choose your destiny

giovedì 30 dicembre 2010

building racks for wine storage with big frank

Took a Friday afternoon with my father, to throw together a wine rack for the basement.  Frank has all the carpentry skills which he developed over many grueling childhood years working with his father and brother.  It only took about 4 hours with a few breaks in between.  A 42 bottle wine rack made with pine...

It all starts with this legendary table saw passed down from my grandfather Americo.
Along with some modern tools like this Porter Cable nail gun.
The nails load in like a clip of ammo going into an AK47.

Setting up the ''jig'', which will make sure all the shelves are exactly the same distance apart.
Spacing the separators.
Big frank matching the shelves to the fram.
A finished product, A total savings of $120, compared with ordering wine racks online.

lunedì 20 dicembre 2010

croquembouche like whoaaa

Last night, celebrated the holiday season, and feasted on this exquisite Crouquembouche above made by friend and colleague Sara Bullock.  This thing was off the hook delicious as well as a masterpiece sculpture...  

martedì 14 dicembre 2010

La battaglia nel centro di Roma - Protesters clash with police in Rome.

December 14, 2010.. Parliament met for the crucial confidence vote, Berlusconi made it through by the skin of his teeth, with 314 in favour, and 311 against...  Anti-Berlusconi University students lashed out and set everything on fire down the famous shopping street Via del Corso to Piazza del Popolo while fighting police. 

I don't post politics...ever... but seeing this madness go down in my ''other home'' on the other part of the world, I'll share the news...
Click below for full stories...
Photos Courtesy of MSNBC
Video from la republica

lunedì 13 dicembre 2010

Throwback Luke Mitrani

Old footage of Luke, courtesy of Frends Vision.  Watch him slay a board since the day he set foot on skateboard or snowboard... He has always been one of my favorite snowboarders to watch... see for yourself.

Memory Monday - Luke Mitrani old Skate and Snowboard footy from Jack Mitrani on Vimeo.

shots from portland, and the best fries ever...

hand cut belgian duckfat fries up close and personal.

 Cruising into Portland, Maine on Friday night we had to make a necessary stop into DUCKFAT restaurant.  For a sandwich and a sampling of their famous Hand cut Belgian Duckfat fries.  They are served piping hot with a list of dipping sauce choices.  We shrelped up some duckfat gravy and the thai chili mayo.  The secret to these precious fries, is they are fried in oil which is 25% duck fat... great stuff....The Duck Cofit Panino (above) was decent, but I preferred the Corned beef tongue Reuben, served with swiss and marinated cabbage which was cheaper and more flavorful.

43 Middle Street Portland, Maine.

Saturday involved a day on the slopes at Sunday River, followed by some Portland madness with the ''Captain''...

venerdì 10 dicembre 2010

2010, Dukes of December are off...

I duci di dicembre, parte due, dumane partiamo da Pittsfield Massachusetts.  Andiamo a nord, e ci fermiamo a Portland, Maine.  Poi un giorno sullo snowboard a Vermont.  Ci gasiamo e famo bordello come sempre...

Aizza Aizza Aizza
Acala Acala Acala
Accosa Accosta Accosta
A' Salute Nosta!!!

Bunk Nebbiolo?

Somehow bought this Langhe Nebbiolo ''Roccardo'' from Rocche Costamagna, the other day, which happened to be the only Langhe Nebbiolo in the wine shop from my area...  I tasted it... nope...
just not happening.  Not feeling any of the Nebbiolo I love so much, on this wine.  This Langhe Nebbiolo from Rocche Costamagna for instance goes through a modern vinification, with maceration lasting for only 5-6 days, as opposed to say the above left from Produttori Del Barbaresco a traditional Nebbiolo (maceration lasting 22 days on the skins).  Both 100% Nebbiolo, around $20-$25, very different wines.  It seems crazy to me when vinification techniques can take over the sensation of the grape varietal, and suddenly you aren't drinking Nebbiolo but instead a bunk candy, fruit forward mess that resembles a Beaujolais Nouveau more than anything from Piemonte... Oh well, let's dump this bitch out and try again...

I remember a Salvador Dali quote
''Don't bother about being modern. 
Unfortunately it is the one thing that, 
whatever you do, you cannot avoid. ''

This is true in so many cases, but we hope for the sake of wine at least, that tradition can prevail....

domenica 5 dicembre 2010

82 Pichon Lalande drinking like a beauty

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande last night was drinking like a true gem....My favorite community tasting note on this wine; ''Naso subito esplosivo di spezie (pepe), con bel tabacco scuro''.  It was all there the aromas of spices and pepper just exploding out of the glass..  If your one of the lucky ones who have this stored away,  drink her up!

mercoledì 1 dicembre 2010


Above, a selection of some typical neopolitan desserts with the classic struffoli on the left.  I spent Christmas day in Naples last year, and snapped this shot at my cousins house during dessert.  The photo isn't great probably due to my stomach being on the verge of bursting from being force-fed all day.  For a beautiful site with full videos and instructions on italian recipes go to  Below,  a poem on struffoli taken from 

A fa ‘e struffoli è nu sfizio.
Cumminciamm dall’inizio:
faje na pasta sopraffina,
e po’ tagliala a palline,
cu na bona nfarinata.
Dopp’a frje. Già t’e stancate?
Chest è a parte chiù importante!
Mò ce vo’: miele abbondante
e na granda cucuzzata
(a cocozza nzuccherata).
N’è fernuto ancora, aspiette!
S’anna mettere ‘e cunfiette:
aggrazziate, piccerille,
culurate: ‘e diavulille…
Ma qua nfierno, è Paraviso!
Iamme, falle nu’ surriso!
Comme dice? “Mamma mia,
stanne troppi ccalurie
so’ pesante, fanno male?”
Si va buò,ma è Natale!

Alleyway in Naples, Christmas 2009.
 The above poem reminded me of a different poem I found in the home of a neopolitan that day... 

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