Veal Saltimbocca; Shipping the shopping

 I confess.

I like to shop.

I don’t do it very often, and, fortunately for my wallet, I like window-shopping best.

Still, being on my own in the US for 2 weeks, it was inevitable that I succumbed to that great American past time.

What really clinched it for me was the new (to me) US Post Office’s flat rate shipping boxes.

One can ship up to 20 lbs (9 kilos) anywhere in the world for just over $40.00 (28 euro) – provided one can get it in the box provided.

That’s less than the charge for overweight luggage…. and one doesn’t have to schlep it around the airports.

The challenge, of course, is to get all the heavy stuff tucked into the box.

I’m a very good packer.

Everything you see was in that box.

Total weight?

15.2 pounds (7 kilos)

Told you I was good….



We expats all have our own little idiosyncrasies when it comes to what we miss most from the US and, more importantly, what we are willing to carry, and/or ship, back to our respective homes.


In my flat-rate box I shipped:

Jolly Ranchers (all the candy here is sweet – I like tart)
Green Chiles
2 bags of Wild Rice
Chocolate Calcium Chews (that was a new one for me – and I needed filler for the box)
Vitamins and Calcium (expensive here)
Tape replacement for mon mari (in inches)
My mother’s old recipe box (filled with Jolly Ranchers
Deodorant (a non-scented variety)
Shaker Cook Book (B-day gift)

In my suitcase I had:

Smoked Paprika from Penzey’s (3 bags)
Dry mustard from an Indian grocery (large bag)
Garlic powder (2 bags)
More vitamins
A few books
More Jolly Ranchers
A switch for mon mari‘s table saw
And a few new things to wear for both of us.

My suitcase came in at 49.5 pounds (22.5 kilos) – an entire half pound under the limit.  I could have gotten another bag of smoked paprika!

I decided, what with the recent kerfuffle over powders on aircraft, it was the prudent course of action to pack the powdered mustard, paprika and garlic rather than have it in my carry-on.


What was in my carry-on?

Magazines, of course.

And one last bag of Jolly Ranchers….

We all have our weaknesses, after all.

Another weakness I have is fresh sage.

There are certain dishes I only make in the fall.

This is my favorite:

Veal Saltimbocca

Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana alla Katie 

6 thin (or pounded) veal scallops, 10oz (300gr) total weight
3 slices Prosciutto, sliced in half

2oz (60gr) Gruyère, shredded
12 large, fresh sage leaves
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup Marsala can substitute Madeira
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tbs tomato paste

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Quickly brown veal scallops on both sides. Remove and put on an oven-safe platter. Add Marsala and beef stock to skillet and let simmer while you assemble the Saltimbocca.

Place 2 sage leaves on each veal scallop. Lay a slice of ham on top of the sage and sprinkle with cheese. After the sauce has simmered and reduced a bit add the tomato paste to thicken it. Spoon a bit of the sauce on and around the veal. Put the saltimbocca into a 225F (105C) for 10 minutes. This allows the cheese to melt, the ham and sage to cook a bit and the flavors to blend.
More importantly it allows you to relax and enjoy a fist course with all the work finished. Remove and serve with remaining sauce on the side.

In addition to the above, for the week of September 25 we have Stuffed Mushrooms, Tomato Garlic Soup, Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto, Pasta with Sausage, Avocado and Sage and more….

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14 thoughts on “Veal Saltimbocca; Shipping the shopping”

  1. Welcome back home, Katie! I loved seeing what you packed to bring back to the US with you! Jolly Ranchers – who would have known?! 😉

  2. Ihave found that when traveling along with 2 small children you can be .5 pounds over the limit and they will not make you repack; however, my husband traveling alone was .5 over and guess what, he had to reach in and pull something out that went into his carry on computer bag.
    I too miss things from the US and I am only a few hundred miles away.

  3. I hope you trip was great! LOL! Old El Paso green chilies are so USA centric and everywhere in the USA, and I have taken them for granted. And Jolly Ranchers, another USA centric ubiquitous candy that is everywhere in the USA, I have taken for granted. I am glad that you were able to get these common items here, and ship them over there. Oh, and BTW, the deodorant you have there is what I use, and here is the story behind it. During the winter, I could not find the clear type anywhere, and the solid stuff makes me break out. There was a product buy by a different company, and for about 6 months, this product did not exist anywhere. A couuple months ago, the product reappeared. Thank goodness 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh, I got SOOOO excited when I read about what you’d mailed to yourself — and then I remembered that you live in France, not Italy. If I mailed a box like this to myself in Italy it would arrive with items missing and not necessarily the contraband items like vitamins, just whatever struck the fancy of the postal/cusoms worker. Then after several weeks – or months, the package would eventually arrive, and I’d have to pay a customs fee to receive my own stuff – or at least part of it! I am happy for you though – much better to mail this stuff than to lug it in your suitcase.

  5. Who doesn’t enjoy shopping? Not counting boys here!
    Katie, I don’t mind to send you some smoked papprika from here, it’s supposed to be very good. It will be cheaper to you, won’t it?
    Any free chairs for dinner? What a great dish Katie!

  6. Jenn, cravings can be strange…. I like Sour Patch, too.
    Shayne, once you’re across a border the miles don’t matter. I’ve been lucky a few ounces over – but I don’t want to risk getting someone having a bad day.
    Lannae, funny how we get used to things – I hate the ‘white’ stuff… leaves residue! And the Green Chiles – that’s the admission price to our house ;-))
    Barbara, I get nailed if it comes from a company, but the customs people never (so far) bother with ‘private’ packages. Last year I had ordered some stuff from LL Bean and paid a fortune in customs and taxes. Never again.
    Meredith, absolutely from Minnesota – I wanted the hand-harvested, but WOW, the price! I’ll have to check out Spree…
    Nuria, I’ve looked in Andorra and couldn’t find it. We don’t often get very far into Spain when we visit our friend in the mountains…. I may take you up on that.

  7. Next time I am in FR, and in your area, I will try to remember to bring chilies!! Also, crispy duck is good, but I am sure FR prep of duck is delicious!!

  8. I didn’t realize you were back until this morning! I’m laughing at all you managed to cram into your suitcase and flat rate box, and chuckling a bit at what you picked. Didn’t know you’re a Jolly Ranchers fanatic!
    I like the looks of your Saltimbocca recipe. It’s a bit different than the lemony one my friend from Florence taught me.

  9. Couldn’t you grow green chilies in your garden, Katie? If your tomatoes do so well, I would think you’d have the ideal climate for chillies. (And then think of the fabulous green chili omelettes you could have!)
    And couldn’t you grow other chilies as well? Poblanos, jalapenos, cayennes, birdseye (piri-pi.jpgri), etc. etc. You could can/dry/smoke them in your spare time (ha).
    Then you could have more room for Jolly Ranchers. (Never tried them but love that name!!)
    We don’t really have enough sun in our garden so the chili plants don’t nearly supply our needs. Luckily, there is a South American grocery store not far from us where we buy the most wonderful dried chilies – favourites are smoked red jalapenos labelled moritas and several Indian grocery stores that sell green chilies. But the few green chilies from our garden are so far superior to store-bought fresh chilies. So superior that I’m almost contemplating cutting down one of the trees (not really) in our lovely shady garden.

  10. Funnily enough I made gnocchi yesterday and have some for the freezer and have some schnitzel in the freezer and fresh sage leaves only, missing the Gruyere but substitute. Great inspiration thanks

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