Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Destination Cambridge

James has been busy at work in his studio preparing for his upcoming show at
  Hirschl and Adler Modern  that opens later this month. He has not taken a break. So about a week ago, on a Saturday we decided we REALLY needed to get out. 

We jumped into the car and headed southeast, destination Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The first quick stop was to Utrecht Art Supply for a few tubes of paint and some badly needed brushes.
This was the "work" part of our adventure.

We saved the fun part until last.

Our pantry was looking dreadfully empty, all that was left of the parmesan cheese was a heel destined for a minestrone soup and worst of all we had to ration what was left of the olive oil.

One of our favorite places to stock up on specialty foods and almost feel like we are in Italy, is Formaggio Kitchen.

Look at all of this!  I always have this urge to buy everything, James kept filling the basket, it is so incredibly tempting here. Cheeses from around the world piled high on the counter. There are always a few good pecorino cheeses from Pienza, Rome and Sardinia. We select a few to be wrapped us for us to take home. We also added  pancetta and  prosciutto to the basket, after all were are on the list. The guanciale, well I do not think that was on our list. But, who's to know?

Over in the pasta section there are wonderful pastas from Italy.  Italian pasta is the only dry pasta worth eating! We picked up  bucatini, strozzopreti,
tagliatelli and some great looking tubular pasta. 
Hmmmm, all the time thinking, "whats's for dinner?"
Plenty of time to talk about that on the ride home.

OLIVE OIL was at the top of our list, in large letters. This is where we buy good olive oil once we run out of the Umbrian olive oil that we get when we are in Panicale. The oil  we buy here is from Orvieto, which is not too far from Panicale.

 Our shopping list  included; carnaroli rice for risotto, anchovies, a jar of tonno/ tuna, smoked paprika,  pecorino cheeses, a good chunk of parmesan cheese, pancetta,  prosciutto, tuscan salami, large bottle of Umbrian olive oil, pasta and a bottle of wine, Dolcetto when they have it. We try something new each visit.  Capers in salt and a goat cheese from Vermont were not on the list but worthy of a go.
By the way, on weekdays they have a killer rotisserie chicken available.

Were we any closer to deciding what to make for dinner?

In another section of the store there is an area dedicated to fruits and vegetables. Everything looks beautiful and they carry items that are hard to find where we live like fresh fava beans in season,
 white / green figs,  and unusual mushrooms. Perfect little baskets of berries, Mandarin oranges, baby vegetables, colorful carrots, you just never know what you might find here.
Breads, all kinds of fresh breads, bagels, muffins arranged along a shelf. A window lined with honey...lavender honey, acacia honey, rosemary honey, any honey that bees can possibly create, are here. The varieties of preserves and jewel tone jams backlit by the window so colorful, call for your attention. Acacia is my overall favorite but the rosemary is perfect with sauteed carrots.

OK., one final temptation... just before reaching the check out counter is the flower vendor. Unfortunately, our baskets were too full and I had the overflow things in my hands , so we did not buy flowers. After all we do have flowers at home in the garden. BUT, the flowers here are superb.

Enough! Time to check out.
Time for one more stop before leaving Cambridge. I dash into Whole Foods to buy fresh fish for tomorrow's dinner. (We have a cooler and ice packs in the car).  James goes next door for a bottle of Amara ( Averno), and a bottle of Maraschino liqueur just to have on hand at home.

What did we make for dinner?
We made one of our best loved and simple meals, 
Spaghetti all' amatriciana , arugula salad  with a Chianti.
( it's a good thing we bought that guanciale!)
There were fresh white peaches for dessert.

A few tips before shopping at Formaggio Kitchen 
 First, be sure to have a shopping list! It is so easy to get carried away!
There is cool stuff everywhere....a treasure hunt.
The people  that work there are knowledgeable, so ask for help and advice.
The other thing I can tell you is at some point you must 
"Resist, resist," or your wallet could  readily be emptied!!!
Everything is just so delish!


stew said...

such a good adventure! stimulus overload.
we are headed to the land of milk and honey Monday. just us being spontaneous. Midge got a great doctor report at 8 am and by 2 pm we had tickets in hand and people to pick us up. 2-3 weeks then maybe a week with our Wiley in London. non vedo l'ora.


Live it up and don't forget to send pictures.
Best to you both, James & Elizabeth