Sunday, October 31, 2010


DH and I have been exploring local festivals the last few weeks ... lots of them going on this month.  Here's a couple shots from Bronte (pistachios), Militello (prickly pears) and Zafferana Etnea (all sorts of produce grown on Mt Etna).
A car on display at Bronte that DH and a co-worker stopped to drool over ...
Street lights entering the town of Bronte ...

I'd rather eat the pistachios ... a window display on the main street of town ...

Beekeeper at Zafferana festival

Some of the items grown or produced on Mt Etna -
this is at Zafferana's festival

Prickly Pear liquor from Militello -
this area is famed for the prickly pears grown there

Always searching for love ... 
this is just of the many balloon characters on display 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I really enjoy looking at doorways and windows when outside the States .... so many wonderful details.   DH and I saw this one in Militello while enjoying the Prickly Pear Festival.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Terracotta sun DH and I found while exploring Ragusa Ibla. 
It's good sized ... over a foot across when you go from ray tip to ray tip.

Monday, October 18, 2010


After being gone to Naples the last four days, spent most of today catching up with laundry and making friends with Indy again (her nose was severely out of joint being left home alone all that time ...though I suspect she spent most of the time curled up sleeping in my bed).  Tossed together Taco Soup for dinner and made some cornbread with diced green chiles to go along with it.   This is one of DH and my favorite meals.

1 lb of lean ground beef 

1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 can of pinto beans, undrained
1 can of kidney beans, undrained
1 cup of frozen corn

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 4.5 oz can of diced green chilies (optional)
1package of ranch salad dressing mix 
1 package taco seasoning
1 to 3 cups of water (depends on how brothy you want the soup)

Brown the ground beef in a pan.  Add onion and garli and lightly brown.  Mix everything else in and cook approximately 30 minutes ...though longer doesn't hurt.  Have even made this in a crockpot.

I use whatever beans I have in the house and generally add a can of hominy to the mix.  We like the tortilla-flavour the hominy adds to the soup.  It's a pretty forgiving soup ... I've garnished it with any of the following:  crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, freshly chopped tomatoes, sliced olives or green onions. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Chicken pitchers are often given for housewarming gifts - to ensure safety from trepass and other dangers.  A friend in Spain had several,  one in a tuxedo.  I liked the tuxedo'd one so much, I have been looking for one for myself since DH and I moved back to Sicily.  Had a blue pitcher from our previous time in Sicily ... but the tuxedo'd chicken just had a lot of charm.   Finally found one a few days ago while DH and I were up in Naples to attend an International Bazaar at the Joint Services Base.  Hooray!  Both of mine are about 8" tall .. but you can get them from just a few inches tall to over a foot-tall. 

 The legend behind the pitcher - is it true or merely legend?  No one knows - but why tempt fate?

There were two wealthy families in the Republic of Florence in the early Renaissance period who were rivals for power. The Medici family held the power, but the Pazzi family wanted to grab it by killing the Medicis.

The Medicis, who had amassed their wealth by making peasants work their large land holdings, occasionally threw festivals for the peasants. Giuliano Medici especially liked the parties. So the Pazzis had someone suggest to Giuliano that he hold a festival in a village where one had never been held before.

The Pazzis then plotted to kill Giuliano and his guards at the end of the festival because they would be vulnerable from having drunk copious amounts of wine.

The Pazzis hired assassins, who probably would have succeeded except they had to sneak across a chicken yard to get to Giuliano. The chickens cackled in such a frenzy that it woke Giuliano and his guards, who caught and killed the assassins.

Giuliano was so excited that the chickens had warned him that he threw another festival the next night. He ordered artisans to create ceramic copies of chickens to be used as wine pitchers. Then he gave them to the peasants for good luck.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


On one of my genealogy newsletters, there was a mention of this song from WW2.  I looked it up on YouTube (found recordings by several people) and while the clip with Guy Lombardo was the clearest to listen to,  I just liked the personality of this recording...even though it's a bit fuzzy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Lots of festivals going on here in Sicily now.  Last weekend, DH and I went to both a Pistachio festival in Bronte and another festival in Zafferana Etnea that will celebrate a different  products every Sunday this month.  Last Sunday, the focus was on grapes.  Other Sundays will focus on chestnuts, mushrooms, honey, wine and apples. 
Street lights in Bronte
Produce just picked this morning ... all kinds 

In a Bronte butcher window -- just thought this was funny

Getting ready to spin the honey before bottling right in front of customers in Zafferana


Suspect most everyone on this flight watched this safety presentation ....

Sunday, October 3, 2010


DH brought me "just because" flowers on Friday.  I put them in a vase a friend from San Diego blew and have them in the living room where I can look at them frequently.  They make the room smell really good.  I am one lucky woman.


One of Carmela's (our landlady) roses after a rainshower the other day.   She has more than a green thumb ... her whole body is green.  She could make a dead stick come back to life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


DH and I were by the old port of Catania over the weekend ... it was still hot, but wonderful to feel the cooler breezes ... love how colorful these boats are.