Gardening 2020

Hello everyone!

It’s been some years since I last started to learn about vegetable gardening. Growing vegetables in a small space, applying the method of companion planting and in some way helping the environment. I also learned a lot about plants and the pleasure it gives just by seeing them grow.

Sowing and reaping.

Kale, Chards, Calendula and Borage
Swiss chards
30 sq. meters and 3 plots (18 sq. meters) with at least 3 kinds of plants each. Tomatoes, Borage, celery, some onions and some strawberry plants.
Not only vegetable plants but flowers too! flowers attract useful insects and helps them too!
Tomatoes…
Corn, squash and beans… an experiment 🤔
Cucumber plants, pole beans, tomatoes and eggplants…

Someone said “The love of gardening is the seed once sown that never dies“

Wishing everyone a beautiful and restful weekend!

It’s Friday!

Hello everyone! Aside from the fact that today is the last day of a working week for me and in the past days, here in the province of Treviso, it has been raining since the time we planted the crops (27th of April) for our vegetable garden and I thought of how companion planting helped us to have a good harvest every year without using pesticides. The following are my favorite plant combinations:

1.) Tomatoes + Onions + Basil + marigolds

2.) Beans + Eggplants + Celery + Marigolds

3.) Bell peppers + Spinach + Marigolds

4.) Beans + Cucumbers + Nasturtiums

And…flowers everywhere!

Wishing everyone a restful and happy weekend!

Pinza or “Pinsa” in Veneto

There are certain delicacies that remind me of a tradition of a certain region of a certain country but it often brings me back memories of certain significant persons in my life who have taught me the value of what it is like to be a part of a family, a social group or simply, the essence of what life is all about. For me, it’s the beauty of a flower, a hug, a simple “hello!”, a smile…feelings that continue to evoke heartwarming memories that the passing years can never erase.

This recipe is one of those beautiful memories of how simple it truly is to share a part of ourselves to others. Thank you Ciso because through you, I have learned another important tradition of a Region, in a country who in all these years, have given me so much.

These are the ingredients:

A liter of milk

400 grams breadcrumbs

A pinch of salt

250 grams dried figs, cut in small pieces

250 grams raisins

100 grams fennel seeds

2 eggs

1/4 glass of corn oil

1 apple, in thin slices

1/2 glass of Grappa (Grappa is an alcoholic beverage produced in Italy)

16 grams baking powder, sifted

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of sifted flour

150 grams of walnuts ( 50 grams for the topping, the rest in the cake mixture. Oh! This is optional since I just added this ingredient to see if it will add a more interesting taste to the recipe).

Breadcrumbs + milk. Soak for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients except 50 grams of walnuts (to be placed on top of the cake before baking it).

Mix well.

Line with wax paper a rectangular baking tin (I’ved always seen this cake baked on a rectangular baking tin. Tradition?)

Preheat oven for 15 minutes at 200°C

Bake this special and traditional cake at 200°C/1 hour and 10 minutes.

Serve this with Vin brulè (aromatic wine – white wine/red wine, a piece of apple, a stick of cinnamon and 2 or 3 cloves. Some would add even a piece of orange. You can find the recipe in the web)

Tonight will be a special night for most living here in the Veneto region. A very big bonfire will be lighted in Arcade, a town in the province of Treviso, and a lot of persons will be celebrating “Panevin”. They believe that the direction of the smoke will indicate whether the new year will be prosperous or not. I really hope it will be an abundant year for all.

This is what was left after distributing a piece to some friends. 😊

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Gardening…

Thanks to some YouTubers who found time to share their knowledge to someone like me who is interested in cultivating vegetables, this is my third year of what I can say, a successful and satisfying way of growing vegetables using a way which is nature friendly. Companion planting. I just hope that this year’s harvest will be as satisfying as it was in these last two years! By planting together plants who benefit each other I can harvest fresh vegetables for the whole summer. Oh! Suddenly a thought came to me, it seems like even in the plant world the theory of having a group of plants that benefit each other means a good harvest and this, I believe, is also true in our world as individuals. If we are circled with the right/positive persons we can create good things. We can have access to true happiness.

