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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Carota – Carrot in Italy #3 – Roasted Carrot Appetizer & Competition

March 19th, 2010 / comments 10

We had been invited to a gathering on Sunday afternoon and I roasted the last of the carrots as a base for a hearty carrot spread I took to share.

carrot on blue c egbert Carota   Carrot in Italy #3   Roasted Carrot Appetizer & CompetitionI haven’t figured out what to call it but it was delicious. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Carota – Carrot in Italy #2 – Tomato Carrot Soup

March 18th, 2010 / Comments 0

Although it has been sunny and warm, Saturday was a cold rainy day and the sea was white with rolling waves.

carrot tomato soup 02 Carota   Carrot in Italy #2   Tomato Carrot Soup

I got wet and cold on a short walk and wanted something to eat, something warm and comforting. Soup! I had carrots and tomatoes so I made tomato and carrot soup. Here’s how I did it: ... read more

Market Patchwork – Ortigia – Siracusa – Sicilia

March 6th, 2010 / Comments 1

I wanted to share this market patch work.

market patchwork 4x Market Patchwork   Ortigia   Siracusa   Sicilia

A feast for your eyes with love from me to you.

Carol

Mouth Watering Photos from Sicily

February 26th, 2010 / comments 3

Here are a few images from my neighborhood in Siracusa.

apt 01 sunrise Mouth Watering Photos from Sicily

Sunrise from the kitchen window

Castello Maniace 01 Mouth Watering Photos from SicilyYesterday, we walked around the corner and visited the Castello Maniace.

Castello Maniace 02 column Mouth Watering Photos from Sicily

The G – 8 Conference happened in the chamber of the castle under a black and white ceiling held up by many columns.

We passed this addresses on the way home

01561 Mouth Watering Photos from Sicily

and another.

0012 Mouth Watering Photos from Sicily

Sorry that there is nothing to eat here.  Perhaps you have a gelateria nearby?

Ciao.

Green Bean Salad with Basil and Roasted Pepper

February 24th, 2010 / comments 7

I found green beans at the market yesterday for the first time since we arrived in Siracusa.

green beans 04 Green Bean Salad with Basil and Roasted Pepper

They were thin, unblemished and tender.  I decided to combine blanched green beans with fresh basil and pieces of roasted red pepper from the market. Here’s how I did it. … read more

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