Che bella poltrona!

For the past week and a half, I've been subjecting my kids to conversational Italian CDs in the car, and we've all picked up some very handy phrases for my upcoming trip. Yes, the hubby and I are going away to Paris, Florence, and Rome starting tomorrow, so if I post in my absence, it'll be about delicious food I find along the way. Travel for me is all about what I eat, when I eat, and where I eat. Art and churches and scenery are all a distant second. If you'd like to join us vicariously, you can follow me on Twitter @CNDudley.

Anyhow--back to the Italian CDs. Should I happen to strike up any conversations with new friends, I'll be prepared to compliment their armchair ("Che bella poltrona!"), their bookcase ("Che bella libreria!")--even their VCR ("Che bel videoregistratore!"). I'm less prepared, however to talk food. I've learned "fruits" and "vegetables" and "where is the nearest butcher?" but have no idea how to ask, "What did this cow eat, that I'm eating?" or "Did you grow this?" or "What do you think of GMO soybeans?" If you speak Italian and do know how to say such things, feel free to leave a comment...

Meanwhile, the Bellevue Farmers Market and our season marches on (such as it is). The strawberries are in, and Canales Produce informs me that they will continue to ripen if you leave them on the counter and don't remove the leaves. I also picked up the first raspberries of the season and took them to my kids' swim meet along with some Skagit River Ranch beef jerky. Great snacks for both quick and slow energy!

Hope the local weather improves--it's in the 80s in Italy! I'll let you know if I find any Slow Food restaurants to report on.