Saturday, August 29, 2009


Room 244
She drove four and a half hours from Rome to Modena just to see him again. The road was empty and dusty during the last two hours of the way, and along the sides old olive trees alternated with stalls tended by old fragile women who sold strawberries and apricots underneath the roaring sun. She still could taste the dust when she stepped out of the car and pushed up her sunglasses.

His house wasn’t just a house, but more like a big old manor with roofs made of red. weather-beaten shingles crouching above old rotten walls with closed shutters. We always close the shutters during the day. He would tell her later, it was just to keep the heat outside. He didn’t know that she brought a certain kind of heat when he opened the door and let her in. After all they had done that night in the little hotel near the Fontana de Trevi, he behaved strangely pure and chaste now.

“Do you want to see the vinegar?” he asked her.

“The what?”

“The vinegar my family makes,” he answered with a look from his dark, gloomy eyes.


She followed him, and when they left the house the heat bit into her like an animal. Soon they went into the storehouse where he led her along between hundreds of barrels. A mild but still sour scent swirled through the air and bedazzled her mind while he kept talking about the small family business and the vinegar, about Trebbiano grapes and how they had grown them for generations on their own ground.

Gia felt tired. This wasn’t what she had in her mind when he had called her and asked if she would come to his house to see him again. She remembered the night they had met...the looks he had given her..and how they ended up in the wild garden of an abandoned house in the suburbs of Rome...the song of the cicadas in the high grass as he opened her blouse and pulled up her skirt over her waist...the heat of his cock against the inside of her thighs and how sweet and spicy his saliva tasted as his mouth met her lips and his tongue melted into her. She came hard and fast in a way she had never experienced before. She just had to take him back to her hotel room and now he...

“Do you wanna try some?” he asked.

“Pardon, I was thinking about something else,” Gia excused herself when his voice brought her back into reality.

“I asked if you wanna try the vinegar,” he said once more, giving her a patient look.

“Oh, no..thank you..but I don’t like sour tastes,” she said, lifting her hands to show that she really wasn’t inclined to try it.

“But it’s not’ have to taste it yourself,” he said and opened an aperture in one of the barrels. Skillfully he lowered a small ladle into it and offered her a dark, fragrant fluid which looked almost like crude oil.

“C´mon ..try it." He held the ladle close to her lips. Reluctantly she opened them...sweet and sticky, it ran into her mouth and filled it with the taste of grapes, sweet oak and something she couldn’t identify. But she could identify the look he gave her. She knew she would stay.

Outside the cicadas start to sing.

i know a lot of people who dont like vinegar, for example maike my godson mareks mother told me just the other night that she actually hates the taste of do you prepare your salads i asked her sheepishly..with lemon she answered in a tone as if i had to know this fact after we are friends since she was fifteen...
anyway..i like it..i remember that i often dipped pieces of fresh cucumber into vinegar and ate it this way when i was a child..i loved the acid and sourness as well as the refreshing texture of the cucumber...

allready the romans, egyptians and the persians made vinegar as well as the mesopotamians wrote about "sour beer" which seemed to be vinegar as well...
if you look vinegar up in a lexicon it will tell you that "vinegar is made from the oxidation by acetic acid bacteria of ethanol in wine, cider, beer, fermented fruit juice, or nearly any other liquid containing alcohol"..which sounds extreme complicated and so not fun nor sexy...thats why my recipes for vinegar in the kitchen are all very easy
..all you need are herbs, spices and some decorative bottles..and always make sure that the fluid covers the ingredients..

garlic vinegar

1 small branch of thyme
1 small branch of basil
6 garlic cloves (or more if you like it)
1 small spoon of white pepper corns
1/2 litre white wine
100 grams of vingear essence

just wash the herbs, dry them propperly, peel the garlic and blend it all together with the wine and vinegar and put in the bottle..done!..keep it somewhere dark and cool.

lemon-balm vinegar

2 branches of lemon balm
1/2 litre white wine as well as 100 grams of vinegar essence OR the same amount of balsamico bianco

just clean the lemon balm and mix it with the easy but very tasty for salads with wild herbs like rocket salads


3 eating spoons of green pepper corns out of the glas
3/4 litre of wine vinegar

i know i know..its so simple that i m almost scarlet for offering you such a simple recipe*..did i already say that its sharp/hot taste is really intense and delicious??


2 branches of rosemary
1/2 litre of red wine
100 grams of vinegar essence
perfect for all kinds of salads since itgives a strong mediterranean taste..

that´s you know my favorite recipes for chutneys, oils and vinegars..i really hope you enjoyed this fest of many spices we met already before blend together...i also hope you try one or two of the recipes yourself and tell me how you liked them...

happy spicy sunday blog tour 2009..i hope for another great tour soon..:-)


Emerald said...

Wow, Danielle, what an amazing collection of offerings!!! I'm planning to go back up and comment on the others, but I just got done reading all of them and feel so delighted and impressed. Thank you so much!

I really liked the story excerpt at the top of this one, by the way. I loved the way it ended with the cicadas starting to sing. :)

I myself am quite a vinegar fan. Just reading the ingredients in these has made me feel quite hungry!

Danielle said...

@ emerald

at first i only wanted to offer the chutneys..but then i felt that might be not enough..then i wanted to write about oil because i could offer a snippet from my story gabrielas oil..then i thought i could write about vinegar too..and then i thought i have to offer some more to "read"...i m really glad you like the vinegar-text since i wrote both chutney and vinegar snippets in a hurry..and i was afraid they are too bad..:-)

you really have to try the garlic vinegar..its so tasty in all kinds of salad:-)

thank you for your delightful coments and feel free to come again..:-)

Emerald said...

Ah yes, I almost mentioned that I love garlic too, and that one looks quite appealing to me! As you may have noticed, I'm also a salad fan lol. ;)

Danielle said...

me too! i love garlic and salads as well...i didnt postet much foodie stuff recently but that will change soon again..:-)

Craig Sorensen said...


I for one love the stuff, and you touched on some of my fond memories with the cucumber's with vinegar.

My father used to slice fresh cucumbers and soak them in Cider vingear for a few hours in the fridge. Just that simple pairing of flavors and textures.

I loved this little, simple treat, being one who loves naked, sour flavors. The vinegar infused the cucumbers, but the texture remained in tact.

And what is not to love about balsamic vinegar as depicted in the lovely excerpt.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Sehr gut, sehr kostlich, mein freund!

Danielle said...

@ craig

really? i always thought i m the only one wholiked the vinegar soaked cucumbers!!! my sisters always gave me strange looks about it..hehe*

especially in mild balm apple vinegar..which might come clos eto the cidre vinegar you spoke about..:-)

and i always was a fan of sour tastes..i still eat lemon pieces from time to time because i love the fresh taste..:-)

Craig Sorensen said...

Ha! I love lemons too. There is a picture of me making a happy, sour face when I was about ten and bit into a fresh wedge of lemon. My brother snapped the photo just as the juice escaped!

Smut Girl said...

Bravo! I love vinegars. We have a bunch. And now I want more. Go figure. ;)
great job, danielle.

Danielle said...

@ craig

sounds like fun?

i have a picture where i m 6 and i cry like a rabbit because i had bitten into an orange and the juice spilled out into my eyes...^^

Danielle said...

@ sommer

i m glad you liked it!
its so easy done..get a few bottles and start it..

if you dont wanna do teh whole wine / vinegar essence thing you can use redwine vinegar and whitewine vinegar as well...:-)

Erobintica said...

I grew up with vinegar-soaked cucumbers and love them. I usually have various kinds of vinegars around the kitchen, though I've never made my own - oh, I take that back - one year I made some violet vinegar - I was the only one that liked it - I used the little violets that pop up in the lawn in the spring.

For some reason, I'm wanting to go out into the garden right now.

Thanks Danielle!

Danielle said...

@ robin

violets for real? leave me a bit teary eyed because violets where my aunt iklas favorite flower..she used violet perfume, had always violet pastilles and loved the little flower in general..

thank you for comenting!

Marina said...

I love vinegar! On salad, on cucumbers, on french fries, on anything! I'm that way with lemons, too! As a kid, I used to try to peel lemons like you do for oranges, and would just sit there and eat the sections.

