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Monthly Archives: November 2012

…a vegan lunch at Vaccaria…

Posted: 27 November 2012

…roasted sweet yams with pumpkin and sesame seeds and balsamic; bulghur wheat from the Lebanon with red onion, fresh mint and parsley; simple beets; rotis of kamut and  rye flours; tomatoes with red wine vinegar and garlic and a little brown sugar;  green salad; steamed brown rice; fava beans tossed with lemon juice and olive oil and garlic…lunch at Vaccaria today…tonight roasted wild apples and tomatoes and maybe some soup made with a broth of leeks, fresh ginger, porcinis, garlic, carrots, cloves, celery and peppercorns…then simmered black beans added and savoy cabbage and black cauliflower and zucchini…and then perhaps…a little barley…hungry??…..

Ladybirds in the undergrowth…

Posted: 24 November 2012

…another beautiful morning and so off we went to the lovely, ancient hill town of Gubbio and the Saturday farmers market…it was absolutely packed with locals and local vegetables and apples and pears…cheeses and hams and cingiale sausages too of course, breads and tarts…we bought some truly wonderful apples although I have to say that the little apples that John and I collect on our hikes through the old orchards down the lane take some beating…sweet and crunchy and very fragrant especially at this time of the year with all the leaves falling…the persimmon trees are beautiful too…and it is olive harvest and all the new oil is in the shops…John climbed down to the waterfall and cascade that forms part of the stream in front of Vaccaria below the terraces…absolutely amazing views…lots of ladybirds in the undergrowth always a wonderful sign of good luck!…and very brightly coloured funghi…heard just yesterday about a family in the hospital from eating the wrong sort…but at Vaccaria we will share with you the right sort of everything!…

…Lentils, brambles and doors…

Posted: 23 November 2012

…after three or huge four bowls of lentil and potato soup John was all revved to go and begin the huge job of clearing many years of brambles and vines on the terraces and entangled orchards, which include cherries, figs and apples that for many years now have only been eaten by the chingiales, across the lane at the front of Vaccaria…along with clearing the land there we are in hopes of finding more ancient stone walls much as we did when the land was cleared at the bottom of the beautiful stone steps leading into the ampitheatre ( which we will use as a natural outdoor theatre for poetry readings, classical guitar recitals and perhaps even Sophocles himself  when the warmer, longer evenings return…after an amazing supper of vegan food of course…food that warms the soul as it deeply nourishes and frees the bod…) the Acacia grove  and the old oak woods…the old stone walls have many stories to share and it is a privilege to sit by one in admiration for all their perseverance as one listens to and soaks up their wisdom…the day has been very fine with blue skies and warm sunshine…enough to dry laundered feather quilts outside…our master carpenter and his lovely wife,the Mondinis,  have been finishing the work of installing the last of the handmade oak doors complete with blacksmithy work hinges and handles and locks…they are very beautiful and have been painstakingly loved into existence…much like Vaccaria and Bella Italia herself….

starry night at Vaccaria…

Posted: 22 November 2012

…sitting outside the beautiful church the evening is gorgeous…the night sky is clear and stars are visible here like very few other places on the earth…very little light pollution infact none!…the moon is lovely and the woodfire in the ancient hearth is crackling away…John and I have just had barley coffee aka “orzo” in Italian…such a beautiful language…I read once, some time ago, that when one steps off the train in Rome for the first time the language drops a few octaves from the usual hum…melodic tones that soothe the ear…no drawl…the neighbours hunting dogs are quiet tonight probably well fed or tired out from their usual romp over the fields and through the oak woods…this morning a tractor empty this time of huge loads of wood driving slowly along the bottom track up the valley…and the little robin determined to make the old tobacco house his own is often present and a delightful companion to John and I as we finish clearing and sorting and getting in our wood for the evening…the day has been delightful with blue skies after the morning mist disappeared…and we can still hear the Chiascio and the stream at the bottom of our fields running like a torrent after the heavy and very unusual rainfall…tomorrow a hike down to the river to see the kingfishers and maybe too the cranes….