Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A winter's sunset

The winters sunset's here in Umbria are often fantastically vibrantly colored. A visual treat even when in the depth of winter - boiler not working, wood won't light etc.

The balm of nature.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

70 years on

The Allied advance up the length of Italy was a slow and bloody campaign against the German in 1944/45.

Today saw the some of the surviving combatants gather at the Anzio landing site near Rome for what for some maybe their last visit.

There is a Commonwealth grave nearby below the imposing hill upon which lies Assisi. There is a group of Italians who look after the cemetery and they have each adopted a number of the soldiers graves. These they visit and maintain. It is moving place as the soldiers were generally in their early 20's and the war had so few months to go.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Che schifo

Browsing the net earlier I came across what at first sight seemed like a great recipe for a chocolate mousse made with olive oil. Always a sucker for recipes using olive oil I delved deeper.

For some reason the creator of the recipe listed the ingredients as including "light olive oil". What the. What is light olive oil? As my olive oil resource online says "In the U.S., flavorless and often low quality (refined) oil is sold as "lite" or "light" oil for a premium price. The "light" designation refers to flavor, not caloric content, as all olive oil has the same amount of calories. There is no official definition of lite or light". Thanks to the Olive Oil Source website.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


A queue always attracts some interest, more so if your English maybe, and so when I was in Rome i was intrigued to see a queue outside a restaurant on the way to Campo Dei Fiori. This was around 6.30pm so not at traditional eating times.

Eventually someone came out and they had a piece of fried baccala in a brown paper wrap. Fantastic. Street food is achingly hip at the moment but this is old school. Luscious big flakes of rehydrated salted cod in a crisp batter.

Ah Roma. Ti amo.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sunset 9-1-14

This was the sunset earlier this evening. You can just about make out fog in the foreground which has covered the valley for the last couple of days whilst here at Casa Margherita we have been bathing in the winter sun.

I dropped down into the valley this morning and the temperature was a brisk 1°c and I bumped into a neighbuor who said he was going to come up this afternoon to get out of the fog and get some light.

After a few days of this the air quality also drops and you can see the fog is tinged a brown colour which in the main is wood smoke as burning wood is the primary form of heating and I would wager that this year less gas and electric are being used for heating and more wood burnt.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The fine art of selling

Or maybe that should be the fine feeling of selling.

Selling as most people know is a real skill which most of us do not possess but wish we did. As I am not blessed with this ability then I just need to plug away in my own inimitable way.

When this works and I make a sale then the feeling is fantastic. So I was extremely pleased when I visited a shop in Rome the other day and they placed a good sized order for my olive oil which here in Italy we have re-labeled as Paterno which is the name of the hill where our house and grove is found. Check out the website at www.oliopaterno.it