October 27th, 2011 / comments
Halloween is a holiday when imagination runs wild. Whether you are going to a party or a parade, this is the holiday to join the masquerade.
The possibilities are endless – you can present yourself as a superhero or a world leader, a puppy or a princess, a vampire or a bunny rabbit.Halloween treats are everywhere, free when you call out “Trick or Treat” at the home of a friendly neighbor. … read more
August 4th, 2011 / comments
Blueberries are ripe for the picking, and last Sunday was a perfect day to find a pick-your-own blueberry patch.
I parked my car, followed the crowd to the table to get a pail and headed through the gate and down the hill. The process is simple, find a spot, pick until the pail is full, have the pail weighed, and pay the farmer. … read more
May 18th, 2011 / comments
My placid, morning routine of brewing a pot of tea, enjoying a cup of yogurt and a fresh scone while reading the newspaper changed last Thursday when Gracie came to live with us.
Gracie, a nine-week old golden retriever puppy, is many things, but placid in the morning is not one of them. … read more
May 11th, 2011 / comments
Original watercolor painting by Carol Egbert
March 31st, 2011 / comments
We had plans with our Vermont friend, Jim, when we returned to Ortigia on Friday. Jim leaves Thetford every January to spend four months in Ortigia. He had guests visiting from Norwich, Vermont and they arrived at our apartment at six for music, conversation, wine and tasty bits from the market. Marcia Cassidy and her son David Horak brought their violins and treated us to a concert of Vivaldi, Bartok and other classical violin duets. The music was divine.
I suggested that they play for the vendors at Cappuccio’s fish stall on Saturday. Angelo Cappuccio, a Sicilian with a warm smile, a cigarette in his mouth and a huge cleaver in his hand, loves music. I promised David a bowl of Italian donuts if he played at the market. He said, “Sure. Why not?” We agreed to meet in the market at noon for a Vermont Violin Concert.
Angelo Cappuccio in yellow apron enjoys Violin Duets
David and Marcia were splendid, Angelo beamed, the crowd applauded and cheered. It was a perfect time at the market and there were zeppole to follow.
Ricotta, egg and orange rind ready to mixed together to make zeppole.
Here’s how I made sweet, puffy, ricotta based, deep-fried Italian donuts for the after the concert treat:
… read more
March 25th, 2011 / comments
It rained all day yesterday, a cold, gray, ‘can’t go out to play’ rain. I finished reading a mystery set in Victorian England, began reading a book set in Singapore in the mid 1940’s, played games with Matthew and Charles, and tried to comprehend what was happening in Japan via an extraordinarily slow internet connection. Charles picked up a pizza for dinner and I went to sleep hoping that Monday would bring lots of sunshine and good news.
Since I hadn’t been to the open-air market on Sunday and the small, nearby markets were closed, breakfast resources in the fridge and pantry were limited. Charles decided to stop for coffee and a pastry on his way to the library so it was just Matthew and me for breakfast. Although, there were no strawberries, bread, milk, cereal, eggs or yogurt in the kitchen, there was one banana, some fresh ricotta, two blood oranges, honey and a shaker of cinnamon that Matthew had brought with him from the UK. I carefully peeled and sliced the banana and oranges and arranged them on a plate, added a scoop of ricotta, topped the ricotta and oranges with honey and squeezed a bit of orange juice on to the banana before dusting it with cinnamon. There was enough sun to capture this colorful breakfast in a photograph before we ate it.
I went to the market looking for inspiration and ingredients. San Marzano plum tomatoes from Georgio were a start. I choose a few waxy new potatoes, a bunch of broccoli and spring onions from the vendor next to him. Unfortunately, he is so grumpy that I’ve never asked him his name. I think his canary’s name is Elvis because that’s what’s painted on the cage. My final stop was to get cheese. Andrea was serving samples to passers-by but stopped long enough to wrap a ball of fresh mozzarella for me. I hurried home with a clear plan and everything I needed for a wonderful veggie dinner – a potato and tomato torta and steamed broccoli seasoned with garlic and dried hot pepper flakes. I would create a new recipe for dinner. Unfortunately new does not always mean good. Here’s what I did: … read more