Thursday, September 27, 2007

Peperoni e Melanzane

Our New Addition...

Yesterday, Antonello’s friend Luca came over to help us install our new kitchen light. We are so happy!! No longer will I prepare meals in the dark! Slowly, slowly, this house is coming together…
Grazie Luca!!

Nostra Vendemmia 2007

A years work in the fields has come to an end again. To be honest, someone else’s hard work has ended, Antonello’s father to be exact. Sunday morning, the family all gathered to make the vendemmia, the collecting of the grapes. Throughout the year, each family enjoys the homemade wine this harvest provides.

The grapes are broken through this grinder to let out all their juices. Soon they will be pressed, separating the juice from the pulp and stems, leaving the juice to start its fermentation.

We will wait for November for when we taste this must that has changed into a thin wine.

Hmm, child labor? :)

Cucuzza Lunga

Now is the time of year when the serpent like, long zucchini is in harvest. What a treat it is!
The first time I had the pleasure of trying this recipe was in the kitchen of Antonello’s mother. It was a cold evening and this warm vegetable plate waiting for me was like heaven. What more could I ask for, I was dipping crunchy bread into a hearty broth covered with my favorite fresh oven baked ricotta cheese (ricotta infornata). This memory still has my head spinning…
Like the zucchini I was used to in the states, this variety is so moist and full of water. Actually, it cooks in it’s own juices, no need to add water.
• First, cook down one onion in a small amount of water. (I used a red onion from Tropea, which is why my broth turned out a rose color…)
• In the meantime, skin the zucchini and cut into slices
• Once the onion is cooked, add the zucchini, one cut up tomato, and a touch of salt
• Cover and cook!
• Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, crunchy bread and shaved baked ricotta
The longer this cooks on the the richer the flavor!

If you're interested, click on the title and it will take you to Terra Madre, a site where you, too, can buy and enjoy a variety of Italian Cheeses including this ricotta infornata!! I just found them online; I have never used this site...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This a a picture of my Jasmine plant on our back terrace... Soon it will cover our whole back wall!

IL Pescatore

We have explored a new world underwater...
Antonello and I have discovered so many remote beaches for fishing. Here on the island, that isn’t an easy feat. This day Salvo, Luca, and Antonello decided on the beach of Taormina. This place had many large rocks under water for fish to hide, an ideal sub fishing location. I do not have a gun, however, I spotted the octopus for Antonello and he grabbed it! (We made a nice salad that night!)

Dinner with Friends

I am now trying to catch up on a few things that have happened, as our computer was out of order for a while...

Our good friend Carmelo went back to work a few months ago now. Shortly after he left, we invited his mother, Pina, and her brother and sister-in-law for dinner. Susan, the sister-in-law, happens to be an American so we had lots to talk about!
We enjoyed grilled eggplants, baked zucchini, octopus salad, bruschetta, pasta con vongole, and fish cooked with tomatoes olives, and potatoes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tropea Cipolla e Peperoncino

Tropea is known for their red onion and hot peppers. The soil in this part of Italy makes their onions sweet with a delicate taste. We brought home enough for awhile!!


We had our first camping experience! A few weeks ago we took a weekend trip to Tropea, Calabria. We camped in the “Campeggio Marina del Convento” that sits right on the sea. Let’s just say that we must go back!! Click on the title and have a look.

The Chiesa dell'Isola, a church dedicated to seafarers that sits on top of a rocky outcrop that juts out into the sea. This is the view from the town. Steps can take you down to the sea for a refreshing bath...

Tropea has one of the most interesting and beautiful Historic Centers in the whole of Calabria. The Taormina of Calabria is what it’s often referred to as. We enjoyed taking walks on their tiny maze like streets. With ever twist and turn we stumbled upon another amazing view.

On the ferry boat back to our island...