Apple butter, serious ham and cheese

The spiced apple butter is well underway and although the sound of it bubbling away on the stove rather sounds like someone with a bad case of gas, it looks and smells amazingly. I'm going to post a video today of the first steps in making it; it's not hard but it is labor- and time-intensive. The use of a food mill precludes the necessity of peeling and coring the apples before cooking them which is worth the entire price of the mill. Six pounds of apples is more than you think, so I felt extremely fortunate to do nothing more than wash and chop them before commencing the process. This recipe is a seriously excellent one and, if you're interested, it's posted under Jams and is called Spiced Apple Butter. Delish, and this time of year is a wonderful time to make some.

While in Florence, and, incidentally, the same night I enjoyed that ridiculously wonderful pasta with the cream-speck sauce, we had as an appetizer coccoli con stracchino e prosciutto which is the beautiful Italian way of saying ham and cheese. This was no regular ham and cheese though. No! Coccoli are these incredible little salty, hot, olive oily balls of bread, and I can never quite get enough of them. They paired with a giant platter of these a plate of prosciutto and a bowl of melted stracchino, a wonderful cheese. In a casual yet highbrow way, you made your own mini ham-and-cheese sandwiches. I don't like ham and I don't love prosciutto but I gobbled these down. Holy hell! Today I made my own, and I'm going to tell you that they turned out WONDERFULLY. I'll post the very simple recipe soon.