Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Feature Sicilian Generosity

Each of the following items came into our home in the last couple days. They are gifts from family and friends. The lemons, tangerines , oranges and tomatoes come in sacks. I will use the dried figs to make Christmas cookies. I have never cooked the green vegetable called *zucchina spinosa*! Not shown because they were hastily eaten were two types of fish. Also not included is a pumpkin that was delicious.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Un giro ad Oliveri

This was posted by my neighbor. Just a little ride down the beach road in the spring. It runs a bit long but relax and go for a ride with him.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Morning Faces

It was a fine day to be outside for man and beast. The temperatures were in the 70° range. As one local man says.. one day we are in Africa and the next in Alaska. Make no doubt about it ...Christmas season is upon us!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Feature..Alternative cutting

We were given fresh oregano at the end of summer. We hung it inside the family home across the street and forgot about it until recently. It is very handy that we have a barber in the house to cut the oregano from the branches.

Here he is seriously getting down to business.

After the oregano is removed it gets put into the *robot* or food processor. A few years ago, the motor on my food processor died. I bought the same machine in a later model. The attachments fit the new machine. When we process the oregano it discolors and scratches the bowl so this was a lucky purchase.

Remove any small sticks and place into a jar and the oregano is ready for your favorite recipe.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Contest winner

This is a winning drawing about Thanksgiving. Interesting to note that the 2007 pilgrims are all female! Nothing wrong with that! Chips with your turkey looks about right as well!! OK...guys are good to have around. Perhaps they are watching football and didn't get into the frame??
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Questura and Tribunale

This is similar to a place where I spent alot of time this morning along with the Questura* of Patti. I am renewing my soggiorno permission and the rules have changed. I now need a police and Tribunale** check to make certain that "I am not a crook"! I also need to identify my means of support. I need to give evidence that my marriage is intact. These are new requirements put in place in the last year. I think they are fair and justified in these times.
So, I have all the documents and stamps and now wait for the paper saying I have not been charged with a crime. My appointment has been made and I like that I will not have to wait in a line. I am pleased with this progress after some horror stories that I have heard and read over getting this document. I shall probably (hope so) be given permission to stay here for an indefinite period of time. After all this why not go for the citizenship document??? That is something to think about!
*Police headquaters
**Court house

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Buon Compleanno

He's not a kid anymore. If the truth be told he was a grown up many years ago. One of those youths, who as my daughter says is *an old soul*! Today is his birthday and to my adult son, I give wishes for many more. You ..are my gift!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Adriano Celentano - L'arcobaleno

One of my favorite Italian singers is Adriano Celentano.
One line in this song reads:

L'arcobaleno é mio messaggio d'amore!
The rainbow is my message of love!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

After hours....

The birth rate of 1.23 children per woman in Italy is the second lowest in the Western world. Women rarely have more than one child. If that rate of reproduction continues, Italians will slowly but surely die out.
How could Italy - the country which has a reputation for loving children more than any other in the world, and where there is an almost religious reverence for the role of Mama - stop having children?
The Government seems as perplexed by the situation as the Pope, who two years ago begged Italians to "rediscover the culture of life and love and their mission as parents". His plea fell on deaf ears. The Italians, the most solidly Catholic country in Europe, ignored his request to have more children, just as they have ignored his teaching on the sinfulness of contraception. "Italians," as one demographer put it, "have not given up sex. They have merely given up procreation."

One answer is the after hour availability of condoms. This handy container is attatched to the pharmacy outside wall. No excuses for protection and safe sex.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday Outing

We normally do our business and shopping chores on Monday. Grocery stores are open while other shops are closed till the afternoon. The bank is open in the morning and only opens for one hour in the afternoon. Yesterday, we had food shopping, an order to retrieve at the jewelers, a small space heater to purchase and a bank visit. With the afternoon close down factored in this would have to be well thought out. Shops close down at one and reopen anywhere from 4PM to 5PM.

We first stopped at our favorite restaurant for lunch. They are closed on Sundays and opened their new wine yesterday.

