It was with some trepidation that we took our beloved hound (one year old this week) for his first haircut warned, as we had been, by the vet that it might look “un po brutto”, (a little ugly) but, as temperatures started to climb, the hair had to go.
Just look at what a handsome and expressive face had been lurking beneath all that wool. At first he seemed more vulnerable and, strangely, slightly more intelligent however, after a brief identity crisis, he is now back to his normal stupid self and feeling mighty confident about his furry charms. Strutting his stuff down Chiusi main street with hardly a backwards glance at all the lady-dogs swooning in his wake.
Best thing I ate:
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Yesterday, when Marito was buying some bistecca (steak) and I was waiting outside with the dog (our noses pushed up against the window), ‘Big Al’ refused to cut marito’s steak thicker than mine, despite his protestations because, said Al, (gesturing towards me with his chopper), “I know she likes her meat!”
So… if you’re ever in Chuisi, and you require the services of a good butcher, you know where to go – 70, Via Porsena, Chuisi.
For a bistecca that’s butch and bloody with a salty crust, here’s how;
The steak (about as thick as your thumb)
Some olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper and a stem of fresh rosemary
A heavy frying or grill pan
Rub your steak all over with olive oil, use the rosemary to brutally brush it on, crushing the herb and releasing the fragrance. Grind the pepper over both sides and (controversial I know), a good grind of sea salt too. This gives a lovely salty crust to the meat.
Put a little more oil in your pan and get it nice and hot, (it must be hot for this to work), then slap in the steak and press it down into the pan, don’t move it about.
Let it cook for 2 minutes, then turn it over, grind a bit more salt over it and press down again.
Let in cook for 2 minutes more and it will be ready, (the faint hearted may wish to cook it for a bit longer). I sometimes add a couple of cloves of garlic, squashed in their skins to the pan, or throw in a little wine after removing the meat to make the beefy juices go a bit further.
Apologies to vegetarians. I like vegetables too, promise.