Delicious Indian Food, Huge Trucks and Baby Geese

The days are flying by! It’s taken a week, but we finally got to satisfy our craving for Indian food. Every bite was heaven. Vegetable Samosas followed by goat curry, poppadoms, garlic naan, lamb marsala and mango lassies to go. Once isn’t enough! I think one more visit is on the cards before we return to Italy.

The drive back from south of Denver wasn’t fun, it seems the rush hour starts earlier now. I25 was packed with traffic at 3:00 pm. I’m not used to being boxed in by huge trucks anymore. It wasn’t scary, just annoying. I miss the quiet rural roads of Abruzzo. I took Princess Tess for a short walk when we got back. We came across a family of geese strolling in the late afternoon sunshine.

Despite wearing several layers of clothing my husband got really cold on the flight from New York to Denver. I knew he’d get sick. On Sunday, I started to cough and sneeze too. We both did the COVID test to be safe and it was negative, so we just have to patiently let the cold run it’s course. Probably the dry air of Colorado, the altitude and air conditioning isn’t helping. We’re used to the gentle humid air of Abruzzo.

Speaking of Abruzzo, even though we’re far away, our new home purchase is progressing. When we get back to Colledimezzo it will be full steam ahead with our packing. We’ll have a month before our furniture is loaded up to move to Teramo province. Exciting and heart wrenching times. A new adventure, but hopefully the last one.

What is on the schedule today? Maybe some more hot spicy Indian food to help kill our cold, or maybe a steaming bowl of pho.

Thats it for today folks. Thanks for following my travels and stop by soon.
Remember, stay safe and keep a smile.

Abruzzo Foodie Weekend

This weekend was full of food.
Yesterday, we had lunch in https://www.ristoranteilvignale.com/ in Rapino. It was so delicious I forgot to take photographs. I had the best peppercorn steak I’ve ever had in Abruzzo. Cooked to perfection. It was a beautiful restaurant and the staff were great. We sat by a big open log fire, which set the atmosphere perfectly. Long drive from Colledimezzo, but we were in the area to meet friends and it was definitely worth it.
Today, we met friends for lunch in https://www.villaegle.com/ in Atessa, and I did remember to take photos. Fantastic meal in a beautiful restaurant which is hidden away so well that you wouldn’t even know it was there. There are so many great places to eat here. Villa Egle is only twenty minutes from home so we’ll definitely be back.
The restaurants in our area range from excellent local dishes to sophisticated dishes that could compete with any upscale restaurant in Rome or Milan.
I love to cook, but enjoy eating out about once a week. This week I got lucky. Two great meals.
I feel like I’m advertising Abruzzo! I’m not, stay away, I want to keep it to myself.
There were only four diners in Villa Eglie due to COVID. Let’s hope these restaurants survive the pandemic.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone…work tomorrow. Oh wait, I’m retired!

A Taste of Abruzzo – Oh what a Lunch!

Rinascita Lancianese in Lanciano is our favorite Cantina. I don’t think they make a wine we don’t like. Alessandro, my Italian friend/language coach introduced us to this cantina because it’s run by a very good friend of his! On Sunday we attended a wine/food tasting event at Rinascita Lancianese and it was wonderful. OMG the pork!
The mouth watering dishes above don’t include dessert. We drank their white sparkling wine, Trebbiano and a wonderful Merlot. It was organized for expats. Australians, Americans and Brits. There were 20 of us and we had a blast.
Did I mention the pork?

Foraging and Cooking – Local Delights

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. This silly old girl broke her wrist last week. Yes, I fell in the house and have three fractures and one break. hurts like crazy, but mostly it is frustrating. Difficult to function with one hand. Typing one handed is something I never thought I’d have to do! Anyway…..

Let’s get back to food! I purchased some very cheap, local red chillies on Monday. Don’t they look delicious? I had enough to make five small jars of picante sauce, which goes great with any Italian pasta. The only ingredients were chillies boiled in olive oil, garlic, and salt to taste. Delicious!

Yesterday I was given a bag of wild spinach by the little lady who lives down the steps from me. We see her foraging often walking the country paths with her walking stick over her shoulder and bags full of wild greens dangling from it. It seems to keep her fit and healthy. Today I picked out the grass and weeds and chopped off the thick stalks, before chopping and washing the spinach. Now I’m going to wilt this in olive oil with garlic, pesto (made from my own basil) and serve it for lunch with chicken.

I think I’m quite daring. I think foraging the countryside to use what is available is a great idea, and there is a lot available. Wild spinach, asparagus, artichoke, pomegranates, plums, apples, olives, persimmon to name but a few.

The good people of Abruzzo live cheaply, what can’t be foraged is bought local, it works well.

