I usually enjoy a very lazy August but this year , after a calm start, it has been hectic. The first ten days I spent in Ferentino finishing my new cookbook, and I enjoyed the familiar rhythm of trying out recipes one day and writing them up the following morning. Years ago I learned to use Mussolini’s carrot and stick tactic. If I write the required number of words one day I can slip away to enjoy a lazy swim the following morning. It is a system that works for me as there is no point cheating myself.
Around Ferragosto I flew down to Puglia to enjoy a family holiday with two of my daughters and various grandsons. I usually enjoy cooking for the family but this year was a little more challenging because the menu had to cater for a vegetarian, a celiac and a daughter who only likes fish that is not fishy! I love shellfish but there were also allergies to cope with so I consoled myself with proof-reading my new seafood recipes. Max was there for a few days and his lethal mojitos had a soothing effect so that I happily went off to bang pans in the kitchen, and Caroline arranged visits to some of her favourite eating places at judicious intervals.
Shortly after this I returned to Budapest to finish my dental treatment and I fell in love with the city. I visited two beautiful belle époque spas to enjoy the therapeutic hot springs, explored the food markets and restaurants and had two memorable meals at Gundel restaurant. The small Budapest Opera House is very beautiful. The Emperor Franz Josef had decreed that it was to be smaller than the Viennese Opera but at the opening night he was supposedly chagrined to find it more beautiful, and he never visited it again. The Empress Elizabeth (or Sissi) returned frequently to the opera, and spent many months at her favourite palace in Gŏdŏllŏ, about 30 kilometres from the city. I had such a good week I am returning early next year to set up a gourmet adventure for the autumn. In next month’s newsletter I will put in a couple of the pork dishes I sampled with the famous Mangalica pork when I have had time to play around with the recipes.
Tomorrow I am leaving for Greece to run the second Symi adventure and while I am there I think my new cookbook will be out on kindle. The printed book can be ordered later in the month., both from Amazon.com “Diane Seed’s Favourite Seafood.”