Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Brodi di gallina (chicken soup)
But what does a town crier or bannitore have to do with blood oranges? I grew up in a small town in Abruzzo, post World War II. You see, in those days, there weren’t any circulars or ads in the local paper advertising sales.
My mother and I upon hearing the sale announcement rushed to the piazza and purchased blood oranges by the kilos. These blood oranges, stained with red like Lady Macbeth, had an unforgettable sweet and tangy like taste with a hint of raspberry. I was told that the rich soil of Sicily and the Mediterranean temperature variation between day and night seems to be necessary to develop the distinctive red color.
We did not have Margaritas in those days nor did we have desserts on a daily basis. Blood oranges and other fruits substituted for desserts which we only had on special occasions. Today, being food conscious and a label reader of many cookies and cakes laden with corn syrup and artificial ingredients, I wish all children would eat oranges or other fruits as a snack or dessert. In my opinion, they would be healthier.
The rich hue of blood oranges can be an aesthetic wonder when added to fresh fruit mixes and salads or used as a garnish.
INSALATA DI FINOCCHIO ED ARANCE
• 2 large navel oranges and 2 blood oranges
• 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced but save a few feathery fennel leaves
• Extra virgin olive oil to taste (about 8 – 10 tablespoons)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Cut the oranges and fennel bulb
• Arrange orange and fennel slices on a large round plate
• Drizzle with olive oil
• Add salt and black pepper
• Sprinkle with the fine fennel leaves and serve.
Oh yes, the Margaritas
1 quart fresh blood orange juice or fresh orange juice (about 12 blood oranges or 8 large navel oranges)
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
1 1/2 cups Cointreau or other triple sec
3 1/2 cups silver tequila
1 blood orange or orange wedge, plus 12 thin blood orange or orange slices
1 dozen small sage sprigs or leaves
1.In a large pitcher, mix the blood orange juice with the lime juice, Cointreau and silver tequila. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
2.Spread a small mound of salt on a small plate. Moisten the outer rim of 12 martini glasses with the orange wedge, then dip the rims into the salt to lightly coat.
3.Add ice to the pitcher and stir well, then strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish each margarita with a blood orange slice and a sage sprig and serve.
The margarita recipe can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated, covered, overnight.
|All photos - Copyright - ©2011 - La Casa e Il Giardino – picasaweb|
|Pears - Pere|
|Tomatoes on the vine|
....keeping an eye on the pests
........but look at the harvest
|Italian flat beans|
In my opinion, eating vegetables that you have grown yourself is an experience everyone should enjoy. They taste so much better than anything you can buy in a grocery store.
Today as both of us look back with happiness and pride upon the 50 cherished years that we've spent side by side.
Where has the time gone!
|St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church|
|Vasto - 1966|
|Spanish Steps, Rome|
Piazza di Spagna, Roma
|St Mark's Square, Venice|
Piazza San Marco, Venezia
|Pasta with Asparagus - Fettuccine con Asparagi|
1 lb. thin asparagus
2 cloves of garlic chopped
4 ripe tomatoes or 1 can plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil for sauce
1/4 cup of olive oil to saute' asparagus
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb. fettuccine pasta
Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Throw away hard ends.
In a pan add 1/4 cup olive oil, add cut asparagus, salt and pepper and saute' for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
In a medium pot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and chopped garlic. When garlic is golden, add tomatoes and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, add the asparagus, and simmer few more minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.
In the meantime, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta and drain. Pour sauce with asparagus over pasta and serve.
Asparagus are not limited to fettuccine. We also love them with rigatoni.