Author's Posts

With Hallowe’en having come and gone, you’d think we’d seen the last of the pumpkins but here the scary celebration heralds the importance of a season of zucche in all shapes and sizes. We thought we’d buy one of these knobbly beauties and create a couple of dishes from it … well that was the idea anyway.

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We’re still learning new words and phrases every day, whether watching Italian television, listening to Italian radio, chatting with our friends or when we’re visiting the builders’ merchants (this one we seem to be doing a lot of recently!) But some words stick in my mind, either because of what they mean or how they sound (especially when said correctly by an Italian who can roll their Rrrrrrs – I still can’t do it!) So here are some of my favourites, in no particular order …

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Who’s there? … Autumn!

We’d had a good rainstorm yesterday afternoon and into the evening, the first real rain in about three months, and this morning’s result was low mist in the valley heightening the changing colour of the leaves and a real feeling that Autumn was creeping up on us.

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I’m dreaming of a hog roast – a huge piece of juicy, tender pork with a crunchy crackling and that lovely ‘Sunday Roast’ smell whilst it’s cooking. I’m not particularly hungry nor do I have a hankering for a full roast dinner, I’ve just had a territorial ‘run in’ with a couple of cinghiale and I want revenge!

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It’s the evening of the 24 June and I am standing under our walnut tree looking at the green walnuts, counting to see if there are 23 at a reachable height. I’m deciding whether to make Nocino, the sticky, brown sweet liqueur and today, being the day of St John (The Baptist), is the only day I can pick these fruits if I am to stick to the legend.

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On Saturday, for no particular reason, a thought slipped into my head about the bees. I thought it was a shame that we’d bought the Beekeeping Book and had only dipped into the first few pages before tucking it away into a box in the house once we realised that we were severely lacking in bee movement after the Winter.

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OK … who thinks we’d taken a break to breed dachsunds for a living?? No that’s not the reason I’ve been absent from the laptop for the last month or so … hard physical labour has taken priority over the writing about it but I’m back with an update from our neck of the woods, or in this case our corner of the vegetable garden!

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As settled as we are here in Italy, there are still a few things that I miss about England. Family, friends and our three rapidly maturing godchildren are the obvious things but Skype, Whatsapp and the odd email certainly make that a lot easier. Unfortunately it’s a little more difficult to Facetime with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken or a good Chinese Takeaway (although much better for the diet that way!)

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It’s often true to say that when you think of Italy … you think of its wonderful food. Italians are extremely passionate about cooking and eating, from the ingredients found in their ‘orto’ to the do’s and don’ts of the final touches … ‘To parmesan or not to parmesan?’ Food is such a passion that it is included in many phrases – some to compliment and some to insult – and in today’s post I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.

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