Opening Thought
For any trip recognizes first that every trip is different.

Take Tuesday morning.
I’m taking my car back to garage because the battery warning light is blinking again.
A trip, this.
An errand one may say.
The difference?
Just in simplicity.
But a trip, really, to plan thoughtfully.

I recognize that the garage is on the wrong side of the inner city traffic congestion.
I must get there early, early being before 6.30am.
Meaning that I should put the duck, tonight’s dinner, into the oven for its 148 minute slow-roast [5.5 lbs x 27 min per pound.] I do and I set the timer for 8.12am.
Meaning finish my coffee but do not shave.
Meaning get dressed, pack waist pouch and a shoulder bag to carry a book to read when coming home on the T.
Exit apartment ASAP, today, at 6.31am.


Tagging Today
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
My 183rd consecutive posting.
Time is 2.00am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 80
and will become sunny by afternoon.

Dinner is a delicious tuna-fish salad sandwich.
I’ll eat alone, probably in the middle of the afternoon.

Question of the Day:

Yesterday we discussed a popular variant of our gateway Aglio e Olio sauce, the White Clam Sauce.
Even if you don’t cook, can you describe how to make a Red Clam Sauce?


I’m spending a little late night time scanning the Green Guide Michelin Guide to Tuscany.
Discovering that the Tuscan countryside (surrounding Florence and Siena, both of which are demanding of one or more overnights,) the Tuscan countryside has so many options that from here, across the Atlantic, it is not feasible to draw up a specific itinerary.

From here, from across the Atlantic, it’s impossible to say at what point we’ve seen enough Etruscan artifacts.
From here, from across the Atlantic, it’s impossible to know how long we want to spend admiring this or that duomo.
From here, from across the Atlantic, it’s impossible to guess how many times we want to get in and out of the car.

In Paris, we had every part of everyday assigned.
To and from New Orleans, I had every overnight assigned.
To and from Jackson Hole,  I assigned nothing.
Had no reservations, either for hotels or restaurants.
Made plans from one day to the next.
All of these plans worked.

And right now, a year in advance of our trip to Tuscany, we don’t have the latest Italian food and hotel Guide Michelin, although I’ve pre-ordered it, arriving on Jan 7, 2019.
Although we do have a 2017 listing of the Michelin-starred Tuscan restaurants.
When we get to examining this list, locating the restaurants, deciding which are ‘musts,’ a lot more of the detail of the trip will fall into place.

We’re deciding that we might visit Tuscany next Labor Day, to get daughter Kat back to school, sometime in late August, 2019.
And to permit travel companion and cousin Lauren to finish her undergrad requirements, which she will in late August, 2019, as well.

Traveling after Labor Day means we’ll miss the height of the tourist season which eases the demand for the better restaurants; somewhat.
Giving us more flexibility in our schedule.

Tuscany will take yet another type of planning.
What type that will turn out to be remains to be determined.

The planning snafu is that Florence and Tuscany have so many options to enjoy we don’t know how we’ll want to spend our time.
Bronzes, marbles, pedestrian ways, auto-tripping.
All amazing.
Mostly, we don’t want stress.
Obviously, we’ll want the first night booked.
After that?

Another Tuscany-related movie.
”Obsession” is a 1976 psychological thriller/mystery film directed by Brian De Palma, starring Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow, and Stocker Fontelieu.
The screenplay was by Paul Schrader, from a story by De Palma and Schrader.
Bernard Herrmann provided the film's soundtrack prior to his death in 1975.
The story is about a New Orleans businessman who is haunted by guilt following the death of his wife and daughter during a kidnapping-rescue attempt.

Years after the tragedy, he meets and falls in love with a young woman who is the exact look-alike of his long dead wife.

Both De Palma and Schrader have pointed to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) as the major inspiration for Obsession's narrative and thematic concerns.
Schrader's script was extensively rewritten and pared down by De Palma prior to shooting, causing the screenwriter to proclaim a complete lack of interest in the film's subsequent production and release. Completed in 1975, Columbia Pictures picked up the distribution rights but demanded that minor changes be made to reduce potentially controversial aspects of the plot.
When finally released in the late summer of 1976, it became De Palma's first substantial box office success and received a mixed response from critics.

Basilica San Miniato in Florence is an important setting in the movie.

Basilica San Miniato in Florence is an important setting in the movie.

Brian de Palma’s first big box office hit.

Brian de Palma’s first big box office hit.

Another view of the basilica.

Another view of the basilica.

An interior shot of the Basilica San Miniato The mosaic depicting St. Miniato to the right of Christ holding a crown.  The inscription reads: S. MINIATUS REX ERMINIE.

An interior shot of the Basilica San Miniato
The mosaic depicting St. Miniato to the right of Christ holding a crown.
The inscription reads: S. MINIATUS REX ERMINIE.

Answer to Question of the Day:
Red Clam Sauce is easily made with our “Always on Hand” Marinara Sauce.

red clam sauce.png

Use twelve clams and 4oz of linguini for every full portion.
Use ¼ cup white wine and 1 cup of Marinara Sauce as found in ‘Recipes’ on Web Site.

Wash the clams thoroughly.
Heat the wine and the Marinara Sauce.
Add the clams to the hot pot, cover, and actively simmer.
Constantly check the pot, removing the clams as they open so they don’t toughen unnecessarily.
Turn off the heat and return the clams to the pot so they stay warm.
The newly-made Red Clam Sauce is waiting for the pasta.

Use a wok to boil the linguini.
Don’t have one?
It’s worth buying a wok just to boil pasta.

Use 5 to 6 quarts of water to boil a pound of pasta.
Add 3TB of salt to the hot water.
Then add the pasta.
Use tongs or a cook-fork to separate the pasta strands from each other.
This is most important at the beginning of the cook.
As the pasta absorbs water they won’t adhere to each other as easily.

Stop the boil when the pasta is still chewy.
Very chewy.

Drain the pasta. Thoroughly. Leave no water.
Quickly return the pasta to the wok.
Pour the newly-made Red Clam Sauce (without the clams) over the linguini and heat the pasta and the sauce.
The pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid from the Clam Sauce and thicken it.
Portion out the pasta and garnish the plates with the clams in their shells.

Delicious smells, tastes, and sights.
Great way to start a day.
See you.
Love you