food. family. life.

what i was reading… 26.august.2013









It is almost the end of August and the fall is upon us. I for one cannot wait for I need to feel a change in the air with cooler temperatures as we see September, we know it will lead us to the months that follow; filled with holidays and seasonal adventures. I have lived in South Florida for over 30 years and this is truly the season I miss the most.

I am a fall child born in September made of fall leaves, cool winds and brisk air; and to honor the 2013 fall, here is a list of things I miss the most:

1. The changing leaves as they drift off the trees; raking them in large piles as you feel the cool air and smell the damp earth and grass underneath your feet; the sun warming you while the cool blue sky and white puffy clouds above remind you that summer is over and fall is here to stay.

2. Driving to the apple orchards as a child with my family, running and picking bushels of apples that tasted like heaven (my favorite is Macintosh) and stopping at back at the farm to weigh and pay for our harvest. We would buy jugs of fresh-pressed apple cider and loads of fresh apple cider doughnuts (the best!) and drive home dreaming of cinnamon and nutmeg-spiced baked apples and the lure of warm apple pie in our near future.

3. Visiting the local farms and seeing the first harvest of pumpkins; sitting and imagining the upcoming Halloween holiday and how we would carve our pumpkin that October to out-do last year’s design and all our neighbors…

4. Going to watch a soccer game (I grew up with soccer) wrapped in a warm sweater and drinking scalding hot espresso (often spiked for warmth–leave it to the Italians) while cheering on our family team players.

What do you love the most about the fall?

What are your favorite fall seasonal dishes and recipes?

1. FOOD. The end of summer was the best time for our famiglia in upstate NY, we would harvest the last of the garden vegetables and spend weekends canning plum tomatoes, pickling eggplant, cucumbers, green beans, hot chili peppers and more. One of my favorite bloggers, Vincent Scordo creator of the blog Scordo, recently posted about his family’s end of summer tomato canning and preserving process and how to do this at home.

Now that I live in the south, this ritual dance is no longer part of my end of summer pattern, so I wish to say thank you (grazie!) to Vincent personally for allowing me to live vicariously through his family’s wonderful story and process this year.

If you are interested in canning your own tomatoes, follow Vincent’s process (the same process I grew up with) and remember it may be time-consuming, but the results are more than worth the effort as you will love having the taste of your summer tomatoes on the shelf to use in your fall and winter recipes this year.

NOTE: Just found this wonderful link to an Italian olive oil producer called “Tre Olive” in Calabria, Italia, where the owner family run company has grown and produced their own olives for olive oil since 1934. They have a genius concept where you can “Adopt An Olive Tree” that they tag with your name on it (love this!) and when the olives are harvested you receive a full 3 liters of the freshly pressed olive oil! I love this idea and will soon ask for this as a gift from my famiglia.

2. MUSICA. Last night the 2013 MTV VMA Awards Show broadcast from Brooklyn, New York. I did not catch the show (my husband does not like to watch this stuff), but the morning news reported on the event with a major focus on the not-so-surprising crazy antics and performances by some of the lineup of musical talent.

I love to watch my favorite musicians play my favorite songs, but I do not like those moments when it becomes more about the silly antics we are forced to watch, then about the music and performances we wait so long to see.

So, in follow-up to this awards show and to truly honor the music and talent… congratulations to one of my favorite performers of the evening, Justin Timberlake and his song “Mirrors” (this song & video was dedicated to his grandparents, and sadly, his grandfather passed away this year) for winning “Best Video of the Year Award” and to Justin himself for winning the Video Vanguard Award which was presented by his close friend, Jimmy Fallon.

3. ART. By now you know I love art museums and I always make note to visit them when I travel. An amazing museum to add to your list is the beautiful Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (Musee d ‘Art Contemporani de Barcelona) in Barcelona, Spain.

Visit their website to see the art collections they house and the beauty of the building, in itself, a work of art. I have this and many other art museums on my travel list, places like this one where I have yet to see and admire their offerings. Do your research before you travel and make note of collections and museums you wish to visit during your stay.

4. FASHION. I was exhausted from all the school shopping for the girls, so I stole a moment of peace and did some fashion research of my own for fall and winter 2013. As time goes by, I find it difficult to find fashions that fit my personal style (that I can afford, of course) as well as cut a flattering figure on an aging soul like mine.Now I know I am not ancient, but I certainly know better than to try to wear a tight mini skirt “up to there” that you see the 20 somethings wear daily.

I simply wish to look elegant, feminine and always a bit sexy or even very sexy depending on who I am with and the event or activity I am attending.I ran across this article entitled “Women’s Realm” featured on the Vogue U.K. website that focuses on fashion designers who are bringing back the fashion concept of feminine curves and flattering the female figure this fall and winter with trim cut suits, portrait collars, skinny and wide belts cinched at the waist and so on.

These designs have a somewhat vintage feel that I love, as I adore the clothing from the 20’s thru the 40’s where a women looked like a women (I still love traditional stockings with the thin black line up the back… these drive every guy crazy as you walk by… try them sometime and you will see what I mean.)This feature has renewed my faith that I can possibly find a gorgeous suit (I adore the red one in this feature by designer Nina Ricci.)

Okay my research was successful, now I just need to find affordable options in these stunning new fashion trend styles. Ciao per addesso!


The Road Not Taken  by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. 

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