Archive for August 8th, 2011

D-2There is a rumor that I may be traveling to Italy this fall.  But it is just a rumor and it will be after what I am told is a glorious time to be in Italy: summer.

However, to hold me over, and allow me to fantasize about being in Italy as we speak, I have found a great book: Recipes from an Italian Summer.

About the book: “Following the phenomenal success of The Silver Spoon, this book presents a collection of 380 summer recipes for all lovers of Italian food, collected by the team behind the original book. Recipes from an Italian Summer presents a range of easy-to-follow, authentic Italian recipes using the most delicious seasonal ingredients. From informal picnics to family barbecues and entertaining outdoors, Recipes from an Italian Summer has the perfect dish for every day of summer.”

The recipes included here will allow you to take advantage of fresh ingredients (local produce, herbs, seasonal berries and fruit) that you may find easily at your local farmers’ market or even in your own garden.

The pictures are great and the recipes are generally easy to follow, allowing you to try a taste of Italy or at least dream about being there to enjoy the season.  Now we just need to figure out how we can be truly European and take the rest of August off.

Find Recipes from an Italian Summer on Amazon

Read more about and order the book on its publisher Phaidon’s website – who also published the fabulous Vegetables from and Italian Garden.

car1Long-time fans of Lost Cowboy know that yours truly – this blog’s curator – is an unabashed anglophile.  I love all things British and I take any opportunity to visit the British Isles or check out anything remotely English that lands on these Yankee shores.

This past weekend I was thrilled to stumble upon a whole field of like-minded people close to home in Wolfeboro, NH at the British Cars of New Hampshire’s 15th Annual Show of Dreams.

I was making my way to Wolfeboro, a lovely lakeside community not too far from my home base, to check out the annual Huggins Hospital Street Fair, when I started to notice a few classic cars out and about.  This is not an unusual sight on the roads around here as there is often a car show going on somewhere in the area in the summer.

However, as I passed by The Nick, a large recreation facility in Wolfeboro, I saw the sign for the Show of Dreams and I made a point of stopping in on my way back out of town – and I am glad I did.

car2When I arrived at the show in the early afternoon, I found a field full of the most beautifully restored automobiles from British makers such as Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey, and my personal favourite, Triumph.

I walked around soaking in the sights and checking out the cars all lined up for inspection.  It was a gorgeous day and looking at these great cars was a nice way to enjoy it.

There is something special about these types of events.  Even though I am not really a car person, seeing the love people have for their classic vehicles and having so many together in one place is really great.

I had flashbacks to my youth and my first real love… a 1972 forest green Triumph Spitfire that was parked next to our summer place.  The car was parked in the driveway of the people who had the place next to us, but they were never there.  To me, that car represented everything I ever wanted and as a young teen.  I would go over to look at it an dream about it being my first car.

One day, during the summer I turned 16, a “for sale” sign showed up on the car and I commenced a campaign to convince my parents it was the perfect car for me.

The kindly caretaker of the property was put in charge of helping the absentee owner to sell it.  He saw me admiring the car one day and asked if I wanted to ride in it.  I was thrilled.  With some effort, he got it started, popped off the hard top to convert it to an open roof and we took a spin.

I did not get to drive it as I did not have my license and had not driven a stick shift yet, but the short ride just confirmed that I needed that car.

A year or so later, license in hand, with real discussions going on that my parents would help me buy a first car, my father actually entertained the idea of buying the Spitfire, which was still sitting idle next to us with the for sale sign in the window.

It is a long story, but my dad called the owner, who turned out to be a woman in New York City.  When my dad asked about the car, she said “you mean my baby?”  My dad took this as a sign that she was not going to give us a deal.  She ended up coming up for a visit and after seeing the car again, decided to keep it.  With that, my dream of cruising around in that awesome car were dashed.

I ended up with a more reliable car – a very cool chartreuse Ford EXP – but I never forgot my first love.

There were plenty of Triumphs this weekend at the aptly named Show of Dreams, but thankfully, the only Spitfire from the era of my unrequited love was not forest green, but banana yellow.

Anyway, I endorse the idea of stopping in to check out shows like these to relive old dreams and create new fantasies of driving that perfect roadster.