Baking – Cooking – Living the Dream

I never tire of the views here in Colledimezzo. Even if I walk the same path every day, I find a different angle to photograph. The light varies by the hour. Later in the day the mists make my photographs magical and surreal. I lived in Colorado for 25 years, and enjoyed the beautiful Rocky Mountains, but they didn’t boast the colors of Abruzzo.
Photography, travel and writing are my big hobbies, but my other passion is cooking. I adjusted my recipes from England to the US back in 1995. I learned to measure in cups, became familiar with the different products and even adjusted to high altitude baking, although my Yorkshire Puddings weren’t always a success!!!
Here I am living in Italy, with new challenges. Grams/Kilograms…no cups and ounces like the US. I’m beginning to master the flour…so many to choose from and your bread/cakes/pizzas will be a disaster if you don’t get it right. When we used to visit for vacation, an Italian friend always asked me to bring baking powder from the US, now I understand why. There is no self raising flour and no baking powder the way we know it. Baking power (which has a completely different name) comes in little sachets, usually infused with vanilla. There are different instant yeasts, and if you choose the wrong one, the result is inedible. Yes, I learned that from experience. I’m taking the safe route now and using fresh live yeast.
Thats enough for today. I’m still loving the Italian way of life. Miss my daughter terribly, but when Trump and COVID are history and she can come to visit, everything will be perfect.

The Weekend – Italian Style

This weekend brought us two glorious sunny days!
On Saturday we returned our rental car and picked up first (and hopefully last) Italian car. I didn’t realize buying a new car was such a big deal here. Our lovely shiny red car (macchina), was ready and waiting for us when we arrived at the dealership. Marco, the lovely man who sold it to us, was excited and enjoyed the admiring look on my face as he peeled the cover off.
Yes Italian cars come wrapped!!!
When we got back to Colledimezzo the locals made a big fuss and congratulated us on our new purchase. (I have yet to drive it, new cars make me a bit nervous).
Today we met our friends in the piazza for the usual Sunday lunchtime drink. So much fun sitting in the sunshine watching everyone come out of church in their Sunday best. We got home and I hadn’t even taken my shoes off before the phone rang...”turn around and come back out, we’ve all been invited to lunch with Pio, he’s cooking”. This is the way things happen in Italy, beautifully unplanned. We had an amazing lunch made with local produce and served with good wine. Everything of course made better by the great company and wonderful conversation.
We finished the afternoon with a walk. Gorgeous weather, lush surroundings, autumn colors still exploding (even though its November).
And what made this whole weekend better…TRUMP lost the election. Of course the petulant child has not conceded yet, but no one expected him to be gracious in defeat!
Now we need to beat COVID and we can end the year on a much happier note.

Dolce Far Niente

Montazzoli

Dolce far niente is a phrase that sticks in my mind. An Italian phrase (introduced to me by a French chap I worked with), and it means sweetness of doing nothing.
When I became stressed over moving my worldly belongings to Italy, selling my house, or finally leaving work, I’d think about that phrase. I’d use it as the carrot dangling ahead of me, keeping me going. I’m here now, and if I choose, can enjoy a little dolce far niente. Still keeping busy though. The first couple of months have been a challenge of finding the best car insurance/home insurance, obtaining Italian Health Insurance and a drivers license.
Things are slowing down a little now. On Saturday I enjoyed a delicious lunch with British and Italian friends. We walked for a while, in the picturesque village of Montazzoli. Beautiful views. Things are falling into place, miss my daughter still of course. I’ll also feel more settled when we have a new US President (fingers crosses), and when we finally get COVID under control. One step at a time.

Just Let me Fly

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To my friends my retirement plans appear to have gone smoothly. Things just fell into place!
They weren’t back stage watching me manage contractors across the Atlantic. Rising at 5:00 am, translating emails, working with furniture stores, banks, Realtors and trying to understand how to get things done the Italian way.
Luckily for me, the folks in our new village are wonderful, kind, helpful people. We couldn’t have done this without them.
“Oh things have gone so easily for you”
NO! It has taken perseverance.
Now we’re in the final chapter. House sold, furniture donated or sold. This final piece of the puzzle should have been easy. Book a flight and “hey presto” we’re on our way to Italy!!!
Not quite! Thank you Mr. Trump, for not being a great leader, actually for not being a leader at all.
Thank you for making Americans unwelcome in Europe! Luckily for us we have Italian residency and UK passports, but getting a flight from the US to Italy is almost impossible. We’ve had two cancelled already.
This isn’t the fault of Delta Airlines, who have been outstanding and helped us through this mess. I rebooked my flight for the third time yesterday, thanks to the great travel agents at American Express. They went above and beyond to help me. Lets hope the third time is a charm.
It isn’t COVID 19 that is bringing the USA to its knees. It is the way it is being handled, or should I say, not handled. Please Mr. Trump, in your last few months as President, show some compassion and decency to the folks of country you promised to “make great again.”

