Monday, November 28, 2016
It is so hard to let go of the vacation... Leaving behind family, and friends after spending such great time together. Keeping that feeling alive, for me, is best done by cooking and recreating those authentic Italian flavors. Things really taste so good in Italy... different... The Mozzarella, Burrata, Ricotta... the Tomatoes!!! Too good.. We do have good products available to us here, but, it is not the same. Driving along the winding country roads through vineyards and centuries old olive groves we saw dairies and their animals grazing on the beautiful land giving the milk that makes those wonderful Latticini. It inspires me to continue cooking the way we do and to always keep our culture alive and real. Food is beautiful on it's own, but embellishing is something I love to do... Using my Corzetti stamp to make pretty little pasta coins, or pressing fresh herbs into a Pizza Rustica makes me happy. On our day in Matera I learned about the Timbri del Pane Di Matera. Bread stamps from Matera. Little works of art, bearing the family initials or other familial symbols, which families would use to identify their bread loaf when they brought it to bake in the communal oven. I fell in love with these stamps, all made by hand, in simple or elaborate designs, carved from different types of wood. Mine is the rooster which is so symbolic of Puglia, and made from Walnut. I have tried it just a few times so far... it will take (a lot ) of practice to really get the imprint right on my loaves, pressing hard enough to see the letters without deflating my loaf. The imprint is just barely visible on this loaf. The artist who sold it to me said that it would take some practice to know exactly when to stamp my dough, how hard etc... I will keep trying, and whether or not I can get it right, it will always bring back memories of a great day in Matera with Priscilla, Nicola, Chiara, and Claudio.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I am doing my part in getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Putting together the flower arrangements... made in pumpkins that have been adorning the house for the season. The pie dough is made and I will bake the pies in the morning. Looking forward to another wonderful Thanksgiving Feast at Anna and Nicola's...
Thursday, November 3, 2016
I absolutely cannot believe that it is November ... I guess being in Italy threw me off... I lost my usual getting the house ready for Fall and Halloween. Now Halloween has come and gone and it is time to celebrate family birthdays. I feel out of my usual routine, and I suppose it is because of being in a new place and never having had any seasons here ... it is very strange to me, feeling as though I don't know how things should look here right now. I purged so much before this move, which is good... but I am at a loss... I will continue to try and get the house looking a little more like the season , a season that I love so much...
Thursday, October 27, 2016
It was nice to be there again , with Priscilla this time. Things were as they always are there, visually... familiar things and family…As always, the first photos I take are of the Piazza and the Adriatic Sea, taken from the balcony of mom's 3rd floor apartment, which is where we stayed this time... at sunrise on our first day in Mola. Being the off-season, there were fewer tourists around and it was less hectic, which was nice. Jet lag got the best of me, and lots of Espresso's didn't help with sleeping much... we spent lots of time with family and visited new places, and favorite places too... Mola Di Bari, Alberobello, Matera, Poligniano, Grottaglie, Ostuni, Cisternino, Monopoli... love them all. Matera's ancient cave dwellings are amazing, and Grottaglie's ceramics are unbelievably gorgeous, and hard to resist, but Alberobello is my favorite and we decided to spend one night there in a Trullo. The one we stayed in was built in the 1800's. It was authentic, comfortable and so charming... an experience we will definitely want to repeat. It was a great trip!