Thursday 27 February 2014

Pancetta - Plain & Simple

I LOVE pancetta, absolutely love it!
In fact, I could eat pancetta every day of the week,
but hubby insists that would be a bit boring,
so I guess we have to 'ring the changes' occasionally.
But left to me, we'd eat MUCH more pancetta than we do.

Tonight we had pasta, pancetta & broccoli,
courtesy of a recipe posted by our gorgeous
Twitter daughter, Amy, a while back (find her blog here:

Once the pasta is bubbling away, it's time to 
turn thoughts to cooking the pancetta.
This evening we bottled the first of the
olive oil from our 2013 pressing

and used it for cooking - a little dribbled in the frying
pan & then the pancetta added once it was hot enough.
Quick stir in the frying pan, broccoli & carrots added to the
pasta pan (anything to save on the amount of
washing up to do later) and once the
broccoli is almost cooked, it's added to the 
pancetta for a quick stir.

Pasta & carrots drained & then added to the
frying pan for another quick stir before 
dishing up

Add a sprinkling of grated Grana Padano,
and 'ecco li qua'.......

Another plain, simple but oh so tasty dish

Tuesday 25 February 2014

IKEA I Love You!

We were only looking for a kitchen roll holder.
Just a simple chrome/stainless steel freestanding one.
Could we find one anywhere? No. Nothing
to be found locally, nor at MaxiMall in Pontecagnano.

So we ended up at IKEA in Baronissi - no luck there
either (partly down to the fact that the
kitchen displays were being revamped & the choice 
of accessories available was somewhat limited).
But as we wended our way towards the exit 
& through the furniture displays, I spotted
a tall chest of drawers. 

We've been looking for such a chest
for 3 years. Been frustrated more than once
on our fruitless searches for something
of just the right dimensions to fit the space
available in the corner of our bedroom.

And now, new for 2014, was this perfect
HEMNES chest, just begging for us
to buy it.  So we did.....

Monday 24 February 2014

Fashion Bar

Today's 'illy moment' was taken at
Fashion Bar on Corso Garibaldi in Agropoli.
We started frequenting it on our first joint house hunting
trip in October 2009.

It's on the side of the Corso that catches all the morning sun, 
so it's the ideal place to sit & watch the world go by....
and enjoy that rich, dark illy coffee

Sunday 23 February 2014

February Dawn

I woke at 5.45 am today, which is a little late
compared to some mornings. I could hear the
cinghiale tromping around in the olive grove, 
but it was still too dark to see anything 
other than silhouettes of the surrounding hills & mountains
and the lights of San Marco & Castellabate.

Slowly the dawn began to break, pale & uninteresting at first

Twenty minutes later the colours began to creep across the sky

And within a couple of minutes, the sky seemed full of pink clouds

Breathtaking wherever I looked

But 5 minutes later, the pink had disappeared

And the sun was slowly beginning its ascent beyond the mountain

A new day had begun

Saturday 22 February 2014

Pit Stop

La Torretta is closed, for the second winter holiday,
always taken in the lull between Valentine's Day & Easter.

That means we have to go somewhere else for Saturday lunch.
So we decided to give Pit Stop, just off Piazza Padre Pio,
another visit.

It's nothing special from the outside & rather basic inside,
but it's family run & the family 'live above the shop'.

We last went in November, when La Torretta took its
first winter break. On that visit we both had rabbit stew,
& very good it was too.
No such luck today - there was chicken,
castrato (yes, bull's testicles - we HAVE tried them in the past,
but they are an acquired taste & not one we really wish to acquire),
 spaghetti bianco or gnocchi sorrentina.

We both settled for the gnocchi, with a sprinkling of
parmigiano on top to finish it off.

Not bad for €3,90 a dish, but nowhere near as
good as anything we've had at La Torretta.

Friday 21 February 2014

Happy Birthday Leila

Leila before she was ours
The black bundle of mischief that came to live with us
whilst I was back in the UK in April 2012 should be
2 years old today.

8 weeks old & finally ours

She should be bounding around, full of energy, disappearing off
up the mountain for hours & coming back with some 'treasure'
she's discovered - pleased as punch with herself.

