue skies. Drive just about an hour from Paris, the air clears and you just want to…

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Unfortunately, book tours offer little – if any – free time. Sometimes you want to check out places that are miles away from your hotel, which are hopeless causes (although not always). But since publishers and venues are flying you around, they’re not footing the bill for a leisurely evening with friends, or with copious time to explore the city. (And I don’t blame them.)…

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I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences on this book tour, from taking in all the gorgeous produce at farmers’ markets, from San Francisco to Washington D.C,, to having someone tell me that he was proud of “my people” for the book I wrote. Wasn’t too sure who “my people” are. At first I thought it was mes amis français, but then I realized it…

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