Thursday 30 January 2014

Pasta, Piselli e Pancetta

Back in October last year, our 'Twitter daughter', Amy, 
posted this blog:
Hubby, being the domesticated one in this marriage, decided
to give it a try, but decided it was lacking that
'extra little something', so added pancetta
to the mix....

And it was delish!
As Amy says, the key to this dish is to use
small pasta; this evening we used conchigliette piccole

And a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano, plus
pepe nero brings this dish to perfection.

Monday 27 January 2014

January Dawn

Breaking dawn
It seems a while since we had a breathtaking dawn, but 
this morning we did. About an hour after after I got up,
I spotted that Castellabate was bathing in a rosy glow - which
meant the skies above Leila's Mountain must be looking good -
so I grabbed my camera & ran outside.....

Shepherds' warning
Clouds on fire

The results were pretty spectacular, even if I do say so myself
(although hubby took this final shot on his camera)

Thursday 23 January 2014

Safe Harbour

Porte delle Gatte
The storms raged from Saturday evening until yesterday
morning. Today is the first day there has
been almost no wind to speak of, so we 
went into Santa Maria this afternoon. 

Dry dock
Normally there are a couple of fishing boats bobbing about
in Porte delle Gatte, but today there were none. Nor
were there any at the water's edge....
they've all been pulled well away from 
the rough seas that will have battered the coast
for the past few days.

Safe harbour

Sunday 19 January 2014

Kite Pirates

Sky, sea, sails
On Friday & Saturday the winds foretelling today's rain
began, and slowly increased in strength 
to gale force by Saturday evening.
Perfect conditions for windsurfing & kitesurfing.
So the 'Kite Pirates' were down at
Case del Conte beach 'en masse' (should I be 
using French in a blog about Italian life?).

Kite strewn sand
Saturday afternoon saw us down there, armed with our
cameras. For me, it was about the kites & the sails - 
their colours and forms against a backdrop of
sea & sky.  Hubby's eye was on the action - 
much easier with a telephoto lens.
I'll let you guess which shots are whose....

Making it look easy

Sail away

Almost flying
Maurizio - Captain of the Kite Pirates
Free as a bird

You can see more of hubby's photos by clicking here:

Thursday 16 January 2014

La Luna Più Piccola

Full moon rising
So last night was the first Full Moon of 2014
& also the smallest of the year.
The day had been mostly cloudy & wet,
but it broke to give an unexpected sunset
before twilight turned to night and
we waited for the moon to rise above
Leila's Mountain.

Evening moon

And when it did, it truly shone.  Even at midnight, it
was bright as day outside - that's the joy of no light 

Then when I got up at 6 am, it was hanging above
Monte Licosa, still glowing & being totally stunning
to look at.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Oh So Simple, But Oh So Tasty

 We haven't had this dish for a while.
We were going to have it last night, but we
had lunch with the la famiglia Russo yesterday &
were too 'pigged out' to have more than a
ham & mozzarella toastie.

So this evening we did....

Pancetta e pomodorini

It's such a simple dish - garlic fried in a little olive oil,
then cubetti di pancetta added & cooked for a few minutes
before adding those delicious Cilentan pomodorini.
A pan of pasta is happily bubbling away whilst this is
going on.

If we were Italian, those simple ingredients would be
sufficient. But we're not, so we also cook batons of 
carote e zucchine.

Dished up & 'ready to go'

A beautifully simple dish, but those flavours just burst on your tongue.

Chiusa Al Transito - An Update

The SR ex SS 267 has now been (sort of) closed for
almost 8 weeks. I say 'sort of' because they
keep re-opening it on Sundays.

I found the notice of closure on the Comune's website & there is
no indication of when the road will re-open permanently.

It's closed for safety reasons, as the heavy rains in November
have caused a major 'frana' - luckily no-one was hurt.

And as I mentioned in my original 'Chiusa Al Transito' blog
we have had some black looks from drivers
coming up the mountain as we are driving down.
All has now become clear as to why....

They've put up a 'No Entry' sign at the top of our road,
but the Comune didn't bother to let us know - we discovered
it when we resumed our daily walks up the mountain.

And, this being Italy, they dig it up every Sunday & then
re-concrete it in first thing Monday morning.