Andy tried the new *vino* and said a toast (salute to the Honorable and his wife) to our friends from RI, who are also fans of this restaurant. St. Martino was celebrated a day late. I guess that is what holiday Monday is all about.

Then off to the big city and the Walmart type supermercato to look for that heater and do a little shopping.

When we reached our destination, we found that this place was in the middle of moving to a new location and the shelves were almost bare. Not many shoppers in the place and we did not find the heater but Andy found one of his favorite We had just been talking with our son about Seppia fish and it was here. Yes, he bought it.

This is one store that is open thru the day. We left here and got back on the highway and headed to another market that is also open from 9AM -9PM. We found the heater and we also came across Christmas. Italy is focusing on Christmas earlier and earlier every year.

This might be called winter decor.....

But, there is no mistake about this..

At 4PM we reached the jewelers. I think these doors are a good thing. They also have them at banks (we did not get to the bank in time). Only one person can enter at a time and they beep if you have some weapon or other object picked up by the sensor device.

After making our purchase we finished the trip by heading to our favorite €0.79 per kilo fruit and vegetable market. They sell a range of grocery items but the low fruit and vegetable price is the draw for us. The big finish was more Christmas items displayed. So from now thru the New Year... all!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

St Martino's Day

The grapes were harvested long ago and November 11th is the official uncorking of the new wine. It is a common thing to make your own wine. Today, friends and family will be sharing a meal and tasting each other wine. So, be careful on the streets today.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Feature

Happy Birthday Marine Corps, November 10th. I am a day early but take this as a reminder. The Marines only look for a few good men and we have one in our family. So, salute to him and all those ..currently or who have served as a US Marine. Once a Marine always a Marine!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


It is back in the shops! This is the best picker upper in the world! When that 3:30PM dragging feeling comes on this little espresso laced chocolate will wake you back into life.

Did I buy some. I did and I am doing a diet challenge so must limit myself to one per day!

Monday, November 5, 2007


This one isn't as good as the one taken by my friend in Calabria* . We don't often see rainbows here but this was a nice surprise on a gray drizzly day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Veteran's Day Italia

Not many of these fellas left but they got together in front of the city hall for a march to church and festivities following the service. This wasn't my war. In fact my father was fighting with the Allies on the other side. It is however a day to remember those who died in service to his/her country.

One woman marched with the group. She wore a medal that noted her husband's valor. Another patch signifies the regiment.

The mayor walked with the retirees. You can spot him wearing his official sash.

The local band kept the mood and the step lively. But as usual...........NO LINES!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Feature

Today is All Soul's Day in Italy and yesterday was All Saint's Day. Businesses are at half day or closed. It is much like Memorial Day in the USA. It is tradition to spend the day caring for the graves and bringing flowers. You can pay to have lights put on a grave for these few days. For many Italian families this is a time to come back to their home towns to offer this respect to their deceased love ones.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Olive Oil

My friend Angela and her family finished picking their olives and Wednesday morning had an appointment for crushing them into oil. Did I want to come along? I did want to and off we went. There were several other folks there with their olives and we got to watch the process.

The olives are weighed and then dumped into a basin for the trip up the conveyor belt to the wash process. While traveling the conveyor the leaves and stems are filtered out. The wash process is the timely step in the oil pressing. After washing they are sent to the crusher where the oil is sent in one direction and the residue in another. It passes through two filters and finally into the containers.

It is all a rather straight forward system.

The water heater was an interesting feature as it is fueled by nut hulls.

The mix that is extracted which includes solids that remain after crushing the olives is called ~sansa~. This includes the pits, skin and pulp residue. Another process creates this sansa oil. My friend told me restaurants use alot of this oil.

These pots were on the property. They were used in earlier times to store olive oil.

This is only one way of extracting oil from olives. This place isn't far from Oliveri so it is convenient to have them done there. The proprietor and his wife are pleasant and nice to do business with.

After it was all said and done friends gave me this....LIQUID GOLD!