Sunday, January 31, 2010

Views of San Giorgio

This is the beach. You can see Patti in the distance along the shore. If you towards the center left on top of the mountain is the Tindari (Church of the Black Madonna).

I love this old villa. It's gorgeous. What I could do if I had a million euros!!

Here's the other side. I love the original pink color.

It's kinda like ketchup and mayo mixed together!

Here'a shot from the beach looking towards the mountains.

On our travels we saw a paraglider, we saw him right after he jumped off the mountain. He glided around for a bit. Then we watched him come down in a field near the beach!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Messina

We have to drive thru tunnels to get anywhere. I remember 2 summers ago when we visited my sister in Cleveland we had to drive thru some tunnels in Pennsylvania. That was a big deal.

In this photo we are driving towards Messina. Calabria (mainland Italy) is in the distance.

A gorgeous and old church in Messina. More photos of it in the next post.


Today we had some plans that didn't work out. We were going to drive to Messina to get Litle P a few long sleeve shirts. But we had to do some other things instead so we decided to jump on the autostrada and get off at the exit past where we went last week. That was Messina. We didn't realize it because we have a crappy map! Then the batteries went in both of our cameras. This is some of what we saw.
This is over a door from the church in the first post.

The back of that same church.

Another old church.

A School named for Dante Aligheri

I just liked this building.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Views of Oliveri

I have a few photos of our town that I have not posted. I thought I would show you today.

This is the church. It's a nice looking church.

The bells ring throughout the day. I enjoy hearing them.

We live on the street just behind this one. The Tindari Church is on the mountain

just off to the right (you can't see it in this photo).

This is my favorite house! I wonder what it looks like inside. They are building
on the lot next to this one, that's what the plastic is for.

Here's the front view. They have a patio in the front

and a nice sized yard on the right side. Bananas and lemons too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Possibly Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump

This morning when I went to the store I got some apples for € .69/kilo. What a super bargain! That's less than € .35 a pound. Now what am I going to bake with them?
I found this recipe on the internet: Possibly Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump @ this site

What is a slump you ask? A slump is a baked or steamed homey, old-fashioned dessert with fruit on the bottom and a batter-based, cakey topping. It might be served with whipped cream or ice cream.
Here it is right out of the oven. A little of it baked over because my pan was too small.
I need to get one a little larger.

Here's side view - you can see the apples and their juice. I had to have a piece. It is good, kinda like shortcake already on top of the fruit. If I had vanilla ice cream it would have been great with it. You need to try this because you can use what ever fruit you want.

Possibly Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump

Serving Size: 8

Filling:6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt


1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp double-acting baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Toss together the apples, sugar and spices and place in a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
While this is baking, prepare the topping, starting by sifting together the dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix the egg, milk and butter and add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring till just combined. Spread the topping over apples and bake at 350F for an additional 25 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Ferrari F10

Isn't this beautiful?? This is the new Formula One car for the Scuderia Ferrari team. It was unveiled this morning and will hit the track this afternoon.
I can't wait for the racing season to begin!

More photos of Brolo and surrounding area

You can see what a nice day it was on Sunday. We were really impressed with this area. Frank started looking online to see what properties were available there!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can ya get out of the street??

This is a common occurrence in Italy. People standing in the street talking or they are driving down the street and see a friend - they both stop their cars and talk while traffic is backing up behind them. In some towns there are either no sidewalks or very small ones OR like in my town the streets are so narrow you must park on the sidewalks.
This just sets off The King. I don't know why.... I can be patient. He has none.
I was actually taking a photo of the buildings and then when I downloaded the photos I noticed the ladies. The car on the left is parked so we had to stop and let the silver car pass through. I wonder how long they stood in the street and talked!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Modern buildings in Brolo

I was surprised to see these modern buildings in the town. They have done a lot of work in the area near the shore. It's beautiful, new looking and clean. I can imagine it is filled with tourists in the summer. As we drove further down the street we came across this church.

Lovely! And it's within walking distance of a lot of homes. I wonder what it looks like inside!