But she's not, she's lying peacefully under a young olive tree
in the garden....and living in our hearts always

Happy Birthday Leila, we miss you

Thursday 20 February 2014

Grey Skies

After seriously warm sunny days over the weekend, 
today has been a complete contrast - grey clouds, with no sign of
the sun at all

But, despite the grey skies, the sea still managed to
be a shade of turquoise, rather than slate grey.

We went to Ogliastro Marina beach to scavenge for 
bamboo as kindling for the fire....well, hubby did...
I took my camera and captured a 'pic of the day'
at Lido Sirena....

Wednesday 19 February 2014

And She's Back

At the beginning of the month I wrote about
my 'Twitter sister' disappearing & breaking off
all contact with me 

On Valentine's day she suddenly reappeared in my
TL & proceeded to issue a warning about
unsolicited DMs & naming one particular guy
who had 'played her'. 
I retweeted her tweets as I'm a firm believer
in 'naming & shaming'.

It then became apparent that she'd opened a new
Twitter account & was being very selective about
who she followed or asked to follow her.
I was not invited, but it was obvious that 
she was watching my TL as she retweeted &
favourited several of my tweets over the weekend.

She did eventually follow me on Sunday evening, but
I didn't follow back & after about 45 minutes
she unfollowed me.

Then yesterday morning I e-mailed her, just to say
that I'd told her right from the start that I thought
the guy in question 'was an arse', told her I
missed her & sent her a virtual hug.
I didn't expect a reply, but I got one & she
asked me to follow her back, which I did......
but I'm still not sure how I really feel about
being 'dropped'

Friday 14 February 2014

A Valentine's Day Memento

We got engaged on Valentine's Day, way back in 1982,
so we ALWAYS make an effort to celebrate it.

Today I decided I'd like to celebrate by
taking a picnic to the beach, so we
headed south & ended up at the
pebble beach on the edge of Pioppi.

The sky was an incredible shade of blue,
the sea was that glacial turquoise you only 
see in Winter & although it was a little breezy,
the warm sun meant we didn't need our jackets.

We munched on prosciutto cotto, mozzarella,
pomodorini, pane & patatine as we listened to
the waves kissing the shore.
In all, it was sheer bliss.

As we were about to leave, I decided to hunt
for a pebble to take home as a memento......

How perfect was this? 

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Chocolate Heaven

Today we found 'chocolate heaven' - it's at
the Cilento Outlet Village, Eboli.
We'd stopped off on our way back from
Pontecagnano. Hubby had bagged a
bargain pair of Diesel jeans for €70 and
he'd already spotted Varesino directly opposite
Luxury Mall Fashion Outlet & he was
hankering after a hot chocolate.....
not my 'cup of tea' at all

As soon as we opened the shop door we were
hit by the unmistakable smell of Lindt chocolate

The world renowned Lindt Easter Bunny
We quickly established that I could have a
caffè goloso (which came with a
Lindor choccie & a chocolate spoon)
& hubby ordered a cioccolato fondente

Caffè goloso, Lindor & a chocolate spoon
Cioccolato fondente
We had the place to ourselves & I, of course, was like a big kid -
out came the camera & I ran around taking photos
& licking my lips at everything on display.....

Pick 'n' mix galore
Valentine's Day display
Mini eggs, mini eggs & yet more mini eggs

Monday 10 February 2014

Siamo Residenti

10th February 2010

It's 8 days since we'd met Nicola, the 'maresciallo' from
the Polizia Municipale as we were on our way 
into town in Mouse. He was driving up the 
mountain as we were driving down & he stopped, 
wound his window down, said 'Buongiorno'
& told us he had some questions:
1. Had we applied for residency?
2. Did we live here?
3. All year round? 
4. Were we free tomorrow morning?
We answered 'yes' to all 4 and were told to visit his office 
any time between 8.30 am & 12 noon the next morning,
bringing our passports with us.

So the next morning, accompanied by our friends Silvia & Angelo
(to act as translators if we didn't understand any of
the proceedings), we turned up at Nicola's office, to find it 
locked. It was 10.45 & we were told by Annabile in the Anagrafe 
that Nicola had gone to an on site meeting that had been arranged 
days ago but might be back at any moment....or then
again, he might not be back for a couple of hours.

