Red in Ortigia

March 15th, 2013 / comments 2

Sky is blue.red 03 sm Red in Ortigia

Coffee is smooth…

tomat sm Red in Ortigia

tomatoes are local….

red od sm Red in Ortigia

table is waiting.

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Blue? Blood Oranges in Ortigia, Sicily

March 12th, 2013 / Comments 1

From the market to our balcony.

sm org  Blue? Blood Oranges in Ortigia, Sicily

From the frutti vendolo

fruit sm Blue? Blood Oranges in Ortigia, Sicily

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Whole Milk Ricotta from a Vermont Kitchen

August 7th, 2012 / comments 3

Wine c egbert Whole Milk Ricotta from a Vermont KitchenWine is often used to add flavor in cooking, but whining is not a good addition to any dish, EXCEPT when it results in a new and wonderful recipe. Here’s the story:

I was complaining to my son, Noah, that peach season had finally arrived and I couldn’t find fresh ricotta anywhere. “If I were in Sicily, I’d to walk to the market, and get as much as I wanted and, I’d have a cappuccino and maybe even a cannoli on the way.”

With absolutely no sympathy, he said, “Why don’t you make your own, instead of whining about it? It’s really easy. You only need whole milk and white vinegar and, if you make it in the microwave, clean-up is a breeze.”

I wasn’t convinced that any ricotta made in Vermont could compare with what I was missing but, decided to give it a try. Using Noah’s recipe, I made my first batch in less than five minutes and cleanup was a breeze. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Easter Monday

April 9th, 2012 / Comments 0

Everything, except cafe’s and the sea seems to be closed today because it’s Easter Monday. We moved from one flat to another yesterday, and emptied the fridge as well. An empty fridge and shuttered markets presented a bit of a challenge at lunch time. fortunately we were able to get a loaf of bread from our favorite cafe on Via Roma.

lunch sm Easter Monday

Charles sliced the bread, I toasted it in a bit of butter in a frying pan, (we are ‘roughing it’, making do without a toaster or an oven), and then we had to decide between wild berry jam or  honey blended with hazelnuts. I chose some of each.

palm sunday 02sm Easter Monday

Although Palm Sunday has come and gone I thought you might like to see the handmade palm decorations that are sold in the piazza on the Sunday before Easter.

palm sunday 01 sm Easter Monday

Check back, I’ll be posting more interesting bits soon.

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Blood Orange – Ingredient of the Week

March 25th, 2010 / comments 4

This post, focusing on Blood Oranges, is the first in a series of Ingredient Posts. I welcome your thoughts on ingredients that you are curious about, love or hate, use frequently or have never tried.

The fields outside of Siracusa are filled with citrus groves. The distinctive dark green, round trees that grow in orderly rows were visible when my plane circled Mt. Etna. Some of trees are so full of uniformly yellow fruit that it is possible to identify them as lemon trees from the air. Although Arabs are creditedwith bringing lemons and bitter oranges to Sicily sweet oranges were brought to Sicily in the15th century by Portuguese crusaders.

I have been taking full advantage of the possibilities that fresh lemons and oranges in the market offer.

oranges ortigia1 Blood Orange   Ingredient of the Week

Today, I am celebrating the blood oranges that fill the market.

cappuchino 021 Blood Orange   Ingredient of the Week

I eat a blood orange before my morning cappuccino, I drink blood orange juice at lunch.

blood orange 02 Blood Orange   Ingredient of the Week

Insalata Fantasia di Arance is what I order if I want a salad of blood orange segments simply dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper at dinner. It may be topped with onion, anchovy or olives but however it comes, it is delicious.

blood orange 01 Blood Orange   Ingredient of the Week

Freshly squeezed, pink, blood orange juice, with or without a splash of vodka, is toast worthy. Salute!

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Making Do – Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

March 24th, 2010 / comments 10

Charles and I have been in Sicily for nearly a month and we continue to discover new corners to explore in the winding lanes of Ortigia.

vv gaetano elefteria cheese Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

I shop daily in the open-air market and my feelings about it have changed. Initially it was inspiring and fun to shop at the market and that hasn’t changed.

vv salvatore marco friend Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

What has changed is that I am no longer a stranger in the market, a tourist with a camera passing through.

vv angelo fish Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

The vendors are my friends. I know that Angelo Cappuccio is the best singer at my favorite fish stall.

vv francesco olives Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

I always buy olives and capers from Francesco and I got the grumpy vendor with the best lemons to smile.

vv mario olives 01 Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

This is my market – my community of fellow foodies.

My modestly equipped kitchen is quite serviceable and I manage to cook with many fewer tools and ingredients. Except for a battery-operated scale, I have regularly used all of the tools I brought from home. Occasionally, I wish that I had a cast iron grill pan, a food processor or a particular cookbook.

making do words 01 Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen Other than purchasing a toaster oven and a pepper mill, I have tried to “make do” with what I have. A frying pan works as the lid for the large pasta pot. A wooden orange crate from the market, topped with a coarsely woven cotton dishtowel, is the side table for a cup of tea. At a construction site I found a piece of wood and a ceramic roof tile that are now a cutting board and a fruit bowl, respectively. Gelato is impossible to resist and the small plastic bowls it comes in are a good size for serving honey or olives. Charles cut off the tops of empty plastic water bottles to make storage containers for dried herbs, garlic and leftover pasta.

olive branch Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen I used part of a small, plastic egg carton as a divided antipasto dish for olives, pickled mushrooms and artichoke hearts. A slotted plastic ricotta tub worked both as a basket to drain cutlery and as a colander for cherry tomatoes. Stems of parsley in an empty tomato paste tin, in the center of a rough weave cleaning cloth, lit by candles in ad hoc aluminum foil candle sticks made a decorative centerpiece for a cocktail party. Unbleached dish towels with bands of green and red stitching served as place mats and a piece of terrazzo picked up on a walk made a trivet for a hot pan.

vv fruit vendor Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

The unglazed foot of a porcelain dinner plate doubled as a knife sharpener. When a guest brought a handful of irises, I wrapped the stems in a collar of aluminum foil so that they would stand up in the only vase we had.

Along with make-do hardware, I have been using make-do ingredients. A limited pantry from a limited market has been an opportunity for creativity. Fish filets dusted with chickpea flour, the only flour I had, were an innovation I will repeat.

ven chocolate guiseppe Making Do   Yankee Ingenuity in the Kitchen

Honey and fresh lemon juice stirred into a cup of boiling water made a warming drink when there was a downpour between me and the closest tea bag. I have used the herb blend from the market to flavor marinades, salad dressing, and a cannellini bean spread.

Share your most creative make-do in a comment by May 15th and win a white cotton cloth from Sicily like the ones I used as place mats for a make-do dinner party.

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