Busy Day Cake

I was hungry for cake the other day and made this.
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Note: I rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar. I feel it gives a more lemony flavor. Also for people living in Italy: Since our baking powder has vanilla in it you can either leave out the liquid vanilla or reduce the amount. I also used strutto for the shortening.
Grease a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan (or equivilent). In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat with electric mixer until combined. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Turn into pan. Bake at 375 F/190 C for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool. Serves 9.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Castello in Brolo

We drove over to Brolo yesterday, just to see it. I was surprised to see a castello! It looked so cool. I didn't get a chance to get closer though. It is old!
Info from wikipedia: The history of the original medieval town was born and developed around the castle, built almost on the sea, the castle overlooking a vast stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast, protecting the beaches below from pirate raids.
This building used to control the coast, together with the fishing village was known, in the Norman period, the term Voab, place name inherited from the previous Arab domination and whose meaning is "sea fortress". The attribution of such a challenging name to reveal the importance that the village covered the stretch of coast between Capo d'Orlando and Cape CalavĂ , by virtue of its particular geographical and strategic position and the port of Brolo was the only one present in this stretch of coastline, marked by the geographer Idrisi in 1154 under the name of Marsa Daliah, almost certainly was protected by a building used as the initial sighting of the Saracen ships.
Brolo is a beautiful town. It has a seawall with a nice wide sidewalk to stroll on (sort of reminded me of Galveston AND that's just what the people in the town were doing. Everyone was bundled up and had the strollers out. It was nice to see people out!


I am assuming that this is for bands to play under in the summer. The beach is on the other side. Can you imagine how great it would be to be out in the evening and hear music while you stroll along the beach or be under this roof and dance? This house is right across the street from the roof(?). You could sit out on your aptio in front of your place and enjoy the music. This house was really nice looking the photo does not do it justice!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

still looking for a place

Today we were out driving around again. There was a piece of land on the internet that sounded interesting. We were trying to find it, which we didn't. It's hard because most roads have no signs and the realtors won't tell you where they are. We have the realtors from last weekend hounding us even though we told them that we didn't care for the house.

The town that we were looking around today is called Spadafora. It's gorgeous. The
architechture is different from where we live.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What is this?

When I was typing the title I thought of that old Saturday night live skit with Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd - What the hell is that? Anyone remember it? It's a classic, right up there with Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, pepsi!

This piece is sitting in the front of a house, on the sidewalk (obviously). What is it? Where did it come from? Is it as old as it looks?

I think it's cool! I must try to ask someone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I went out a picked these from the tree in our tiny yard. I made a liter of lemonade. The King and Litle P wanted some for their lunches the next day and then the drank the rest! We need to stop at the mercato in Falcone on Sunday morning and get some. The woman that lives right behind us (she's only arond PT) had a whole tree filled with lemons. Really ripe nice looking ones. I am tempted to get in there and pick some but with my luck I'd break a leg!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Out and About Today

Since it was a lovely day today, Litle P and I went out for a walk (well, she was on roller blades)after she came home from school. We went around our town and snapped some photos. We stopped and got a gelato. She got a large lemon and I got a tiny strawberry for €3. Not bad.

A few months ago, the children from the elementary school planted some palms at the park where Padre Pio's statue resides. That's only one of them. The other is at the beginning of town. After "talking to my friend, Gil, on FB yesterday about Padre Pio I decided to walk over there and get a few photos.

It's a nice little park. You can sit and enjoy the statue or pray or whatever you want. It's away from the center of town so it's peaceful there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweets from a roll...

I bought this at Ipercoop the last time we went. I haven't had food like this since before we left the US. I comes from France. When you open the roll and separate the six pieces of dough, you place the little chocolate sticks on there and roll!Then place them on the baking sheet and bake.

They looked and smelled so good!

Boy, were they delicious too! I must buy some again!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fooling around on you tube!

I found some videos taken inside the church I posted about the other day. Don't tell! THese were made by a guy that lives in our town. The mosaics are fantastic.
This next one is from out of a window in the church. You can see how high the mountain is.
In this one you can see the houses near the church

Saturday, January 16, 2010

House Hunting Part 2

Read part 1 first!!
5. The King's nephew's FIL (Carmello) took us to see the next one. It was a villa but old. The outside needed a lot of work. The plaster was cracking and you could see the rebar! But the inside was nice. It was dated (probably built in the 70's) but it was cool. You could tell it would get a lot of light. It had 2 bathrooms, one on each floor (and the toilets were not next to the tub/shower areas - I hate that!). It had 3 nice sized bedrooms on the 2nd floor, along with a storage room big enough to put a little office in! There was a small terrace outside the 3rd bedroom and balconies off the other bedrooms. But not much yard. There was a street in the front and one right in the back of the house. I didn't bring the camera because I knew the King wouldn't like it. The price is €320,000. Too much!