We decided to head for the nearest bar & grab a coffee
then hang around the piazza outside the church for a
while - although it was February, it was a bright
sunny day & there was plenty of warmth in that sun.

After an hour, we were just resigning ourselves to
the fact that Nicola probably wasn't going to return any time
soon, when his car came up the street. We followed him
into his office & the first 3 questions he'd asked us
yesterday were repeated, copies of our passports taken,
a couple of forms filled out, duly signed & stamped
and then he said he'd be sending the forms off to 
Rome & it could take up to 3 months to hear anything more. 
Silvia argued that this couldn't possibly be right, 
so we all trundled round the corner to 
Annibale's office where Nicola argued his case,
Silvia argued hers & Annabile basically told Nicola
not to be so officious - if we came back the following week,
with €10, we would get our Carte d'Identita`.

So we did.....

Sunday 9 February 2014

Fusilli Cilentan Style

 We'd been invited to the Russo's for New Year's Day,
with the promise that Maria would show us 
how to make traditional Cilentan fusilli,
or 'macaron' to give it it's dialect name.

Ready to begin
Hubby was the one to be doing the 'practical' - I was,
as usual, armed with my camera to record the proceedings
(besides, I didn't want hubby discover that I may actually
have a talent for cooking).

Egg & olive oil begin to be mixed
The 'messy bit'

Kneading before resting
Let fusilli making commence

Success with the first attempt

'Macaron' ready to cook

Saturday 8 February 2014

Pic Of The Day

Yesterday was almost springlike.
The sky was that crisp, clear blue you
only seem to get in the Mediterranean
& the sea was a wonderful shade of turquoise
all the way to the horizon.

The light was perfect for taking photos,
and yet my favourite shot was this one....

Chiuso per l'inverno
I just love the symmetry of it

Thursday 6 February 2014

A Time To Gather Golden Moments

After what seems like 'forever', we finally had
a sunset worth capturing on camera
Rays diffused by clouds
Sheer brilliance

Clouds gather

Captured in close up
Kissing the horizon
About to bid farewell

Turning to dusk

Monday 3 February 2014

She's Gone

We 'hit it off' right from the first moment
we followed each other on Twitter....
she was a 'Mini Me', my 'Twitter sister'.

We didn't stop at tweeting each other; we
swapped e-mail addresses, both joined
Google+ so we could chat when we
took a much needed TL break & more
recently I finally gave in and joined Facebook
and we friended each other on there too.

We supported each other when we were down
or having problems, shared photos of special
moments that we didn't share with
anyone else. We were looking forward
to a 'tweep meet', when my schedule on
a trip back to the UK allowed.

And then, this morning, she closed her
Twitter account, blocked me on Facebook, 
sent me a very short e-mail & disappeared.
Just like that, she's gone....
and I'm going to miss her like hell

Sunday 2 February 2014

'Cheat's' Dinner

It has to be said that you really can't
beat a good, wholesome, homemade ragù.....
or can you?

The last time we called in at Carrefour in Pontecagnano,
they were promoting a range they'd just begun to stock,
Terre d'Italia. Hubby spotted it first and as soon
as I saw the jars of Tuscan ragù di cinghiale,
my eyes lit up - it's my favourite dish ever!
They also make ragù di lepre & ragù di cervo...
we grabbed jar of the cinghiale & the cervo
and then trawled the pasta aisle for the 
right kind to accompany them 
(it HAS to be pappardelle - the ragù sticks to the
broad ribbons beautifully).

I guess this is what you could call Italian 'fast food' - 
simply empty the jar into a pan, heat & stir, add
the boiled pasta, stir until coated and then serve.

Add a sprinkling of parmigiano reggiano & pepe nero
and 'ecco li qua'....

My Favourite Shot From January

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know,
I love taking photos of the sunsets - we are so lucky to be 
able to just step out of the front door to capture
some truly breathtaking ones.
I try to post one most evenings, but there
are some days when Mother Nature conspires
against me.

January has been one of those months when the
spectacular sunsets have been few & far between;
I think I've posted only about half a dozen to 

However, my real passion - the sea - has produced
one of those shots that made me smile
hugely when I saw the result....

Original shot, taken with my Canon EOS 600D
Final crop & published shot