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Posts tagged ‘vegan recipes’

Pugliafornia

November means it's time to harvest olives in Puglia, a job we welcomed with open arms after the disastrous 2014 harvest.

November means it’s time to harvest olives in Puglia, a job we welcomed with open arms this year after the disastrous 2014 harvest.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a l-o-n-g dry spell between posts, so I won’t offer any excuses (disabled computer, lack of good Wi-Fi, sudden finger paralysis . . . anything else?). No, it seems my utter failure to organize my thoughts isn’t particularly dramatic, but it is something of a metaphor for our lives lately. Let me elaborate. Read more

Candelora

Candles in Taranto's Cathedral of San Cataldo

Candles in Taranto’s Cathedral of San Cataldo

Italy’s answer to the United States’ Groundhog Day came and went yesterday, confirming that we can expect another six weeks of winter here. This isn’t altogether bad news. We’re hoping for a proper freeze, enough to exterminate any dormant olive fly larvae wintering over in the soil of local olive groves. Nothing too extreme, though, since extreme cold at the wrong time (like early spring) represents another kind of trouble for olive farmers. So we’re hunkering down, but consoling ourselves with long walks, recipes that involve a long stove-top simmer and the occasional crunch of chiacchiere, those crackling, light-as-a-feather Italian carnevale sweets that are impossible to stop eating. Read more

Endless Summer, Italian Style

Nothing says summer in Italy like the clear, blue sea.

Nothing says summer in Italy like the clear, blue sea.

It’s August 15th, the day when ancient Romans rested, the Virgin Mary’s sinless soul and uncorrupted body ascended into heaven and modern Italians take to the nearest body of water to escape the inevitable August heat wave. Called Ferragosto today in a nod to its origins in antiquity during Emperor Augustus’s rule, this holiday marks the pinnacle of the summer season in Italy. And like every holiday here, it is celebrated en masse in exactly the same way all over the country. Read more

In the Swing of Summer

Creamy white and violet-striped eggplant have just started to appear in Martina Franca's fruit and vegetable market.

Creamy white and violet-striped eggplant have just started to appear in Martina Franca’s fruit and vegetable market.

When we’ve been away from Martina Franca for any period of time, we try to get ourselves to the weekly open-air market as soon as we can. Not only do we need to stock up on whatever looks especially gorgeous in the fruit and vegetable department, but meandering through the stalls and listening to the vendors confirms that we’re really home. Read more

La Pausa

Getting ready for one in a series of Pascarosa olive oil tastings we held throughout Oregon and California this spring.

Getting ready for one in a series of Pascarosa olive oil tastings we held throughout Oregon and California this spring.

After a month and a half of unbridled hedonism —and absolutely no blog posts—we have slipped back into the now familiar cadence of our lives in Martina Franca. We went back to the U.S. to see our children, parents and friends these past few months, experiencing a pausa from Italian life while escaping the tail end of winter. We also peddled our extra virgin olive oil up and down the west coast, reconnecting with olive oil aficionados and meeting some truly lovely new friends, too. It was a rollicking good time between the world class I.P.A. craft beers in Portland, John Locke’s bewitching Birichino Malvasia and my father-in-law’s deadly margaritas, which ought to be illegal. We need a vacation from the vacation. Read more

The Heart of It

Extra virgin olive oil adorns this savory butternut and nut butter soup.

Extra virgin olive oil adorns this savory butternut and nut butter soup.

When we moved to Martina Franca for good, we knew what we would find. We’d been coming here for years and years, sometimes for a few months at a time. We knew our neighbors, where to buy mozzarella and which nearby beaches have the best sand and the shadiest parking. We chose this new life with our eyes wide open. Read more

Making Our Way

We’re not out of the woods yet. After a brilliant, blue sky morning that brought our town’s residents to the piazza to revel in the bright sun, dark clouds rolled in yesterday afternoon with wind and rain aplenty. While winter has been pretty mild in Puglia this year, it isn’t ready to give up its hold, so we’re still dodging rainstorms and scirocco-fueled gusts from the south. Read more

La Palestra

After the holiday excess, ARCI Martina has become my home away from home.

After the holiday excess, ARCI Martina has become my home away from home.

Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Epiphany have all come and gone, but the wretched excess we encountered at the Pugliese holiday table lingers on. And in our case, it’s taken the considerably less appetizing form of excess weight. Now that January has rolled around, we’ve said “arrivederci” to seasonal delights like purcidd, cartellate, pettole and pasta al forno and all of its cheesy goodness for the time being. But considerably more desperate measures are required. It’s time to go to la palestra (the gym). Read more

Come Si Fa

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

Artisanal spaghetti from Benedetto Cavalieri in Maglie, Puglia, is come si fa la pasta in Italy.

We have come to understand that most Italians we know are not particularly burdened by uncertainty. Firm ideas about come si fa (how it’s done) are routinely offered on a staggering range of topics. From child rearing to olive harvesting, there is little room for doubt here on the correct approach. Confusingly, though, the correct approach varies widely depending upon the advice giver. So we stagger through our days in a valiant effort to make sense of this wellspring of well-intentioned advice, secure only in our conviction that we routinely fail to grasp Italian come si fa in so many fundamental ways. Read more

Plic e Plac

Hot, red peppers provide the heat in plic e plac.

Hot, red peppers provide the heat in plic e plac.

As our own roots reach just a little deeper into this especially rocky Pugliese soil, we’re making new friends and slowly becoming ever more bound to the people we’ve come know over these last 18 years. Martina Franca isn’t a tiny town—its population hovers around 50,000—but we find it’s possible to connect easily, sometimes effortlessly, while conducting the business of daily living. Read more

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DIY trailerable sailboat restoration and improvement without throwing your budget overboard

Gracefully Global Blog

Where travel adventures never begin with a trip to the local monument.

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My experiences living in Puglia and other places

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sapori, profumi e visioni culinarie made in puglia

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