Learning to Live

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

Read more

These last couple of weeks have been a bit strange. With the ‘fossa’ and drainage in place and a flushing toilet sitting proudly in the house, and the ‘stufa’ puffing merrily away out of its new chimney on the colder days, we’ve found ourselves tackling some of the smaller jobs around the place and it feels most relaxing not having intense, full days of work ahead of us … we can stop every once in a while and enjoy the first signs of Spring that seem to be slowly creeping up on us.

Read more

… and no fire without a chimney (at least if we want it inside the house and under control) so we had our next job on the list. The house when we bought it had no chimney, just a shiny patch of new roof tiles where the chimney used to be (a bit of detective work on our part as there was the old ‘stufa’ still in the kitchen with a flue pipe going into the wall and not reappearing again).

Read more