Kalamata didn't really come thru with the olives, but Sparta did. On a chilly 24 deg day we visited the Olive Museum in Sparta, and loved it, together with the historical setting of Sparta.. Camille felt inspired to write a poem and take a video.
An Ode to Olives
Old, ancient, beautiful and delicious,
history in every bite and step.
Olive, olive, olive, castle, fortress, queen,
the difference matters not.
Each has history of its own.
It's time to make history
high up high in the sky
all around underneath you see the houses and trees.
At Every Sunday BBQ there is a French man called Maurice, he always brings pastry's (so good)! And the kids (such as myself) go trailing behind him. I like the cannolies best, second best I like the cream puffs, a layer of pastry filled with cream, the third best is a little tart thing with strawberries and other fruit on top and creamy custard inside. Um umm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Modica is a beautiful chocolate town. There is a museum there, but it was closed when we visited. So instead we went to a chocolate café for hot chocolate with whipped cream. It wasn’t as good as Florence, but it was till good. Daddy had a Moroccan coffee (which had spices and chocolate in it) and Mummy had a baroque coffee (which was coffee with cinnamon and citrus), they were very small and strong.
There was no lunch at the café (only lots of chocolate!), so we went to a bakery, I got a delicious ball of rice, called Arancini. It had some filling and was covered in breadcrumbs and fried.
Next we went to some chocolate shops we go to do taste tests. My favourites were the Trapani salt one and the Jasmine blossom one.
Modica chocolate is crunchy and grainy. It is made a special way so the sugar doesn’t melt. It is dairy free and mostly just has chocolate, sugar and flavour in it. It is yummy, but different to normal chocolate. The recipe came to Sicily a long time ago from the Aztecs in South America.
Well I have no motor to tinker with, no boat to clean, no speed enhancing things to invent and fit to Hector. I have spoken to the marina a couple of times and I understand that she is missing me as mush as I am missing her!
The other 'ladies' in my life need much less maintenance, so with the spare time on my mind, I have turned to God... just joking!...(although I did read a great book on philosophy recently, which would make an interesting post).
But yes I have a French cook book and I have started dabbling with French cuisine. I do like their slow cooking. It creates such tender juicy dishes. Last week I cooked a Pot-au-feu de Josue de boeuf (for you uncouth it means Beef Cheeks - and for mum that means casserole). The cheek is one of the most used muscles in the cow (they eat all day right), so very tough. But once the French have finished with it, it becomes softer than warm butter, juicer then the juiciest thing you can think of.
And did I mention rich. I write this as I peer over my rounding (yes I use the verb - it's still growing), stomach, and wonder if I'll get my six pack back, which only just emerged in the last few months - first time in 20 years. It's hard to find a recipe that isn't loaded with butter and cream or cheese. Then there's the chocolate, the French recipe for Beef Cheeks calls for dark chocolate. It had to be the 70% stuff and lots off it!
Well cooking is not all bad. Tonight I am cooking Choucroute garnie. This is a French Pork Belly dish with a bouillon jus. A little game...without looking up anything, the first person to add a comment on how bouillon jus is made will win a free "Sam McCully French Cooking" book.
Well, I'm no longer a cooking virgin and I've moved beyond my fathers boiled mince dish...both significant milestones in a young mans life. I'm beginning to develop some interesting insights into this cooking game. So keep an eye on Hectors website for updates. In the meantime, I have added a couple of photos to wet your appetite.
Cheers for now and remember...you are what you eat...and you become what you dream...
We've been collecting photo's of honey, it very interesting to see to how much the Europeans will spend on a pot of honey. Along way we have spotted a other bee related things.
The top price spotted works out to about $80 a kg, needless to say we didn't buy any.
We spotted some bees on the louvre. After a little investigating we've found out that the bee is a symbol used by French kings, and of course Napoleon. Paris has also been home to a bee keeping school since 1856.
After going to the wrong piazza last week, today we make it to the Thursday market. It is a half hour walk across the river to the other side of town. Most of the market is taken up with shoes and clothes. We find some great winter clothes for very little and amazing quality. Then we find the food stalls, the sounds and smells are overwhelming – and it is a lot of fun. We buy some aged goats (?) cheese with peppercorns, some salami studded with pistachios, some marinated green olives with chilli and some little biscuits of varying flavours. All very yummy!
Note the little boy on the right in the cheese stand photo – he’s got a whole salami to snack on!
Might save the salted fish for next week…
There are some yachties who come to Licata every year and know all the good places to go (very handy). They organised a dinner out at the best mussel restaurant in town, we of course went along for the experience.
The girls opted out of the mussels and instead ordered pizzas (again). After saying they couldn’t do pizza the waiter did a u turn and said they could have pizzas. All became clear when he walked through the front door a little while later with three little pizza boxes, cooked by the chefs brother at a different restaurant! Very lucky girls.
Our mussels arrived on a huge platter, and were absolutely fantastic! They had a red wine sauce with just a hint of chilli.
Uncle Paul gave us some money for ice cream's and somehow we just manage to stretch that money out to get an ice cream pretty much everywhere we go. Italian ice cream is the best. They even have this great idea of giving you two cones, one to eat and one to catch the drips.
I had my birthday in a bay called Malfatano Bay. In the morning I went to Mummy and Daddy’s room to get my present. It was a lilo and uno, the card game. Then our new Italian friends came over and they had a present for me. It was a card's from Giulia, Adriano and Romeo. When the party started there was party food, lollies, chips and sprite to drink. It was a little hard to understand them because they spoke Italian, but their Mum and Dad spoke English. We played a game of Uno and then we played with the lego, they liked playing with the lego.
Then we had cake that Mum made. It was red velvet chocolate cake [Thanks Betty Crocker!]. Then they went home and we meet them later on the beach fir a walk to the lookout. They thought there was a princess in the tower but there wasn’t. We were going to go kayaking but it was too windy so we will go another day.
Then we went out to dinner. I had spaghetti and so did Maddy and Camille. It is a fish restaurant. Mummy and Daddy had raw prawns, octopus salad, swordfish and botaga (dried fish eggs!) with spaghetti. For dessert I had an ice cream with a candle in it and the whole restaurant sang Happy Birthday to me, some in English and some Italian – it was a bit embarrassing!
On Sunday 12th of June we went to Porto Petro, Mallorca, Spain.
Despite the fact that the water wasn’t the nicest we have swam in, we went swimming. Asia, Camille and I had a lot of fun jumping in.
Then we went to the supermarket. At the supermarket we brought some postcards. I wanted to get a keyring with a lizard on it that said Mallorca on it, but unfortunately I had forgotten my money.
Later we went out to dinner at a place called Rafael y Flora (which means Rafael and Flora). There we had pizza, tapas, calamari, Mum and Dad shared a paella.
When we were done they gave us an ice cream each. Even though Asia is dairy free we persuaded her to eat it and she said it was yuck!
Then we walked back to the dinghy and went back to Hector for some sleep.
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.