Posts Tagged people
January is normally one of those let down months, y’know after all the holidays, food feasting, present giving, days off and free smiles and laughter its a tough act to follow – but we can get pretty excited about January here in the office. We are getting ready to show our new leather jackets for the 2012 collection. It’s actually kind of fun – kind of like a shopping spree, where you can try everything on, there are no limits to how much you spend and everyone acts like it is already yours, suggesting nips and tucks to make it fit better. I love it!
All our seamstresses and craftsman come to the drawing board with various designers and put together lots of rough drafts for us to look at – tempting us with new colors, types of leathers, daring designs and re-makes of some classics. So we can spend day after day, swirling, preening and dancing in front of the mirror trying to decide what our shoppers are going to go wild over!
Last year, we narrowed down our selection and choose about 15 new pieces but we experimented with leather clothes, like vests and pants in leather. The vests were a hit – especially with the men. And the short leather skirt with the front slit, that went over very well (I imagine with the men as well as the women! at least it worked that way at my house, he couldn’t keep his
hands I mean eyes off of me) As far as the jackets were concerned – frills and peplum were in last year – but not for 2012. Our color selection was more towards trendy with lilacs and burgundies.
This year promises to be even more fun – we are cleaning out many style that we have had with us for at least 4 – 5 years and replacing them with updated versions in different types of leather and many new colors. We will be playing with extra soft leathers – almost like suede that have absorbed the coloring in various ways, sometimes giving the leather that washed vintage look. Below I have picket out three of my favorites for this year. The first color reminds me almost of a “marinaio” or sailors yellow slicker, but without being too loud. The style we have opted for this mens jacket highlights some decorative stitching on the front and simple lines in the waist. The leather is supple and the color has taken in a shade that shows more intense in certain lights.
Another favorite will be featured in one of our ladies jackets and it is what I would call a dusty brown. The soft brushed leather gives it that vintage look, as if it had been hidden in the closet just waiting to come back into style. It is extremely light which makes this ideal for spring and summer wearing.
I like strong colors, but I prefer them to have an earthy feel to them, and this green is right up my alley. Almost a lime green but not that “in your face” this leather is smooth and soft … like a babies bottom. The style we have picked for this jacket will be perfect for the spring and summer evenings, it is a little fitted but definitely lightweight and has a mandarin collar.
Our new jackets will be coming soon on line – so check the blog out in February when we give each designer their own space, highlighting details on each style.
I was introduced to this great idea of receiving Christmas baskets from your employer while working in Tuscany and though sometimes they can be quite predictable filled normal kind of stuff . . . every once in a while there are a few surprises. Last year both me and DH brought home Christmas baskets filled with sweets – and while they were all delicious . . . there is a limit to how much sugar two people can consume (I know not everyone agrees…but in our household it is true!)
This year we have two complementary baskets – DH brought home an artisan baked pandoro, ricciarelli, panforte and a delicious selection of dried fruit (figs, dates, apricots) AND chocolate covered torrone – then he had a hunk of Parmesan cheese, two different types of salami and the traditional cotecchino for the New Year celebration. – Practically one third of Christmas lunch is in his basket. I instead am bringing home three bottles of Chianti wine – another third of Christmas dinner. The last piece is already in the refrigerator waiting to be baked, broiled and roasted.
We will start off with what the Italians call “affettati.” Translated this is a huge cutting board filled with salami, prosciutto, dried figs, Parmesan cheese and honey and on the side there will be a few crostini neri (the Tuscan chicken liver patè) and of course a fett’unta! We have been saving all the bottles of fresh pressed oil so that we can taste our way through the holidays.
I admit we have already done a fair bit of taste testing – but in our defense we have received over 10 different olive oils from friends, clients and relatives. We couldn’t possibly control our urge to taste the new oil with some toasted bread, a bit of garlic, fresh ground pepper and salt…. yummmmmm.
After we have finished off the cutting board – we then move on to the pasta. This year DH has requested lasagna, just like Nonna used to make. Well I don’t know if it will rank up there with Nonna, but I have been told my lasagna is definitely a 4 star masterpiece. So I do aim to please. It’s simple enough in the ingredients (pasta, Italian style meat sauce, besciamella, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese) but the mix is just . . . oh scrumptious! I know most people are used to hearing ricotta in the list but in the area where I learned how to make lasagna …. or as some will call pasta al forno there is no ricotta.
Once the pasta has been drooled over and plates licked clean we start with the main course. Though many of you may be thinking…what?!? there is more to come? I say – YES ! absolutely, there is always more to come in an Italian household.
Another Italian tradition – anatra con l’arancia – duck with oranges. The main course for Christmas in Tuscany usually includes some kind of fowl and the list is long: there is chicken (three types to be exact: gallina, cappone or fararona) or duck (anatra) and then pigeon (picione), quail (quaglia), some will even do goose ( oca). This year I have ventured into unknown territory and bought us a lovely duck all decorated with oranges and pancetta (as if a duck needed any more fat in it!)
Though its hard to imagine – there will be side dishes to this meal – potatoes (because every thing that is roasted gets potatoes with rosemary and sage on the side) and most probably peas . . . another tradition with any Sunday or holiday lunch.
All this will be accompanied by a selection of various wines . . . and maybe some water but as the Tuscans, or any Italian for that matter, like to say – water? No thank you, I’ll wait until it rains. I will definitely start off with some chilled prosecco – because I love the dry bubbles! The lasagna can have either a lambrusco (because la Mamma likes it) or maybe a fresh white – we have a Pecorino sitting at home taht is very fregrant. Then the roast duck will most definitely have a Chianti Classico – and do have an selection to choose from! Probably something robust and flavorful – like those that Pierotucci gave out this year from Tenuta San Vito.
And then … well now the tough part starts because you just ate until you can eat no more and then there the desserts are spread out on the table, and they literally seem never ending. Panettone, Pandoro, panforte, ricciarelli, torrone, nuts and dried fruit, chocolates and candies, fresh fruit (well that is more for show than anything else) and the spumantes and vin santos.
It would appear that you really couldn’t eat another bite . . . but low and behold you start to nibble here and then there, and before you know it you have just consumed another 1000 calories without even trying!
Can you believe that someone actually has the audacity to tell the Italians that their number one snack spread Nutella, is not healthy? Obviously these people are not taking into account the happy feeling that comes as you bite into a slice of bread spread full of that creamy chocolatey hazelnutty flavour.
Only the Germans, would dare to contradict the value of a snack that brings a smile to your face, makes you go warm all over just thinking about it and elicits shouts of joys and delight from the young and old alike! In fact I seriously doubt that anyone in Italy actually eats Nutella because….it’s good for you!