America has lost its heart

Heart

I moved to the US from England in 1995.

The culture here was completely different from that in the UK, but I liked it. Folks were welcoming, upbeat and happy.

Shortly after I arrived there was a dreadful tragedy in Oklahoma, you all remember it so there is no need to go into details, but folks pulled together, and got through it.
Since then terrible things have happened. School shootings, 9/11, terrible times for all. Through the grief and sorrow, folks pulled together, it brought them closer. Even if their politics were different, they were one nation healing together.

For the past two or three years America has changed. Racism is rife. The general mood of the country is that of anger and hatred.

Not everyone demonstrates this mood, but enough folks to make me feel unsafe, a little scared. Hostility is displayed openly. Folks seem to know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

America has lost its heart and it saddens me.

Sunday Morning Sunshine and Terror

Dayton shooting

Two mass shootings in two days. They are so common place now we barely talk about them anymore. I don’t want to glorify or memorialize the shooter by talking about him, I want to bring attention to the terror he brought to the deceased and injured, and to those families who lost loved ones. So many folks scarred for life.
This has to stop. Military type weapons SHOULD NOT be for sale. Why would anyone want to buy such a weapon?
The current President of this country, who I can’t even bring myself to name, sends a message that hate and racism is OK.
Greed and terror rule, when will this end?
Sorry for my rant, but I’m tired of seeing lives lost. It happens so frequently now. It has to stop.

My heart goes out to everyone involved. But Mr. Trump, please don’t end your ridiculous tweets in GOD BLESS. You are the least godly man I know!

 

 

Trump and his love affair with HIMSELF!

Donald_Trump_and_John_Miller

This man is in love with HIMSELF!
Not sure what happened to the lower tax promise. My middle class taxes are much higher. He promised to make America great again! It already was great! This egotistical lunatic is washing it down into the sewer.

I’m sure his own pockets are being filled to overflowing with all the secret deals he’s making, and he’ll be paid well for the rest of his life. Disgusting! I wish he could see himself from the eyes of the rest of the world, as the bad joke that he is.

Can anyone do anything to stop this manipulating moron or will he be allowed continue to spread he racism and hatred? How can this be allowed to happen?

OK, had to get that out, it was festering inside me. Sorry, but I do feel better now.

Fleeing London

Brexit

I’m not well versed in matters political, but I do research and fact gather before I vote. I spent the first 40 years of my life in England, but now live in the US, however I’ve been keeping a close eye on the BREXIT shenanigans. Most people DID NOT know what they were voting for, they just wanted to detach themselves from the EU, and never bothered to consider the consequences. Now its too late for them to change their vote and the harsh reality of what lies ahead is finally dawning on them.

Lack of choice in the supermarkets, Britain has some great fresh produce, but not enough to sustain the country, and the shortage will increase prices. The immigration problem will become worse. Too complicated to explain, but look it up if you don’t believe me. Those Brits who bought vacation homes in Spain will now have to obtain a visa to visit them. Simple travel will now become complicated. Those delicious delicacies that everyone enjoyed from France/Spain/Italy, will now be replaced with imports from the US. Food full of additives and artificial flavorings. YUM!

Oh and one more thing. Companies are fleeing from London as it will no longer be the center of commerce! What does that mean? Major unemployment!

Lets see how things go! Looks to me like this is a worse disaster than Trump. Hopefully we only have to tolerate Trump for another couple of years, but Britain is stuck with BREXIT for life. Good Luck with that!

Brump and Trexit – The woes of a British American

 

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I get the double whammy,
My head it hurts like hell!
Not only do I suffer Trump,
But the Brexit news as well.

I try my best to ignore it all,
But it’s very hard to do,
With news and tweets and all that stuff,
I hear it all brand new.

Now Trump I just can’t tolerate,
He just offends my eyes,
His mouth and hands and ugly face
And oh my lord his lies.

So what to do to get away,
And leave it all behind,
Maybe I’ll just emigrate,
Before I lose my mind!

Trump on Climate Change

Donald Trump

Does this man even know what comes out of his mouth?

“No, no I have a strong opinion. I want a great climate. We’re going to have that, and we are going to have that are very safe because we can’t go through this. Every year we go through this. We’re going to have safe forests and that’s happening as we speak,” he told reporters during a briefing at a command center in Chico, California.

Seriously? Shut the $%*$ up!