Mea Culpa

Thomas Fleming

By

October 26, 2017

I have not intentionally abandoned our readers these past few weeks, but I made the unwise decision to leave my laptop at home and rely on my wife’s iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard plus my iPhone.  The keyboard never worked, my iPhone fell to a hard floor and is worthless, and access even to the iPad has been a bit limited.

We have enjoyed our week on a farm outside Spello and with Mark Beesley and our son Garret we have visited—in addition to Spello—Gubbio, Bevagna, Montefalco, Lago Trasimeno, and Spoleto.  Mark has done all the driving, which has made it a very easy week for me.

Chef Garret, whom we put on the train to Diumixino Airport this morning, cooked up a storm, and his chicken, rabbit, and pork roasts were wonderfully simple.  The local ingredients even in the supermercato are better than what can be found in the best American gourmet butcher shops, and the lady who owns this farm—mostly olives and grapes—gave us the run of her garden rich in salad greens and herbs.

Since we had eaten a large pranzo at a restaurant (Il Pentagramma) where my menu had been signed by “Don Matteo”—the actor Terence Hill who plays the detective priest in the Italian TV show we have been watching—The chef made us a large antipasto for cena, which we washed down with two bottles of Grechetto and two Montefalco reds.  We have been drinking both the mixed reds and the pure Sagrantino for nearly two weeks.  The price has ranged from 6 to 35 euros, though at a wine tasting we had glasses of a wine we were assured cost 70to a hundred elsewhere, though he was willing who part with it by the case for only 55 per bottle.  Even the cheapest were better than anything I drink in an average week, and two or three bottles produced no per cent being normal for reds.  But the depth of the wines can hold the high alcohol.

To be continued

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

2 Responses

  1. Harry Colin says:

    I suspect I’m not alone, Dr. Fleming, in assuming that the combination of travel and a conference has precluded much activity from you on this site, but I’m appreciative of both the update and the details of your dining and drinking adventures.

    I have greatly enjoyed the Don Matteo series; I’m delighted you are enjoying it and have met Mr. Hill! It’s an enjoyable series, and unlike many, if not most series, it hasn’t suffered from the replacement or elimination of a key character or two. In this case, I’ve found the change in capitanos to have gone well, despite obvious differences between them. The only criticism that I’ve read about was a complaint that too many of the female characters were blond, and disproportionately so, for Italians. I confess that I haven’t shared that criticism!

  2. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    I suspect that Chef Garret’s offerings were not only wonderfully simple, but simply wonderful as well.