Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Chef

Which is not me.

Have you ever felt like this?
That's what I feel like in the kitchen.  Just hang on, baby.

About 8 years ago I sat down at the table in the front garden and cranked out a children's book.  I hadn't been planning on writing a children's book, it just came out, so I wrote it down.  I've now decided that it's time to illustrate it and print up a couple copies.

It's sort of autobiographical, you know, about life here on the top of the mountain and what I do here.  Today I started painting the page that makes reference to me being a chef. A chef?  What was I thinking? As I was painting myself in a big, white puffy hat I started to feel a bit guilty.  I don't really cook. I mean, I cook, just not all that well. Really, not well at all.  I wonder if, on the day the book came out of me, I had had a go in the kitchen and it went well.  Who knows why I called myself a chef.  Maybe it was a premonition of things to come.  Probably not.

Anyway, while I was painting I had this feeling of guilt and then a feeling of hunger, so I went to the kitchen where I ruined some perfectly good rice.  See....

I won't bother with the recipe except to give you the ingredients:
green onion
wild asparagus (see below)
cream cheese
juice of a blood orange
soy sauce

Yep, it tastes just about how you'd imagine it to.  I don't think there is a cookbook inside me waiting to come out any time soon.

I did however, during a rainy Sunday, make a lovely spring smock to keep myself clean whilst I ruin perfectly good rice.  See...

Actually I made that so I stay clean when I planting the herb garden....which I'll need when I do all that good cooking this summer.  See....
And to wear when I go hunting for wild asparagus to put in all that good food I make.  Pretty proud of finding this haul this morning.  See....
Yeah, ok, I've got to go now.  The smell of the perfectly good ruined rice dish sitting next to the computer is making me a little sick.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Back Home

Depending on who you are you will understand different things from that title.  It could mean "I went back home"  or maybe "I came back home".

Lack of blogging is because I went back home to Wisconsin.  Yep, 11 days of family, friends, food, fun, freezing, and a lot of frosty mugs and fries.  It was confirmed yet again that I have a frickin awesome family whose generosity of time, energy, dinners, gifts, and laughs really just don't stop.  I wonder if it would be like that all the time if I lived near them. Yeah, probably not.

Since I've come back home to Italy, I've been poking around looking at all the things that happened while I was gone.

Like the Oliveto, um, still being there (soon to be renamed the Lane Olive Orchard...more on that in a later post)

And the new hose David bought me for the orto...which didn't get planted unfortunately in my absence
And Q's tongue, which is still where it was when I left
And the newly conquered territory.  Land that had been such a mess for so long that we didn't even know where it was
(you can expect a lot more photos in the future from this's going to be my new outdoor secret garden.  don't tell anyone, ok?)

Some of these popped up while I was away

Spring also sprung and David made colors explode in flower form in the front garden. So, if you'll excuse me now, I'm going to take some of the yarn I bought when I was back home to that garden to knit and enjoy being home.

PS.  Happy St. Patrick's Day
PSS.  I am now writing another blog (in addition to this, not instead of) that is part of my new website (  It's all the crafty, artsy stuff I do, so if you don't care about that, don't bother.  But if you do care, tell all your friends.  Thanks.