I planted marigolds, zinnias and calendulas. In the end, I think I have a vegetable-flower garden!

Seeing different plants growing together in perfect harmony gives me that profound joy, it’s like seeing and touching the essence of life. After all, for me, true happiness is often found in simple things.

Oh! What about these fairy gardens? They also attract bees, butterflies and useful insects

The joy of harvesting vegetables from my vegetable garden and realizing that companion planting is an effective way of growing vegetables. Who really needs pesticides?

Brownies – M&M’s with peanut butter

During my trip to America, I bought a pack of M&M with peanut butter and at the back of the pack there was a recipe for Brownies with M&M with peanut butter. I was really curious to try the recipe since it is a family tradition to prepare brownies during the Christmas season at home. I thought, I like this new version of M&M’s with peanut butter so I decided to try this recipe for this holiday season…

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So…

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And finally…

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Very delicious and as for calories …🙀 but what counts is the fact that I was able to prepare this recipe and learned that I could adapt it to my needs like: put 1/3 less sugar, 1 egg less, 1 cup less of M&M’s with peanut butter and 50 grams more of melted dark chocolate. 🤔

Happy holidays everyone!!!

La marmellata di mandarini 

I thought this jam was difficult to prepare… I was wrong! All you need are fresh mandarins, sugar, some water and most of all a lot of patience…😊

  
Ingredients:

1 chilo and 350 grams of peeled and seeded mandarins. 

1 cup of water

600 grams sugar

150 grams of Mandarin peels

Bring to a boil above ingredients. Continue stirring until thick or when it sets when you put a small amount of jam in a plate. It took me 1 and 1/2 hr but it was worth the wait!

Let cool.

In the meanwhile, clean the jars that you would be using for preserving the Mandarin jam. 

Pour the cooled jam into the jars, close the jars tigthly.

If you want to preserve this jam for a longer period of time, sterilize jars for 30 minutes. 

Biscotti al mais

For my italian friends 😘

Ricetta di un’amico chef incontrato a San Vito di Cadore, Provincia di Belluno, Italia, più di vent’anni fa. Un dono molto speciale e senza tempo. 😊

2 Uova
3 etti di zucchero

500 grammi di farina “1”

250 grammi di farina di mais

250 grammi di burro

16 grammi di lievito per dolci

Una fialetta di aroma alla vaniglia 

1/4 di cucchiaino di sale fino
Mescolare gli ingredienti sopraindicati

Lasciare riposare in frigo per un’ora

Stendere la pasta (4 mm) + tagliare nella forma desiderata

Preriscaldare il forno a 180°C/ 10 minuti

Cuocere i biscotti a 170°C – 180°C/ 10 – 12 minuti

Ciao !

   
 

Corn cookies

A special place, San Vito di Cadore, Belluno, Italy + more than 20 years ago + a kind chef + a kind gesture (this special chef shared this cookie recipe) + a treasured memory. I do believe that kind and gentle gestures always have the power to remain in the hearts of men.

It was during a warm day in Spring when I met this kind chef, he was busy preparing this corn cookie recipe while preparing tea out of freshly gathered “Sambuco” flowers. Maybe he will never know that by sharing his recipe and time he has given me and those who will learn this recipe something priceless and lasting. 

CORN COOKIES

2 Eggs

300 grams sugar

500 grams all purpose flour “1”

250 grams corn flour 

250 g melted butter 

16 g baking powder 

2 ml vanilla flavoring 

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix above ingredients well and let the dough rest for 1 hour in the fridge. 

Roll out dough + cut into desired shapes using a cookie cutter. 

Preheat oven at 180°C/ 10 minutes

Bake cookies at 170°C – 180°C/ 10 – 12 minutes

Happy baking!