I think I'm going to try the lemon balm vinegar first --that sounds interesting!

All of this is wonderful, Danielle. Thanks so much for sharing!

Danielle said...

@ marina

i did that too!!!! i peeled the lemons like other kids did with oranges or mandarines..and then i was in greece the first time..their lemons are hugeeee and they taste a bit sweeter which is also nice..but still i love the refreshing sourness of the lemons..:-)

i m so happy you and donna let em take part in teh spicy sunday tour..i really loved all the posts and enjoyed to make my post very much..:-)

Donna said...

I got three nice fat cucumbers in my organic veggie box on Friday, and now I know what's gonna happen to them--a swim in some cider vinegar! Too bad I can't raid your pantry, Danielle. On top of all the sensual goodness here, I'm especially wowed by the bounty of your kitchen. You are the real thing!

I just loved this excerpt and I want to slip right inside that story, even if I do have to pretend I'm not a huge fan of balsamic vinegar. I always wondered why they could charge so much for some bottles of that stuff, but then I tasted a few mid-priced ones and they are so smooth (yet also make you cough if you're greedy) and complex, I understood why people were willing to pay :-).

Danielle said...

@ donna

you are welcome to raid my*..pantry!!! any time..:-)

coming from a food lover as the one you are your coment about my kitchen really is an honor for me..^^

yes, dive into the excerpt and take part in the contest..i d love that!

i have a small bottle of an 26 years old that little treasure from my sister for my b-day last year..and what can i say..its rich, thick and tasty texture is soooo good..its not sour at all..that was what inspired me to this excerpt..:-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

Mmm ... garlic vinegar sounds heavenly.

And I'm a big fan of the Balsamic—give me a puddle of that and a pool of potent green olive oil, and I'll make a meal of bread, alternating the two.

Anyway, I'm enjoying your sumptuous spicy Sunday smorgasbord so much!

a dark, fragrant fluid which looked almost like crude oil

Great image!

sweet and sticky, it ran into her mouth and filled it with the taste of grapes, sweet oak and something she couldn’t identify. But she could identify the look he gave her.


you are welcome to raid my*..pantry!!! any time


Danielle said...

@ jeremy!

thank you for hoping over..didnt saw you yet but noticed your coat and sox on my bed next neves bra und emeralds corsage..:-)

i m glad you enjoy my post..a while ago when i was sitting with shanna in a park in the heart of cologne, sipping champagne and speaking about god and the world i told her how strange it is for me now to write stories in english german language i already have a "voice" to tell my stories..but in english it is like i have to learn writing fill up my cup with words and images...and i was so afraid that my post would be a desaster..for example i confused whore and wore..^^..awful!

Donna said...

Actually, Danielle, I find your "mistakes" really inspiring. They give me a fresh take on my own language. "Wore" and "whore"--more often the same than we'd like to admit.

And Jeremy somehow before you added in the bread, I pictured you bathing in a pool of oil and vinegar. I like that image, lol!

Emerald said...

I love to dip bread in vinegar and olive oil too. I love balsamic vinegar — it and olive oil are two staples of my kitchen. :)

I have never been fluent in another language, and it seems foreign (ha — no pun intended) enough to me — I can hardly imagine then actually writing fiction in another language and am really impressed by that in these posts, Danielle. I quite enjoyed your snippets!

Jeremy Edwards said...

And Jeremy somehow before you added in the bread, I pictured you bathing in a pool of oil and vinegar. I like that image, lol!

Well, hey, as long as I have my socks off ...

Danielle said...

@ donna

ha! i had the very same vision of jeremy bathing an dswimming in oil and vinegar..:-)

Danielle said...

@ emerald

i love that too...or dip the bread in the left over of salad sauce on my plate..yummy..

when i was younger my english was much better..but living in germany has totally messed up my english skills..^^..but i m coming back to it and through all the blog posts and coments i allready learned a lot of new things..:-)

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Jo said...

oh, the vinegar. God, I love it. The feel of the smell of it inside my nose. I could drink it... and I love the way my mouth reacts when I think about doing that...

This is about vinegar, though, I must remind you ;)

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