We celebrated Jo’s birthday this week and this is a short post to say “Felicitazioni e Buon Compleanno” to my beautiful wife.
The boys and I managed to arrange presents but the sourcing of wrapping paper and birthday cards was beyond my organising expertise and Italian language skills.
Instead we all made cards from paper a beautiful shade of pink, and the presents were unwrapped. Jo (the legend) made all the right noises and the boys thought it was just a brilliant thing to do.
In addition, T and I decided that Jo needed a birthday cake and while the thought of sourcing the ingredients and baking was a challenge, the thought of trying to find a ready made one was beyond me. Hence, we introduced ourselves to the oven, navigated our way around the kitchen and set to work baking a coconut and chocolate birthday cake.
The exercise went swimmingly until, with our limited resources, we had to resort to using a pie flan as our baking receptacle. Which leads us to our first ‘Counting to Dieci Baking Tip’…
Baking Tip #1: Using a pie flan to bake cakes is not recommended if you wish for the cake to come out easily and be served elegantly…!
Happily we subscribe to the Masterchef motto “It is all about the Taste”® (rather than their other motto “you eat with your eyes”®) and the cake made it through elimination.
I can say with some authority that the cake was the best birthday cake I have ever eaten in Italy (now having eaten a total of one).
We did, however, eat lunch at the restaurant in Monforte’s main piazza. It was a warm and sunny day and we managed to get the last table outside (The restaurant was full of the local lunch crowd and we were too intimidated to record the moment on camera so you will have to imagine the scene).
Our lack of courage aside, a note for you foodies out there, Grappolo d’Oro is a gem. Bufala e Pomodoro; Proscuitto e Melone; Tortellini al burro; Gnocchetti al Pomodoro; and Rotolo di Coniglio – all simple, well balanced dishes to die for. Lunch was then finished off with fresh Gelati.
A perfect lunch and a beautiful way to celebrate the day with Jo. I think lunch, Skype calls with her Family, emails from a couple of friends and a video message from ‘her girls’ in Adelaide combined to make it a really good day.