6. The realtor took us to another place he had. We knew it would be too small but we said we would look.

The outside area is so cute but the realtor could not find the key but he said it only had one bedroom. That won't work.

7. The same realtor took us to see some townhouses he is building. The King didn't like it. We would have to buy 2 and @ €130,000 each too much for too little. It was nice area though. Right across the street from the elementary school but you would get jammed up twice a day and wouldn't be able to come or go.

8. Carmello pointed out an apt. that was for sale. The King doesn't want an apt.

9. The house above. The price is €290,000. It has a garage, another outbuilding, kitchen, living room, 3 bathrooms (nice) and 4 bedrooms and the terrace that they closed in. There is 14,000 mq of land with mostly olive trees. It was nice but the front door opens into the kitchen. There is a covered patio arond 3 sides although the back side isn't very wide. It was a cement driveway and a gate at the top, so you can't get unannounced visitors. The roof would have to be replaced.
It just didn't grab me. Know what I mean?? I think we are gonna pass on this one too!
Stay tuned!

House Hunting

We have been doing some house hunting. Right now we are living in a small apt. with very noisy neighbors above us. Right now they are banging repeatedly on the floor (our ceiling). We have neighbors across the street with those yippy little dogs. Yipping all the freaking time....

1. The King's niece's husband took us up to a town called Milici to look at a house. It was small. We did not get to see the inside. But we really would like a yard.

2. The King's BIL took us to see an apt on the primo piano on the other side of town. Once again too small and kinda gross!

3. This house (above). Beautiful on the outside. Lovely terrace. We could drive inside the fence and park. But the inside....not so good! The front door enters into the kitchen, a big no-no for me! No kitchen cabinets, instead they built a huge island to put the appliances into. I refuse to walk from one side of the kitchen to use the stove and walk to the other side to use the sink. Where does the food go and the dishes???? They also had an unfinished wood stove/chimney right inside the door. I wish I would have taken the camera that day. No room for a table either.

The bathroom was hideous. They said it was a new build but that toilet was OLD!! No tub. Some weird shower set up with a huge built in seat. I couldn't figure out how a person would wash themselves.

2 bedrooms (we need 3)...the first would barely fit a matrimonial bed. No room for an armadio. Plus the back door was in there! WTF! The second bedroom was also very small with room for a single! Where is my kid gonna play?

Then to the other side of the house - one HUGE room with a sink cabinet in the middle. A huge barn type door in the wall.

Then they told us they wants €325,000 for it. Forget that one!

4. This is the next house we saw. It had a lovely patio but the house was just too small and the bathrooms were gross. And there was a spiral staircase. The man wants €195,000. Forget that one!

This post is getting long...I must make a part 2.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yesterday was a nice sunny day. The King and I had to go to the bank because we tried to get money from the bancomat and it ate our card...We found out it was something with the microchip or something!
We went to the store and I made some lasagna. It was great!

Now today we are back to a gray, chilly yuck day. I don't feel like doing anything...

I was thinking what photos could I post today>>>Some time ago I posted a photo of this gorgeous church that overlooks this area. We had gone up there and I took photos on my phone and then realized I cannot download them...I need a blue tooth. I know nothing about cell phones. I had one once in like 1998 and then not again until we moved here. I never turn it on.

So anyway... here's the Church of the Black Madonna!
It is so beautiful inside this church. The walls are lined with huge mosaic pictures. You can tell they are old. I wish I could have taken photos. It's not allowed plus the priest was giving a sermon while we were there. I felt I was being rude walking arounds while we was speaking but everyone was doing it.
Here's a link from another visitor.
Michelle at Bleeding Espresso has this on her blog. She got a photo of a mosaic.
This photo was taken just down the mountain from the above photo. I don't know if it is a sculpture (the white metal church) or what??

Here's another site with some photos.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More trip photos

As we were approaching Mt. Etna we saw all these villages. They were abandoned. I don't know if people had lived there at one time and left because of the volcano or if it was another case of I have some money and some land , let's build something. There are a lot of properties that are half built here.

This place looked like it was meant to a hotel or tourist accomodations. It has a fabulous view of the volcano. Mt Etna is the most active volcano on earth!

Here it is. You can see it smoking! There's Litle P in the corner! This was a fun little trip for us. I think our next foray may be to Cefalu or Erice. Who knows!

I wonder how much snow if up thee now since it has gotten a little cooler here. Dec 31st was so warm we were in short sleeves.

More about Mt. Etna: