Friday, October 19, 2007

Pranzo con Mario e Chiara

A few days back Chiara and Mario,our niece and nephew, had lunch with us. We always have a good time together...


I was surprised with a knock on my door to find a flower deliveryman waiting with a bouquet of five long stem red roses for me. Five years have passed since the day Antonello and I met. And like he wrote on the card, it still feels like the first day!

Stocco Night

We had the pleasure of sharing our Tuesday night with friends and family this week. To begin we enjoyed a selection of antipasto, and then a bowl of stocco that was accompanied with this year’s "Famiglia Testa Vino". The meal ended with a delightful bowl of picked off the tree Cachi (Persimmon) that was peeled, cleaned, and topped with a scoop of ice cream. Carmelo and Natale head back to the ship soon, so it was nice to get together before they go.

Cucuzza Mieli

The sweet pumpkin is in season! There are so many different ways to prepare this, but one of our favorite ways is simmered with sweet onions and served with bread.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Matrimonio di Domenico e Francesca

Yesterday, we drove over to Lentini for the wedding of our cousin Domenico.

MariaElena and I

Mario singing away at the reception! MariaElena and Alessandro's little boy...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Festa della Vendemmia

festivals in sicily, piedimonte etneo

A view from over the town. The air was filled with the scent of sausage!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Famiglia Testa "Vendemmia"

The morning rain shower passed and gave us a beautiful clear day to enjoy this year’s vendemmia at Carmelo’s home, Antonello’s godfather.

Our baskets, made for us by an old man, were put to the test.

Mario, Carmelo and Rita’s son, worked hard this morning…

New and old friends sharing conversations while picking the grapes.

This is where it all happens. The grapes are passed through the lavic stone window, and dropped into the grinder that not only crushes the grapes, but also sorts out the stems; similar to ours, but a larger scale. It is here where the fermentation takes place, transforming the must into a fine wine.

When the work was done, we all sat to a feast. There were grilled sausages, grilled peppers, caponata, salami, cheeses, olives, wine, and bread to enjoy each and every bite.

An end to this perfect day was something very special. In our town, the best pastry shop closed a few months ago. People still ach for the delicacies that “Cali” created, and above all Antonello. As it so happens, Cali is Carmelo’s godfather, so imagine the look on Antonello and my face when they unwrapped our favorite fresh ricotta cake made especially from Cali! He still makes the best!!

On the right sits Natale,a good friend of ours, that Antonello worked with on the ship. His mother just happens to be a talent in the kitchen. A connoisseur of traditional Sicilian recipes, and a woman I am very much looking forward to meeting. We have invitations to Natale’s home to sample some of his mothers cooking and one thing that stands out in my mind are the eggplant recipes. I plan to bring my camera and write everything down…
Finally, on the left sits the protagonist of the day, Carmelo. A man filled with jokes, and here fashions a dignified deflated ball on his head, thanks to his son. We thank you and Rita again for this yearly tradition and being a part of it with you. (After all, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here in Sicily, and I certainly would not have met my love…)