Marjorie hosted the annual Bagna fest, providing a wonderful venue for this
One of the primary ingredients in the typical Piemontese Bagna Cauda (or Bagna
Calda if you prefer), is Anchovy.
And we had them!
Of course, the other major player in this affair is Garlic...and we had plenty
of that, too!
We assembled a massive quantity of the "Bagna," about 3 liters of
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 28 ounces of Anchovies, about a pound of mashed garlic
and a couple of sticks of butter. This slowly cooks on the stovetop, the
aromas permeating the neighborhood and allowing the guests to more easily home
in on Marjorie's place!
We prepared a huge array of fresh vegetables.
Jonathan and Lucy brought some home-grown veggies...various greens, beets,
cauliflower, broccoli and the mandatory cardoons!
Marjorie was delighted to host this event.
Alexia and Henry brought some appetizers to go with the magnum of Marjorie's
Bagna Bubbly, a Bellavista Franciacorta (very good sparkling wine!).
Marjorie's sister, the famous Betty Repp, arranged for some nice bottles of wine
as a Christmas gift for Marjorie. This magnum is but one of those bottles,
so we had a toast to Betty!
Jonathan baked a bunch of bread which is fabulous with the Bagna.
Cliff gives Marjorie a hand in selecting from the array of plates.
The plates make numerous trips around the table as guests refill their Bagna
Singer, Songwriter Spencer Cliff.
We had many interesting bottles of wine.
Especially good was the Vietti Barbera "La Crena" 1998, a proprietary
red from Alessandria Crissante called "Rug," and Ca' Viola's "Bric
My job, of course, is to taste everything (in the interest of 'quality
Jesper, meanwhile, needs to taste every loaf of bread (he's a baker, after
In addition to a bunch of people using the individual Bagna pots (called "ceramiche"
in Italian), we always have a couple of larger "community" bagnas
going as well. Everyone is armed with a fondue fork and dips something in
the large pot.
But one must be attentive, for anything that falls off your fork is "fair
game" for others!
Paul is reflecting on the Bagna.
Here's a "ceramica" chock full of goodies.
Spencer Cliff, Alexia Moore and Rasputin.
This is the sort of photo one sees when people who have been drinking take my
camera in an effort to record some of the evening's festivities.
Jesper Jensen and Lucy Tolmach.
Claudia Temby swooped in part way through the evening, but quickly made up for
Jesper is thinking "Oh, my head is gonna hurt tomorrow!"
Henry shows off one of several bottles of Chateau du Garage.
Marjorie let Jamie out of his cage and he went head over heels for the Bagna!
After all the Bagna, we had a lovely dessert of a Lemon Sorbet, served in whole
But then, Amy FitzJensen is about to have a birthday, so Jonathan baked a cake
for further celebration:
Buon Cumpleanno Amy.
The flowers are because, well, girls love that stuff.
Amy was busy making a few wishes.
Whisper, meanwhile, celebrates with a coffee!
Norbert & Gaby, who couldn't join us, did send a birthday card for Amy,
"witching" her a happy geburtstag!
They also sent a German "Marmor" Cake, a marble cake with a sort of
four leaf clover design. Everyone, it seems, knows Amy is of Irish
Other gifts included Irish Spring soap and something called "Age
If Amy looks younger next year, we will know this stuff works!
Meanwhile, the Kitchen Patrol crew got Marjorie's place back to
Many thanks to all for helping put on such a nice event!
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