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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
    December 5, 2003    PAGE 10       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

Featured Articles
 Light The Lights!
 Breaking Bread
 Managing Christmas Stress
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Holiday Wishes
 An English Christmas
 The Leaves of Wrath
 Confessions of a Gift Giver
 Holiday Cookies!
 Travel: Wading Thru Venice
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?



JustFlowers.comRoses and Flowers

DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free Syrups

        Wading Through Venice by Bill Beaty

The travel bug bit Bill Beaty at a young age when he realized there was a big world beyond his small Oklahoma home town. Between work and vacations, he's made more than two dozen trips to Europe, the middle east, and Hawaii, and he spent two years in Japan courtesy of the U.S. Army. He and his wife, Lenna, live near Dayton, Ohio where they are saving for their next trip to Europe.

Not everyone goes to Venice in November, but we were visiting Rome. Exploring the canals seemed like a good idea.

November? The guidebook said to watch out for rain and high tides, but how bad could it be?

We hardly noticed either the boots at the hardware store or the tables along the streets. Coming off Vaparetto Number 1 and pulling our luggage up the street (a term applied to any narrow alley in Venice), we walked by the low tables and saw the green boots at the Piazza San Apostoli hardware store. Of course, it was raining. It had rained since we got to Italy. Nobody cared. We were two of the twenty or so tourists coming off the water bus and hunting our hotels among the endless alleyways of one of the world's most exotic cities.

The next morning we'd learn why everyone needed boots and why the tables weren't tables but were essential for navigating Venice...

Venice is somewhere at or below sea level, and has no cars or trucks. Even bicycles aren't allowed, giving the first time visitor a sense of an easy going, laid back renaissance paradise. Streets are little more than alleyways, and everyone can count on getting lost. We followed the guidebook directions to the hotel (Turn left at the candy store) and found our two star hotel on a side street less than five feet wide. We suspected the owners bribed the author of the guidebook to give the hotel that second star and some flashy words on the website. According to our book, this was the absolute must stay hotel in one of the world's most exotic cities. We felt lucky to have a reservation.

The next morning we awoke and looked over the rooftops. Still raining. No problem. We had umbrellas. We had coats, and even an old rain hat. We were ready for anything.

At the door of the hotel the desk clerk, identified as "the concierge" in the guidebook, said, "Where you going?"

"Uh," we'd planned on going somewhere around the Rialto Bridge."

"No," he said.

"What do you mean? No?"

"Flooded. Everything that way's flooded."

Then he points the other direction, toward the train station.

"Maybe that way, but not Rialto."

We had two days to see Venice! High tide or rain and a little flooding weren't going to stop us.

We turned a corner, crossed one of the small canals, and there was the water, at least a foot deep, and there were the tables, arranged into elevated walkways. Unlike the hotel desk clerk, Venice didn't let a little water scare the tourists away. The tables, thousands and thousands of them, were elevated walkways, and when the water closed one of the streets, the walkways appeared. They were everywhere.

We found the Piazza San Marco, St Mark's Square in English, and the sidewalk cafes were under water. The tables, arranged into walkways, snaked from one building to another. Tourists were lined up body to body making their way into St Mark's Cathedral, the Doge's Palace, or one of the hotels or restaurants around the Piazza. A few hardy tourists sat at tables, just above the water, sipping coffee, a bargain at seven Euros ($8.40) a cup and watching other tourists make their way between buildings atop the walkways. The famous pigeons were somewhere else — somewhere dry.

Tourists wore bright yellow tinted plastic boots There was even a boot pecking order. The policemen and a few other natives wore hip boots. Only Italian women can look fashionable in hip boots. Green rubber boots identified other natives. Tourists wore bright yellow or blue tinted plastic boots bought from street vendors or provided by their three or four star hotels. Our two star hotel didn't provide boots. They recommended we not go out.

Even in the rain Venice is like no other place in the world, and without the crowds it probably has a magical quality. If you go, pull on your boots or find a path where the water is only a foot deep, and go ahead, taking pictures as you go.

When you're tired, which comes quickly from crossing all those bridges, duck into a little bar or coffee shop and join the other tourists in studying your map and guessing where you'll go next. You know that tomorrow morning the rain will stop, the sun will be out, and the pigeons will return to the Piazza.

        Copyright © December 2003  Bill Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
        Title photo Copyright © 2003  Bill Beaty and Low Carb Luxury

Refrigerator Nut Fudge

Are you a chocolate lover? Try this sugar free yet decadent-tasting recipe for a lovely, occasional treat, packed with healthy walnuts and a hint of cinnamon.

  • 2 Tablespoons soy flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated maltitol
  • 2/3 cup granulated erythritol
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 packets Splenda
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Refrigerator Nut Fudge Prepare an 8 inch square baking dish by greasing it with butter or spraying it with a butter flavored non-stick spray. Set aside until ready to use.

In a medium sized sauce pan, whisk soy flour with heavy cream until the mixture is smooth. Add the butter, cream cheese, maltitol, erythritol, chocolate, and cinnamon.

Place the pan over medium heat until the mixture becomes warm enough for the chocolate and cream cheese to begin to melt. Lower the heat to the lowest possible setting.

Continue melting the ingredients for the fudge, stirring as necessary. When the mixture is melted and smooth, add the vanilla and packets of Splenda. Taste the fudge. If it is not as sweet as you like, adjust the sweetness, by adding sweetener of your choice.

Beat the fudge for a minute or two with a heavy spoon. Add the nuts and thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared 8 inch square baking dish. Spread it evenly into the baking dish, using the back of the spoon to smooth the surface. If the surface looks a bit greasy with the melted butter, press a paper towel into the surface to remove the excess.

Cool the dish to room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours or until chilled and firm.

Remove the fudge from the refrigerator. Cut into 1 1/2" squares.

Makes 36 (1 1/2 inch) squares of fudge.   Each square is 3 effective grams of carbohydrate.


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