Even a trip out of town can be a good opportunity to enjoy homemade dishes with fresh and tasty ingredients and transform a simple picnic in a family tradition!
For many years every summer our kids cannot wait to participate to the legendary week of “summer camp” organized by the parish. Seven days immersed in the nature, along with dozens of other children of the same age … .. a real godsend !! And promptly the following Sunday there is the legendary meeting of all parents to take their children, exhausted but happy, and spend some ‘time together: bringing a packed lunch !!
Also this year came the fateful week … with a new destination: Cingoli.
Cingoli is a beautiful town with ancient origins, in the province of Macerata. Its characteristic is that it is also called “The Balcony of the Marches”, because of the strategic position on top of Mount Circe, and exceptional viewpoints that characterize it. First of all a famous terrace, built on the medieval walls of the city, from which you can see much of the Marche region and its coast.
Among the most typical dishes of the area, the famous Crescia of Cingoli, one unleavened cake that is cooked in a wood oven and is then heated on the plate with cheeses and sausages.
The meeting place was next to a former convent of the Capuchin Friars, surrounded by a large and fresh chestnut forest. Having arrived in the village a little ‘ahead of time we have spent an hour to walk the narrow streets of the old town and admire the Torre Campanaria of Palazzo Comunale and some of the beautiful churches in the city. We have not missed a step on the famous terrace known as “Balcony of the Marches” to recognize from afar, among the rolling hills, the characteristic shape of the Monte Conero, but also the hill where stands the Basilica of San Ciriaco, above the port of Ancona, and the extension of the coast to the north … the sea could be seen incredibly well, even though we were at several tens of kilometers inland.
After our small but pleasant tourist trip, my husband and I approached the place of the meeting willing to revise our son and proud to have prepared for him all the goodies he had asked us. The lunch time is the most joyous of these final days. The children, even if they spent a beautiful week that will remain forever etched in their memories, when they see their parents are approaching for the first shy affectionate hug and then stare with curiosity and desire baskets picnic, hoping to find inside all the scents and flavors of home.
And so it was for us. When we took place on a large stone table, along with other friends in the shade of chestnut trees, the children began to look inside the big red basket, that we pull out every year on this occasion, and, lifted the tablecloth, they started to cheer. Inside were a lasagna, cooked for the occasion (I suggest the Vincisgrassi of Celiano), small and round cheese balls (Pecorino of Monti Sibillini) flavored with walnut nutmeg and … .dulcis least … one delicious plum cake enriched with drops of Hazelnut Cream!! It is true … it cost no small effort to get up at 6am to cook everything and be ready to leave at 10.00 … but what satisfaction to see those eyes proud and happy while they offer to their friends our goodies!
A wonderful Picnic to conclude this beautiful day out !!!