Monday, November 23, 2015

Let the season begin....

With some turkey and stuffin

Oh wait, wrong photo

Yep.  Annual "Thanksgiving in Italy", hosted this year (thankfully!) by Christine.  Oh yeah, and Valerio

We ate, we drank, we laughed, we danced, we opened presents and then we all ran like frightened babies back to our own houses when the hail came.

Actually, the hail didn't bother me.  I just wanted to get back home so I could sit in the dark and look at the Christmas tree that Graham and I had put up the day before.

Brings a tear to your eye with its beauty, dunnit?

PS.  Thanks everyone for the Forno name suggestions.  No decisions yet.  Poor thing might just be "Forno" for the rest of its life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Oven Birthday Part II

Did I mention that we have a special guest who came just for the Oven's birthday?  He felt it was important since he was here for its birth.

That's sunny son Graham all the way from Seattle.  He's actually a lot sunnier than his face shows in that photo.  He made some ravioli for the celebration (no, they didn't go into the oven.  I'm not sure why they were on the menu but they were damn tasty!)

He had a little help

Since it was such a big celebration we had to have TWO different kinds of ravioli:


and David's brasato (braised beef)

and it was SUCH an important celebration we had to call in the professionals:


And Gino

But before we ate the ravioli we had a few things hot out of the oven....

sardinara (no photo...imagine a cheeseless pizza with anchovies, garlic cloves, and olives)

farinata (no photo...imagine a chick pea flour pancake the size of a pizza)

and, of course, pizza

Just because he was afraid we wouldn't have enough food, Gino also made brandacujun (Ligurian dish of potatoes and salted cod)

After something like 3 days of cooking, we sat down to eat

Happy Birthday, Still-Nameless-Oven

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

there's been a birthday

We had a party for the birthday oven.

More on this when I have better photos (soon, really, I promise).

Should a thing live for more than one year without a name?  We are struggling.  At the party two were suggested....




They were not random names...we were told they were saintly names of ovens, breads, fires,  bakers....I don't actually remember.  Now when I look it up, we can't find any St Pasquale or Hildegard who has anything to do with pizza ovens.

Part of the problem with naming HER is that we can't agree whether she is a she or a he.  Seems obvious to me...I mean, come on.  Really.  Have another look at the photo above.

We are open to suggestions.  We probably won't take them.  But we love hearing them.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Gimme the Gold

I had a play date with my friend Kate (I think her name is actually spelled Kaethe and pronounced way differently than I pronounce it.  She's german, I'm not).  Kate is the wife of Rolf, and the mother of Mila.  It's a good family.  An inspirational family.

This is Kate.

Kate has recently learned to gild.

Thoughtful as she is, she thought I might like it too.  Darn if she wasn't right!  It's totally fun!  Nothing like playing with gold to make a couple girls feel RICH!

'Specially when the girls are playing with gold here

which is Kate and Rolf's "shed" ...which is cleaner and better organized that my kitchen...and which is sitting on the mountain here

next to a beautiful garden and a dog that looks like Ruffino (sorry, shitty picture of the landscaping, you'll have to trust me on that).  And next to these

Rolf likes carving things.

Kate likes covering sea stones in gold.

Here's our day's production...

Yeah, ok.  Another shitty photo.  They look a lot nicer with the background of Kate and Rolf's gorgeous house....

Thank you, Kate for a golden day!

Friday, October 30, 2015

All About Olives

It's olive season in Maberga.

Neither of those bottles is our oil*.  David did this with our olives this year...

How gorgeous are those jars?!  

Wait, a minute, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Some of you may recall that picking olives is not really my favorite job.  I'm pleased to say that I made huge strides in my I-hate-olive-picking attitude this year by employing a simple strategy:

David and I invited some people we're rather fond of to come help us with the job.

Yep.  That's my parents, all the way from Wisconsin just to pick some olives.

Ok, not really just for the olives.  We also ate a lot of food together,

had lots of nice chats, and some cut-throat games of cribbage (the result of the throat cutting was some ass kicking, women won).

And we planted grandma Serpe's oregano seeds which they carefully transported to us from Uncle Mike.

thank you thank you thank you, mom and dad for making it all the way to visit us again this year.  This was the BEST trip EVER.

* the bottle on the left was purchased and is from last year's crop.  the bottle on the right was pressed last week by our neighbor Franco.  See the difference in color?!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Find the Zucchini

I love autumn.  Love it.

I love the weather in autumn. The morning chill. Cuddling under blankets in the evening with a book.  I love the start of a new year (yes, still on academic time).  I love wearing sweaters and my birthday is in the autumn.  Knitting with wool is infinitely more pleasing than knitting with cotton and the mums bloom in autumn.
 It's the beginning of the soup season and the american football season.   Family comes to visit in the fall.  Peppers are picked and roasted.

All these things make autumn hands down my favorite season.  But you want to know what the very BEST part of autumn is?  Well, I'll tell you.  In the fall I get to play Find the Zucchini.  Awesome.  Yep, every morning in the autumn I run up to the orto for an exuberant game of hide and seek with the last survivors in the otherwise dead and weed-encumbered garden, the zucchini.

The orto in autumn

The zucchini in autumn


This guy almost beat me.

And there's nothing I like more after a lively game of Find the Zucchini than some egg, salami, and zucchini pasta for breakfast.

Happy Autumn.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Had I been blogging....

I would have written something really funny about my cousins Bump and Dong's visit.

And how Lina and Augusto threw them a 2nd wedding anniversary lunch....

With some peppers and prosecco...

And some homemade pasta....

And then I'd tell you about how things got a little weird....

Yeah, I'd have told you all about that if I had been blogging.

I'd also have told you about the art show that friend Christine and I have going at the art gallery in Badalucco....

And the fun we had setting it up....

And the gallery picnic David gave me on my birthday...

And had I been blogging I would have written something lovely about my sister-in-law Rosanne who we are luck enough to have visiting....

Yep.  Had I been blogging I would have told you all about that stuff.