Thursday, February 08, 2018

Carciofi - the recipe

So I got this WhatsApp message last week.

It was from our friend and fearless leader - Delia, the president of Maberga. (That she is, or WAS I should say, president of our consorzio has very little nothing to do with the story. I just like saying it).

For those who don’t read Italian or really blurry very small print, that says “how are you? Are you home tomorrow, I want to come see you and bring you some artichokes.”  "Thanks! Unfortunately we aren’t. Guess where we are?!”  Yeah, we were in Venice - different blog post. This one is about artichokes.

So the other day, true to her word as all presidents are, we found this hanging on the fence

I stared at them for a couple of days. All I could see was a memory —a huge pan of perfectly cooked artichokes, swimming in their own juices, and more than a little olive oil, resting on my auntie Jan’s stove top waiting for every Easter dinner in the years I was growing up.  It was sort of like magic...they were just there.  Thinking that one must be magic to make such delicious artichokes, and knowing that I am personally NOT magic, I've never tried making them. 

yeah yeah, ok. that's bullshit for the fact that I totally took the amazing food I had growing up for granted and am too lazy (and spoiled) as an adult to learn to cook.

So, to the Serpe Family hotline - home of all advice on food and everything else, solicited or not, -  I went to learn to make artichokes.

ARTICHOKES - the recipe




In case you couldn't follow the written recipe, here it is in photos.....

Friday, February 02, 2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

Saturday, December 09, 2017

what should a person do...

when she has realized all her dreams?

Take up extreme rag rugging, of course

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017 the magic number

The final frontier of the house, the kitchen.

Oh wait, not the final frontier since this the THIRD attempt to manage the electricity. In case you've forgotten, here's the first attempt....

And the second attempt

 And lucky number 3* ....

which includes 3-way switches, accessible wall plugs, a built in circuit breaker, and EXcludes any and all extension cords.  The kitchen is now also grounded so I can put the kettle on the stove in the morning in my bare feet without getting a shock.  Incredible.

Also the third try at this wall*...

But this is new - first and only attempt at a new kitchen window...



And in the 15th year we said, "let there be light."  And so there was, there is, and there ever shall be.  Amen.


* obviously the walls still need the final coat of the plaster.  stay tuned for these photos to come!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Liberation day 2017

Americans to the rescue again.  No more cannon balls here.

So, it's spring in Maberga which means gardening *

and shit breaking down.  

Whilst it is a drag when things break down, it's nice that it doesn't happen in the cold winter months, particularly when water is involved.  

Anyway, yesterday was Liberation Day.  Given that it coincided with that big crack splitting our water vasca open thus squirting thousands of liters of water all over the Maberga mountainside, no picnics and chocolate in the hills for these Americans.  Although we did get to hike through this

 and this


to get here
Those are the water reserves for the Consorzio del' Acqua di Maberga.  I just made that name up for the group of us who share the ENORMOUS PAIN IN THE ASS the right to this water from the city aqueduct. Some of you long time readers will remember, 8 or so years back, the thrill I experienced when I thought our water troubles were over.  Oh how naive I was.  Who could have predicted that having city water would be MORE trouble than a natural spring that had been supplying water to the residents of Maberga for about a 900 years?**  Not me.  

In the long list of problems that have plagued this system, about a year ago we lost thousands of liters of water because the galleggiante in that vasca broke.  Language acquisition is an interesting thing.  I don't know what a galleggiante is called in english because, while I did have one in every toilet I've ever used, I've never had a conversation about this simple machine and therefore the name never took root in my english lexicon.  This is a galleggiante

Specifically, that is the galleggiante that was floating around in the vasca, NOT connected to the arm which closed that water valve assuring the members of the Consorzio del' Acqua di Maberga that water won't continue to flow in an already full vasca creating pressure that would blow a seam open and spray liters of water all over the Maberga mountainside.  When that broke last year whomever it was who fixed it did so by leaving that big one floating in the tank and replacing it with a much smaller one  which was, as we learned yesterday, of a much poorer quality.  The little guy filled with water....rendering it not much use as a flotation device. Quite a nice cannon ball, however.

So, Americans to the rescue...again....

Happy Liberation Day

*just for the record, that's last year's orto.  it's pissing rain here today and while I do like you readers, not enough to walk up to the orto for a couple photos.
**yes, that was me trying to make maberga great again by selectively remembering the positive points of the spring-run water supply while forgetting the minor inconveniences of that system...namely, that it frequently didn't have water.