Sunday, December 24, 2006

A grappa-filled Christmas to you all

With holidays and family taking precedence over blogging of late, just a quick note to wish everyone a grappa-fuelled festive season. Sadly, it looks like my wife is taking a hard-line stance on alcohol consumption and expects to be allowed to be the drinker on either Christmas or New Year's Day (both big parties in our family). That means one of them without the grape juice for me! Still, I will endeavour to make up for it on whichever occasion I am allowed to partake.

Here's hoping you all get a bottle of the old firewater from Santa...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Match report

How was my four day birthday drink-fest I hear you ask? Didn't I? Well, I have just about surfaced in time to tell the tales.

Thursday - A grand grappa-drinking session with 14 fellow fools. The tapas was a treat and the steaks cooked to perfection. Afterwards the bottle came round the table with pleasant regularity although I did have my suspicions as to the lack of bite to the grappa. Still, a wonderful evening and some excellent conversation.

Friday - Running at a slightly lower peep due to previous night's efforts still managed to partake of a crab/prawn starter and pork fillet in mushroom sauce main course at aforementioned jazz club. The only jazz was on a large screen next to us but, thankfully, drowned out by our conversation. Grappa points nil, unfortunately, but still a good night although the place lacked a bit of atmosphere.

Saturday - Indian time with my wife. Much more relaxed affair. Pakora/samosa combo to start followed by Balti chicken and king prawn dopiaza. Top notch but no grappa once again.

Sunday - As always an outstanding meal round at my mum and dad's. Once more nobly fired into the red wine and coffees before collapsing in bed for about an hour in order to recover. Luckily, off work for a week in order to prepare for festive binges to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another year, another bucket of grappa

With my birthday looming (Friday) what better way to celebrate than with a four-day long excuse for grappa consumption? My agenda has a hectic look to it over the next few days.

Thursday - The boys of the Giovedi Club are gathering for their Christmas do (among them that fine blogger Martino). A total of 14 (possibly 15) of the biggest scemi in Scotland will join together for wine, food and talk of a nonsensical variety. The venue this year is a tapas bar as our favourite local Italian has switched to its Christmas menu. There are only so many times you can eat turkey.

Friday - My actual birthday. Coincides, as it often does, with the Champions League draw AND a staff night out. This time around we will try a local Jazz Club which also does food. Given that I HATE jazz the omens are not good. Numbers, as always, have dwindled as people call off for a variety of reasons. Does nobody like Christmas parties any more?

Saturday - Queen of the South v Airdrie United, Fiorentina v Milan and, finally, a big fat Indian. Grappa opportunities nil (until I get home) but the chance to nibble a naan. Taking my wife out again. Twice in a year!

Sunday - The family gathering. Mum putting on a lunch for her kids and grandchildren. That should make a total of ten of us round the table for a bit of antipasto and the like. Then it will be off to a darkened room to recover.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Grappa as art

While conducting my internet research that found a Slovakian version of grappa (see the comments on the previous post) I also found this. I don't know why but I like it. Perhaps I could get it as my first tattoo.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

All creatures great and small

Having returned from Tuscany with my father I think it would be fair to report that we did our bit for the grappa distillers of the nation. Indeed, we consumed more food and drink than I thought was possible in the space of four days. If it boarded Noah's Ark, we ate it. And that includes Mrs Noah.

The first day saw a traditional Bugno lunch when we arrived off the plane. A simple Penne Piccanti and main course ensued with grappa to finish (pictured above). It was the nighttime when things got going. At what looked like a roadside cafe we stumbled into an outstanding chef (although service was dreadfully slow).

Our seafood antipasto consisted of sliced squid, followed by salmon with aniseed, followed by cacciucco (seafood soup), followed by branzino (don't even know what that is in English), followed by some kind of mixed seafood. Needless to say, I struggled with my pasta al cervo (venison, I guess) to follow and my nodino di vitello (veal chop) after that. My dad had risotto with pigeon and a tagliata! The sweet came just after midnight. The indigestion lasted most of the following day...