fred plotkin

Steve Boss

lenora boyle

Photos: At top, Author and Italy Expert, Fred Plotkin. Next, Steve Boss in the studio of KRUU, 100.5fm grassroots radio station in Fairfield, Iowa. Steve is one of the hosts of Great Taste Radio/Cooking Show aired on KRUU every other Wednesday at 7pm. I’m at the orange microphone.

You can learn more about Steve Boss’ Great Tastes and more about Fred Plotkin and his upcoming travels on Great Taste Facebook.

A wonderful piece of advice from Fred was that since the Italian people are very generous to visitors, it is a nice gesture to acknowledge their generosity and give something to them–something that you bring from your country to share–tee shirts, baseball cap, handmade items from your hometown. Of course, the tee shirts would not be proper to give to everyone in Italy. My friend, Diana, grows flowers, presses them, then designs greeting cards. On the back of her cards is written the names of the flowers from Iowa. My friend, Rosemarie, suggested dish towels that have one of our states on it with cities and notations by each of them.

Fred is an expert on Italy–her food, culture and music. Although I love his cookbooks he also has written books about italian opera. We can actually listen to the Metropolitan Opera or listen to WQXR.com Saturday afternoon from 12:00-12:30 central time.

Of course a good portion of the show aired on May 20 (repeated on Friday, May 22 at 7am central)was spent talking about food. When I asked him what his favorite food in Italy is, he said, ‘pesto.’ I, myself, grow huge amounts of basil in my garden, and then make pesto with parmigiano or pecorino cheese, pine nuts, excellent olive oil. Then I pour the mix into ice cube trays. After they freeze, I store the cubes in double plastic freezer bags, and use throughout the winter in stir fries, sauces, soups etc. I told Fred that I would wear basil as a perfume if I could. He said there was a time when the young girls tucked small basil leaves in their bras! Italians usually use the small leafed basil for their pesto as it’s more fragrant.

Any ideas for gifts to easily take and give to our friends in Italy?


Learn more about traveling to Italy on Lenora’s Italy Retreats For Women
Find out more about Lenora’s Sweet Life Workshops and Sweet Life Happiness¬†Coaching.

You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article,¬†provided author credit is included.