Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm A Lot Like Julia Child!

Remember Dan Ackroyd's spoof of Julia Child cutting up a chicken? She cut her finger and it just kept bleeding. I reenacted that scene yesterday in my own kitchen.

I was slicing potatoes to make a gratin for Easter Sunday. I was using a gadget called a mandoline. There is nothing better for making uniformly thin slices. The unfortunate side of it was that my finger got in the way, and I sliced the tip off, about an eighth of an inch of it. It bled like crazy and frightened me because it wouldn't stop.

I wrapped it in gauze, then more gauze, then more gauze, as it kept bleeding through. Finally, I grabbed a box of tissues and my car keys and drove to the doctor's office, using my one good hand. I considered driving to the nearest ER but thought I would check with the doctor since that is closer. The doctor's office was very accommodating. They took one look and led me to sit down. The doctor came right out and looked at it. He held my finger between two of his own and squeezed. He said it was like using a tourniquet. Sure enough, it stopped bleeding... but every time he let go it started again. They bandaged it up and instructed me to hold it like that until it stopped bleeding. It took about an hour but it did stop.

Today I resumed cooking for Easter. My finger is a little sore, but not bad. It's not easy typing, though, with this awkward bandage on my right hand. But, hey, I am carrying on in the spirit of Julia!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's That Time Again!

A combination of Easter and Spring Cleaning! We are moving winter things to the basement and bringing up spring and summer things. Moving furniture, changing rugs, taking down and rehanging curtains. Cleaning behind every corner. It's exhausting! The carpet cleaners are coming next week, and my husband will be out of town, so we have to get all the furniture out of they way this weekend. Next Sunday I will have a houseful of people for Easter dinner, and everything has to be ready. (I would say "perfect" but it's never perfect... just "ready" will do.)

I pulled out these photos from last year... now it's come around again.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Isle of Capri!

When my husband saw the photo below, he said, "Who are THOSE guys? I said I didn't know... just part of the scenery!)

Quoting Frommer's Amalfi Coast book:

"Capri is a dramatic rugged mountain soaring out of the sea at the tip of the Sorrento peninsula. A haunt for eccentric characters since antiquity (Roman emperor Tiberius had his pleasure villa, the Villa Jovis here), Capri has been a haunt for artists, movie stars and other VIPs in modern times."

We took the ferry from Sorrento to Capri... about a 30 minute ride.

We landed at the Marina Grande, busy with boats, taxis, motorcycles and cafes:

Then came the BEST PART! We met this local man (in the center) who offered to take us around the island in his boat.

What a great guy! He grew up on the island and knew all the interesting places and stories. For two and a half hours, he showed us the island from the water. This is the best way to see it!

We saw multi-million dollar homes perched on the mountain:

He took us to caves and coves:

So many beautiful sights on the water!

I saw this bird flying:

and this cloud that seemed to be flying, too:

He took our photo:

Then waved goodbye! (He even blew us a kiss... I love Italian men!)

We walked up the steps to the island:

Past this man enjoying the view (one of the local eccentrics?):

And... look who we saw at the top! An eccentric island cat?

The Isle of Capri... a day of sun, sea, and beautiful views. A day to remember.

Our Week in Italy (Part Three)

The Amalfi Coast drive. One of the most beautiful coastlines in the world! Everywhere you look there are postcard worthy views. I wanted to take more, but there aren't that many places to stop. It winds around the mountains, with breathtaking views at every turn.

This is one of the places where we could stop and take photos:

You can look straight down to the sea below:

On that day the sea was sparkling in the sun. It was so beautiful!

You drive for miles, then you come to towns perched on the hills. The most well known towns are Positano and Amalfi. Smaller towns along the way include Praiano, Vettiga Maggiore, Furore, Agerola, and Conca dei Marini. Don't you love those Italian names?

Here we are in Positano:

Take your time, strolling through the streets of town. There are small hotels, shops, restaurants. (Note the many motorbikes, they are a way of life here!)

Cafes with the most gorgeous views. You want to stop at every one of them. Have a glass of wine, or a limoncello.

Every town has its church. This duomo is covered with majolica:

After Positano, we drove to Amalfi.

For two centuries (roughly 800-1000 AD) Amalfi was a major maritime power in the Mediterranean. We didn't get to see much of Amalfi, because it was getting late in the day, and we had to drive back to Sorrento.

But we were ready to sit down and have a meal. We didn't stop at this place (below) but I loved their sign:

We didn't eat here either, but I loved the fact that they had their laundry hanging out, over the outdoor eating area:

This is where we relaxed over a leisurely meal, with a bottle of wine at each end of the table (not too much for the drivers, though. We had to drive back to Sorrento for the night!).

That was our day on the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Next post: the island of Capri... a day on the water.