28 February 2006

On This Icy Tuesday~

Well, my first entry from work, I thought I would post another image of Siracusa. In this icy cold weather, it does the body good to think about summer holidays in Sicily-- funny thing is that when I am walking or driving about in Italy, I have to work hard to restrain myself from taking thousands of photos like this one, of flowers or people or ancient chairs or hanging laundry on balconies. Antonio doesn't quite understand my captivation with these little domestic vistas, and his nonna Enza was perplexed when I asked to take a photo with her lowering her basket affixed to a string down from her balcony. She uses it to purchase things from the street vendors who begin yelling about the quality and prices of their wares at about 7 am!

I think my affinity for these picturesque balconies has to do with the fact that they are emblematic of a life lived out in the open air. Maybe also with being nosy about how others homes are ordered and how others live in general! Also there is something to be said for surrounding one's day to day life with little bits of beautiful things--I think this is something that was lost in the planning and architecture in North American towns and cities. Although I love our apartment for its character and age (I believe the building was built in the 1920's), I miss having a balcony dearly--for placing flowerpots and sipping the morning's coffee, or just for sitting and reading in the sun. I told Antonio that when we move to Italy, a balcony is mandatory, even in a rental, and he assured me that it would be hard to find a place without one.

On the marmalade I made on Saturday night: I cut the peels very thick, and while it made a nice syrupy concoction, it is too sweet for me and will be reserved for baking (and Antonio's toasts). I have since concluded that I went wrong by using seedless navel oranges in a recipe for Seville orange marmalade--I would like to try a recipe that uses the peels but also the ground up pulp of the oranges, like the one I found in Bitter Almonds (which calls for a meat grinder--maybe I can use the food processor?) On a weekend shopping trip to Highland Farms, I got a hold of some Seville oranges, those ugly things, so any recipes (or links to such) for a good marmalade would be appreciated!

5 Comments:

Anonymous linda said...

No recipe for orange marmalade I'm afraid...but if you decide to try the orange marmalade teabread recipe on my blog...it's even better with dark brown sugar as you suggested...tried it last week.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Gorgeous balcony. At the moment I'm reading Sicilian Carousel by Lawrence Durrel(written in 1976). I think I need to add Sicily to my list of places to visit.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Linda~ I think I will try that orange marmalade bread tonight--seems like a good way to use up some of my good- but- not- quite- set marmalade. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Barbara~ I know, I would love that balcony to be mine! Something to day dream about... I need to visit the library soon for a new load-- I will try to find that book. Sicily is an amazing, off-the- beaten- track place to visit--good for the traveller who likes avoiding hoards of tourists!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous kitschenette said...

I made some seville orange jam a few weeks ago, and it is lovely, not too sweet at all. There is a recipe of sorts here, if it's nto too late:
http://kitschenette.typepad.com/redkitchen/2006/01/bittersweet.html

lovely blog, btw!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Thanks for visiting kitschenette! I will take a look at your recipe since I have a large bowl of Seville oranges awaiting my attentions in my kitchen....

9:10 AM  

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