dipping oil

L’arte d’arrangiarsi!

by admin on January 30, 2009

Two things you must do if you haven’t done so already…..read
EAT PRAY LOVE…..and watch Babette’s Feast! Sandi, who keeps our St.
Helena store running, gave me EAT PRAY LOVE for a going away
present….I read it quickly and loved it…..and now I am reading the
phase where she was in Italy again…slowly….and literally laughing
out loud….she is very witty…..in one chapter she reveals an
Italian expression that I am now obsessed with….L’arte d’arrangiarsi
- the art of making something out of nothing…”the art of turning a
few simple ingredients into a feast or a few gathered friends into a
festival”…. how great is that? It’s also so true to our brand….on
every level….from the story of the Company…..to the production of
the products….and the emphasis on simple healthy meals…..and the
philosophy of the displays of 100% found objects….something out of
nothing…..and as the book says and I can attest to….you don’t have
to have money to do that! Now….if I could only pronounce it!

Babette’s Feast follows the same story line…..she had a bit of cash,
but the emphasis of the entire movie was on the feast that she
prepared and the connection that came from those gathered around the
table….a connection that they tried to deny at first but could
not….the meal was too powerful….it’s a classic and I’m sure many
of you have seen it….but rent it again….it will remind you of the
simple pleasures we can all partake it….no matter what is happening
around us.

A good life story….I’m not sure how many of you have read this in my
blog but I will quote it here….

“When I traveled with K and Em to Italy many years ago….I think they
were
5 and 7ish……we spent two days in Florence…..we were walking down
a
street and looked in a bar where there were many people having a good
time…..laughing and drinking……and I remember thinking how fun it
looked and having a
bittersweet feeling because of where my life was at that time…..and
as a good girl does when she feels a bit down….I wondered into a
boutique a few doors down and bought a jacket that I really shouldn’t
have….it was a simple light black jacket with “Mosshino” :) written
in small letters on the bottom….but more important….in larger
font, capitalized, written on the cuff of the sleeve was the word,
“LIFE”….and it had an arrow, which I interpreted as pointing to the
bar….oh no…I mean pointing forward…..I had to have it….it was
my symbol that life was moving forward….it’s amazing how we
rationalize these purchases isn’t it ladies? :)

Anyway, that was a
great trip but also tough…my first time out of the country and a lot
of
uncertainty in my life at the time….new life with the girls….new
business…new home…new career…in the Napa Valley…

FAST FORWARD to this journey…first day…..our taxi dropped us off
at
our apartment and we settled in. We quickly decided to
explore..turned left out the front door of our building and began to
soak it all in…walked no more then two doors down and looked in at
the jovial sounds
coming from our local bar….I stopped…..and immediately
knew….this was THE
bar….and I looked across the street….and there was the
boutique…..NO
JOKE….Chris was still with me at the time so went into the bar and
had a drink…we made a toast…..because nothing in life is a
coincidence……and I knew at that
point that this journey was a gift…and to enjoy it to its
fullest….no
matter what the days ahead may bring!”

And how does this lead to Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino?….ah
another coincidence is brewing….when I was cleaning my office before
I left I came across a bag of seasonings….Spaghetti aglio, olio e
peperoncino …. I laughed….I had bought them while I was in Italy
with the kids the first time…..they were amazing….and
simple….and I wanted to figure out what it was and being the
capitalist that I am….produce it. Obviously I got a little side
tracked….timing is everything…..so I took them home and started to
do some research….well I didn’t need to go far because this is a
classic Italian dish….not the seasoning secret that I had imagined
would have put my on Oprah….none the less..it was a cool product and
I wanted to make it….so I figured out the combination and then
sourced the best organic garlic, parsley and chili peppers that I
could find….and made the first batch right before I left…..and
it’s a hit!

The blending of the herbs is all done by hand in 5 gallons
batches….Margarita and Lourdes helped me as I made the first
batch….I almost killed us all…the aromas were so intense we
started choking…..eyes watering…the whole nine yards…..so next
attempt…I bought masks….we looked ridiculous but it worked. Since
my departure I’ve heard that they have ditched the masks and are
making smaller batches….but let me warn you…it’s intense!

Once I made it I realized it would be the perfect seasoning to use for
a dipping oil….use our Sevillano Extra Virgin Olive Oil and our 6
Year Old Balsamic with a small amount of the seasoning….it creates
that spicy oil that everyone seems to love…and you know that we
believe it’s better to add your own ingredients for dipping rather
than buying oils with stuff in them…..better quality control…..and
you can also sautee the seasoning in our olive oil and toss it into a
spaghetti….finish it with parmesan cheese and you have a meal!

If you want to check it out, you can go to our website and see the
product…it’s called Dipping Oil Herb Blend
or we put together a kit that is called Attention All You Dippers [

I challenge you now to take some time out of every day and practice
………L’arte d’arrangiarsi!

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