I am going to Italy, to the Dolomites, a mountain range, which are in the north of the country and are spectacularly beautiful.
I am going on a coach trip, yes that’s right, a coach all the way from Wakefield.
I will report back on my return and let you know how I got on with it. Many years ago, I went by coach to Austria, so I have an idea what to expect.
Staying in a hotel is always a bit of a novelty for me, I usually go away in the caravan and quite like the self-catering element of that holiday style.
On this trip to Italy, we are breakfasting and dining in the hotel each day. I have no idea if the food served will be authentically Italian, I do hope so.
When I was about twenty Italian food hit Pontefract where I was living at the time. I had honestly no idea until then that spaghetti didn’t just come in tins.’ Spag bol’ landed in our kitchens.
I remember grated carrot being used quite often as, peppers and new-fangled veg like that had not hit our shopping baskets quite yet!
Last night I made a ‘spag bol’. I used the slow cooker to make the sauce and it was delicious.
I started out by browning a beef and pork mince mixture in the frying pan and then browning an onion and a handful of mushrooms.
I put all of that into the slow cooker and added a tin of chopped tomatoes, some vegetable stock from my freezer, I sploshed in some red wine, oregano, balsamic vinegar and some garlic powder.
I seasoned it up with salt and pepper and let it bubble away for a few hours. I served it with copious amounts of parmesan cheese on the top and a nice baguette of garlic bread.
As usual I made more sauce than I needed for one evening meal so the rest will be frozen and brought out when I need another Italian fix.
My mind is whirling now with other Italian dishes that I love to make, lasagne, pizza, chicken cacciatore, pasta puttanesca, yum yum, so many delicious things. With cooking, the world is quite literally your oyster.
I take inspiration wherever I am, there is always a new dish to explore.