29 August 2011

Pear Elderberry Cocktail

Summer in Italy brings with it amazingly delicious fruit. I, of course, always want to find ways of preserving these scrumptious flavors to savor for the rest of the year. As you may have read in earlier posts, I have made jelly out of several fruits, including fig, mulberry, pomegranate and watermelon. But another way to capture the flavor of fruit is to infuse vodka with it. 

19 August 2011

Ligurian Picnic

My husband is not a picnic guy--it's not that he doesn't like picnics, it's just that he never thinks it's a good idea. But the other day, he came into the kitchen and suggested we go into the hills for a picnic to watch the sunset. Wow! I was not about to pass that up! Luckily, I had already made some roasted eggplant hummus and roasted vegetable tabbouleh for dinner, which was all easily portable food. So I packed everything up into containers, grabbed some blankets, a bottle of wine and we were off!

We drove a bit to find the right spot, sometimes driving in circles on the little narrow road to the Cinque Terre. But after much deliberation, we found the perfect spot with smooth concrete walls to sit on, use as a table and drink in some stunning views of the Mediterranean sea and the mountains around Riomaggiore. It was down a private road for residents only, but we figured that was to keep the tourists out. We were a little worried that someone might have a problem with us setting up our picnic on their 'private' wall, and the residents that passed us did have something to say--"che bell'idea, buona cena!" which means, "what a good idea, have a good dinner!"
I love the Italians.

09 August 2011

Insalata di Sgombro

The other night I threw together a quick salad on an experimental whim. I started with the idea of cooking sliced red onion in salt. Left for twenty minutes in salt, onions sweat out their water, turn translucent and get very sweet. I decided to use the salt and capers from my homemade salted capers and it infused the mixture with an amazing caper aroma! 

08 August 2011

Sewing 101: Il Lavoro

It is amazing how quickly a skilled seamstress can put together a bag! Continuing from where I left off in "Sewing 101: L'Inizio", the first step of my beach bag started with my mother-in-law pining a reinforcing material to the back of my fabric. 

Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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