Saturday 11 January 2014

An Unexpected Lunch Invite

Maria, Raffaella, Luigi, Hubby & Angelo
We were on our way to La Torretta for lunch,
as is our wont on a Saturday, and we stopped off
at the Russo's to hand back the carboy
that had held the olive oil they'd given us
at Christmas back in 2012 (yes, we've only just emptied it, 
our own oil from 2011's harvest having lasted
until mid November).
As usual, we were greeted in true Italian
style - big hugs, kissing of both cheeks
& "come stai?"

We tried to just hand back the carboy & quickly leave.
But no, we were invited to stay for lunch.
Being the reserved Brits that we are (she says,
tongue in cheek), we politely refused.
Maria got quite upset at our refusal & wanted to
know why we didn't want to eat with them.

It's not that we didn't want to - the smells coming from
the kitchen were somewhat mouthwatering -
but neither of us were brought up that you 
drop in unexpectedly & end up sharing a meal.
But all the family insisted, so we stayed...
and it was good.

Pasta 'semplice'
And, finally, after knowing them for 3 years, I managed to 
get a couple of photos of them together.

The Russos have 'adopted' us

Quasi Italiani

It's 11th January 2011 & we're off to the Comune
in Montecorice to apply for residency.
Armed with Birth & Marriage Certificates,
Passports and Bank statements, we
meet Silvia & Angelo outside the
Anagrafe so that Silvia can translate for
us if needs be.

It's all very laid back this far south - no appointment
necessary - just turn up & if someone's free they'll
welcome you with a smile (which grows bigger
when they realise you are 'stranieri'),
invite you to sit down & then carry on
chatting with their colleagues before 'getting down
to business'.

The form Annibale needed to fill out was huge -
the same size as the open pages of one
of the daily broadsheets. He filled it all
in with hubby's details, took photocopies of
all of our documents & then proceeded to input
all the info onto his computer.

It was explained that we could now expect a
'home visit' from the Polizia Municipale
within the next few weeks. And that was that.
We were 'quasi Italiani' simply by virtue
of having gone through the first fairly painless 
stage of applying for residency.

Thursday 9 January 2014

Dieci Quintali

Diminishing log pile
The log pile has been running low for a few days now,
but what with Natale, Capodanno & La Befana,
our local wood yard hadn't been open very often,
nor had they had much legno.

But yesterday they did, so we called in on our way 
back from Santa Maria. Hubby explained exactly
what we were after - 'piccoli' - and asked for
'dieci quintali' to be delivered. We were assured
it would be with us yesterday afternoon....
needless to say, it wasn't. Nor first thing this morning.
It arrived just as we'd finished lunch.

Dieci quintali
Which meant we spent a fair bit of the afternoon piling it up 
at the back of the carport & stacking the smaller logs in the log 
store at the back of the house.
Backbreaking work, but quite rewarding from a
photography point of view....

Replenished once more
Oh, and not forgetting those romantic evenings 
snuggled together in front of a roaring log fire.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

My Resolution for 2014

The tree is back in the loft......the cards have been 
taken off the mantelpiece......all the fizz has been drunk......
there's no panettone left......
the Christmas season is well & truly over.

I'm not normally one for making New Year's Resolutions
but this year I've made an exception.

I think it's one I'll be able to keep.

Friday 3 January 2014

I Have A New Toy

After breakfast this morning hubby asked if I'd like
to go shopping at Campania Marcianise - what
girl is ever going to say 'no'?

It's 'saldi' time, & I knew that the dress hubby bought me
from Motivi for Christmas also came in purple AND
it had 20% off. 

They had just 2 left in my size, so I was one happy bunny as
I grabbed one & took it to the till.

After lunch at McDonalds (I know, awful aren't we?)
we headed for Guess where hubby picked up a pair of 
jeans & a t-shirt. We grabbed a quick Illy coffee & then made our 
way back to the car.....I expected we'd be heading home
but hubby said we needed to look in Euronics and
Media World at cameras...........for me!

So this is my new toy - still in it's box,
but boy am I going to have fun playing with it

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Buon Anno Tutti!

2014 has arrived!
And as we stood on our terrace drinking fizz,
watching fireworks going off in San Marco, Castellabate
& along the Amalfi coast, I suddenly realised that this
was the first New Year's Eve we'd actually spent at Il Sogno.

Yes, I know we've lived here since 2010, 
but the first two New Year's Eves were spent
down at Sulle Onde della Collina, drinking
Danilo's fizz & watching fireworks.
Then last New Year's Eve was spent at
the Russos.

So this New Year's Eve has been another
'first' for hubby & me - just the 2 of us welcoming in
the New Year.

Buon Anno tutti.