Monday 27 October 2014


I have been working on creating a Photo Book on our five weeks in Panicale. I just have to post these early sunset photos of this incredibly picturesque hilltop village.

and what about these amazing sunsets?

I'm sure sunrises are beautiful too, but one thing I can't cope with is sunrise so we will never know!

Sunday 19 October 2014


It is a sad occasion when you realise that you have eaten your last Baci chocolate.

' Since 1922 Baci Perugina has been making the most romantic and indulgent of chocolates. Rich, bittersweet and with hazelnuts inside, each Baci comes wrapped in a love note.' Baci is Italian for Kiss.

These are some of the 'love notes' found inside my chocolates purchased in Perugia.
'Passion colours everything it touches' - Baltasar Gracian
'More than the help of friends we need the certainty of it' - Epicuro
'Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise' - Samuel Johnson
'Your teeth, like pearls, put the stars to shame' - Valt

Which reminds me of an occasion when a strange old man got into the bus in Los Angeles, pulled out his fold up chair and sat in the aisle facing three pretty young girls. We were all a little disconcerted by his action but were taken aback when he suddenly said to one of the girls ... 'Your lips are like rubies, they glow in the night'

Saturday 18 October 2014

Nine months to go!

We lasted ten days before we booked flights to return to Panicale.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Gelato Artigianale

The sign "Gelato Artigianale" outside a gelateria is an indication that the ice cream is home made or hand crafted. I am not aiming to open a gelateria but I have bought an ice cream and gelato maker and today we made our first (and second) containers of the delicious stuff.

The sweet and creamy mixture is stirred around in the frozen inner bowl for about 25 minutes and is then transferred to a container and put in the freezer for a final chill.

Our first batch was vanilla and it is delicious!

The second mix is nocciola, made with Nutella. Kelly is the self proclaimed expert on nocciola gelato and he says it isn't perfect yet. I guess I will just have to keep working at it.

I don't have a bread maker because I always say I couldn't be trusted with one. Hmmmm, what about this machine!

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Long Lunch Revisited

Back in June, along with our friends Jenny & Kevin and Sue & Noel, we had a Buon Viaggio long lunch ( see post 18 June 2014). We each bought two courses to the lunch, recipes from the countries we were visiting in the coming months.

Now we are all back home and so we got together to talk about our wonderful experiences, and to try some more cooking and wines from our travel destinations. 

Today's meal was more of a tasting table with food from Germany, Spain and Italy.

Crostini with porcini mushroom & white truffle creme, and sangria.

Goulash soup

Battered eggplant with honey

Tortilla de patate with jamon

 Bucatini alla sarde

Torta della Nonna

I was so busy enjoying the Apple Strudel that I forgot to take a photo.
We finished off with coffee and Baci chocolates.

Wines from all three countries - Chianti Classico, Trockenbeerenauslese & 
Osborne Santa Maria Cream Sherry.

After the pre-trip long lunch we all went off with the brief to bring back some interesting dishes for us to share on our return. We fulfilled that brief and what a delicious day we had.

Friday 3 October 2014

Great neighbours

We are blessed to have very good neighbours in our street. Those of us who go away for extended periods know that our properties will be watched over in our absence.

We especially appreciate Lynne and Gerard who did a wonderful job looking after our garden, beyond the call of duty.

Look what our back yard looked like when we arrived home...

and our front garden.

Lynne met us at the railway station and gave me flowers. How lovely!, it should have been the other way round. This photo was taken six days later so you can see they were very pretty.