Poggio Civitate Week 4- Maestro della Griglia

Week 4

So obviously meat fest preparations and cooking took precedent over another blog post. Sorry. Last week was sorter than normal but our activities during the day were more of the same. We removed soil, exposed rocks and pottery and found confusing lines of rocks. This week I gave my trench assistants more responsiblities and let them run the trench during the afternoons. Paige and Karen are doing great and I think they will be fine next year if they want to come back. We had several afternoon thunderstorms that gave us a little extra boost to get the work done a little bit faster around the time we hit our slump.

Thursday was also our 2nd wine tasting. This time it was Brunello and Rosso from the area just south of us in Montalcino. We really are spoiled here to be so close to such great wines. These wines can cost up to $60-100 back home, but we can get them for 25-30 euros. The wine was great, the snacks were great, the people who hung out were great. It was a fun night, even if Friday was a little rough.

This weekend was dedicated mostly to grilling. A group of people went to antica macelleria cecchini for their bistecca fiorentina dinner (which is awesome and you should go given the chance). But I had done it several years ago so I decided to stay home and grill for the remaining staff. I made grilled lettuce, chicken wings wrapped in pancetta, steamed branzino (sea bass) on a bed of mushrooms and garlic, and grilled stuff peppers. They were all hits and we had some great belgian ales with it too.

Sunday was meat fest, a tradition started years ago when the amount protein in our daily diet was lacking, now it is an excuse for staff to get together and cook and have fun. So we spent the afternoon prepping the food which included making shrimp salad, octopus salad, fried chicken, tomato salad, and roasted potatoes. Then at 4:30 I went up to the Cava (a section of the hill I dig on) to start the grill with Pablo (a local Italian who I have gotten to know over the years). There we grilled veggies, sausage, fish, pancetta, more bistecca fiorentina, Italian meatloaf (weird but good), pigeon and ribs. We also simmered tomatoes and onion in balsamic vinegar (the tomatoes were Bonnie’s idea, the onion is an oldie of mine). It was a lot of fun and we all had a blast (and the treating storm urged us to clean up faster than in previous years.

All in all a good week and weekend. And Monday night I got to grill for the students and staff with Ryan Baker (the helicopter dude), so that was 3 days of grilling for me, it was awesome. I will leave the rest of the week for my weekend post.

Ciao for now.


About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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