Songs of Summer (Canzoni d’estate)

Summer days run into evenings filled with fun, food and lots of singing and laughter. Every year this young gentleman hosts a party for his American/Italian friends who return to Colledimezzo for the summer. Look at the size of that pasta pan. Most of these youngsters left Italy to make their fortune in America many years ago, but still maintain their homes in the village.
Now they are retired, but return to enjoy the summer tranquility of Abruzzo (and the parties).

So lucky to be included in this group. Last night there were around thirty of us. We heard fantastic stories as folks reminisced. The food was fabulous, the laughter genuine, and the accordion player set the atmosphere.

Can’t wait to do it again.

Food Glorious Food

When we first moved to Abruzzo I wasted so much food. I’d shop as I used to in the US…carefully converting pounds and ounces to kilos and grams, but I still ended up with way too much food. Yes, I made mistakes with the conversion sometimes, but we also received so many impromptu lunch and dinner invitations. As well as home cooked meals, we’d be taken to favorite local restaurants. The food I bought would sit in the fridge unused. I’ve learned my lesson now. I no longer shop for the week, but buy fresh every two or three days.

Food is a way of life here and conversation revolves around family, food and football.

Hope you enjoy my little insights into “retirement in Abruzzo”

Thanks for stopping by, and say safe.

Lazy Hazy Sunday!

This morning started bright and sunny so we decided to go ahead with our plans to visit Ortona. Beautiful drive, but by the time we got there it was spotting with rain. Not enough to wet us, and it was still warm, so we enjoyed our walk overlooking the Adriatic. Plan was to stop for lunch, but…there was no room at the Inn. Everywhere was fully booked. Of course there is only outside seating at the moment, so it’s difficult for both restaurants and diners. We enjoyed our walk anyway and headed back to the car.
On the way home we stopped off at a restaurant called “La Scogliera”, (the Cliff) which is just before San Vito and timed it just right. We were shown to a table for two, but after we arrived folks just kept showing up, and being turned away. Busy day!
The food was amazing! I was the DD and drank sparkling water, but my dear husband had two big glasses of wine, and a silly grin on his face.
I’m enjoying my glass of wine right now.
Saluti!

Freedom

Beautiful Vasto

One week from today, numbers permitting, Italy begins to open up a little. Outside dining will be allowed. When I heard the news, I couldn’t help but think of Vasto. My daughter and I visited this beautiful little town, on the Adriatic Coast, just after we’d put in an offer on the “Old Olive Mill’ in Colledimezzo. That was almost four years ago! A lot has happened since then.
In 2017 life was much simpler. We weren’t fighting a pandemic.
Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the anticipation I feel is almost as intense as I used to feel prior to a vacation in Italy.
Yes, I live here now, but haven’t been able to travel since September. Now I can visit Vasto again, it’s on my list for next week.
Hopefully this is a new beginning for us all.
Stay safe everyone, we can do this!

Largest Loaf on the Van

Largest Loaf on the Bread Van

This morning I woke up full of energy, so I breezed through my housework, repotted plants and rearranged furniture. That wasn’t enough! After brunch I was still full of energy. It was a beautiful day, so I took a walk. The clear blue sky was a perfect backdrop for the snow dusted mountains.

A three mile walk was easy, and brought me back to the piazza. A glass of wine seemed like a good idea, followed by another…and then someone persuaded me to have a third. The villagers, (cittadini) were socially distancing, but enjoying the sunshine and each others company. Then the bread van turned up. Lester, a huge bread fan, decided to purchase some delicious freshly made bread…and bought the biggest loaf on the van.
A good day I think, lets hope summer brings a drop in the new cases of COVID. We’re all ready to mingle and have fun.

Reflections

We invited friends to our home for lunch yesterday.
I set the table ahead of time with glasses, bowls and napkins, then stood back to see how it looked.
It was a table that invited lively conversation. It was a table set for five friends to sit and enjoy good food and wine.
I reflected on how my life has changed this year.
I no longer have crystal glasses, with matching decanters, or fine plates and bowls. I left those in the US for my my daughter to enjoy. She’s young and will appreciate them for many years to come.
My glasses don’t match, nor do my pans.
The wine is no longer $30 a bottle, but seven euros for a five liter box from the local Cantina, and much more enjoyable.
Yesterday was the first time I’d invited one of our Italian friends to eat with us, and I was terrified. We’ve enjoyed meals in his kitchen on several occasions and he is an excellent cook. Of course he brought one of his culinary masterpieces, which made our little soiree even more enjoyable. I sighed with relief when he complimented my risotto!
“You’re a good cook.” He said. I was thrilled.
Here in Abruzzo, it doesn’t matter what your glasses look like, or whether or not your plates match. What does matter is the people who sit around your table and share your food. People come first and foremost here, and thats the way it should be.
I still miss my daughter, she should have been here with us for Christmas…next year!

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