#362 I miss edible flowers

Fiori di zucca

Deep fried, fiori fritti

Stuffed and deep fried

Stuffed and baked

Pasta con i fiori di zucca

Frittata di fiori di zucca

Fiori di borraggine

Pasta alla borraggine

a flowers’ salad

Violette

and sweet sugar frosted violette

#343 I miss painted beauty and real beauty – 3

Tuscan beauty.

No, I didn’t mean Lady Lisa, but the beautiful Tuscan landscape.

Well…

it’s real, and it’s still there.

(See also “I miss painted beauty and real beauty – 1 – 2”

https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/336-i-miss-painted-vs-real/ 

https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/i-miss-painted-beauty-and-real-beauty-2/ )

 

#334 I miss la raccolta delle erbe selvatiche – 3

In Liguria they have a mix of several wild herbs, used as a side dish or as a base for a variety of typical dishes, such as soups or pansotti (ravioli liguri).

They call it prebuggiùn or preboggiòn, it includes:

Amarago,

Wild beet

Borragine

Cicerbita

Cicoria

Dente di leone

Grattalingua

Ortica

Cooking is not just about food, it is also an adventure in the wild!

(See also “I miss la raccolta delle erbe selvatiche 1- 2”

https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/317-i-miss-la-…e-selvatiche-1/

https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/321-i-miss-la-…e-selvatiche-2/ )

#324 I miss agrumi – 1

Agrumi, ‘citrus fruits’, lemons, oranges, tangerines…

The Italian regions most famous for their agrumi are Sicilia and Liguria, in particular the Riviera di Ponente 

 

 

Poet Eugenio Montale dedicated a wonderful poem to the lemon trees, one of the symbols of his beloved Liguria

I limoni
Ascoltami, i poeti laureati
si muovono soltanto fra le piante
dai nomi poco usati: bossi ligustri o acanti.
lo, per me, amo le strade che riescono agli erbosi
fossi dove in pozzanghere
mezzo seccate agguantano i ragazzi
qualche sparuta anguilla:
le viuzze che seguono i ciglioni,
discendono tra i ciuffi delle canne
e mettono negli orti, tra gli alberi dei limoni.
 
Meglio se le gazzarre degli uccelli
si spengono inghiottite dall’azzurro:
più chiaro si ascolta il susurro
dei rami amici nell’aria che quasi non si muove,
e i sensi di quest’odore
che non sa staccarsi da terra
e piove in petto una dolcezza inquieta.
Qui delle divertite passioni
per miracolo tace la guerra,
qui tocca anche a noi poveri la nostra parte di ricchezza
ed è l’odore dei limoni.
 
Vedi, in questi silenzi in cui le cose
s’abbandonano e sembrano vicine
a tradire il loro ultimo segreto,
talora ci si aspetta
di scoprire uno sbaglio di Natura,
il punto morto del mondo, l’anello che non tiene,
il filo da disbrogliare che finalmente ci metta
nel mezzo di una verità.
Lo sguardo fruga d’intorno,
la mente indaga accorda disunisce
nel profumo che dilaga
quando il giorno piú languisce.
Sono i silenzi in cui si vede
in ogni ombra umana che si allontana
qualche disturbata Divinità.
 
Ma l’illusione manca e ci riporta il tempo
nelle città rumorose dove l’azzurro si mostra
soltanto a pezzi, in alto, tra le cimase.
La pioggia stanca la terra, di poi; s’affolta
il tedio dell’inverno sulle case,
la luce si fa avara – amara l’anima.
Quando un giorno da un malchiuso portone
tra gli alberi di una corte
ci si mostrano i gialli dei limoni;
e il gelo del cuore si sfa,
e in petto ci scrosciano
le loro canzoni
le trombe d’oro della solarità.
 
‘The Lemon Trees
Listen: the laureled poets
stroll only among shrubs
with learned names: ligustrum, acanthus, box.
What I like are streets that end in grassy
ditches where boys snatch
a few famished eels from drying puddles:
paths that struggle along the banks,
then dip among the tufted canes,
into the orchards, among the lemon trees.
Better, if the gay palaver of the birds
is stilled, swallowed by the blue:
more clearly now, you hear the whisper
of genial branches in that air barely astir,
the sense of that smell
inseparable from earth,
that rains its restless sweetness in the heart.
Here, by some miracle, the war
of conflicted passions is stilled,
here even we the poor share the riches of the world—
the smell of the lemon trees.
See, in these silences when things
let themselves go and seem almost
to reveal their final secret,
we sometimes expect
to discover a flaw in Nature,
the world’s dead point, the link that doesn’t hold,
the thread that, disentangled, might at last lead us
to the center of a truth.
The eye rummages,
the mind pokes about, unifies, disjoins
in the fragrance that grows
as the day closes, languishing.
These are the silences where we see
in each departing human shade
some disturbed Divinity.
But the illusion dies, time returns us
to noisy cities where the sky is only
patches of blue, high up, between the cornices.
Rain wearies the ground; over the buildings
winter’s tedium thickens.
Light grows niggardly, the soul bitter.
And, one day, through a gate ajar,
among the trees in a courtyard,
we see the yellows of the lemon trees;
and the heart’s ice thaws,
and songs pelt
into the breast
and trumpets of gold pour forth
epiphanies of Light!’

#322 I miss Italian (vintage) soft drinks – 1

Spuma bionda

a soft drinks made with sparkling water, sugar, caramel, and spices created in the 1920s, still common in Italy… especially if you are more than 40 y.o. …

Gassosa, or gazzosa

another super-sweet soft drink, made with sparkling water (acqua gassata, ‘with gas’), sugar, and lemon, very popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

Cedrata

any Italian hummed the jungle at least once…

#321 I miss la raccolta delle erbe selvatiche – 2

Borragine (‘borage’ or ‘starflower’) wild herb with blue flowers and edible leaves. Excellent to make frittelle torte salate ravioli or as they say in Liguria pansotti

Ortica

very used in medicine and folk remedies… herbal tea

hair lotions

but it is also used for many recipes, soups, pasta, frittate

Important note: for both use gloves (See also “I miss la raccolta delle erbe selvatiche – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/317-i-miss-la-…e-selvatiche-1/ )

#320 I miss frutta di Maggio – 2

Ciliegie

una tira l’altra ‘you eat one and you want another one’ especially when you eat them directly from the tree.

Of course you can make marmellata with them

and good crostate

or torte (‘cakes’)

 

But you can also make an excellent sciroppo (a syrup that you can mix with water to have a soft drink)

or a liquor, maraschino for example is made with marasche, bitter cherries

Also you can make ciliegie sotto spirito, cherries preserved in spirit

(See also “I miss frutta di Maggio – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/311-i-miss-frutta-di-maggio/ )