Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Olives. Olives small pearls of green laid out to dry. We picked our olives from emerald colored branches about 2 weeks ago. The leaves of the olive tree with their dark silver hue seem to glimmer in that autumn sun. After almost 10 days in a sea-salt water bath, changed everyday, the olives turn less bitter.
We put them in a big oval basket for their last wash, and rolled them onto our big volcanic top table. The sun had already warmed the table top, and now the gentle wind from the sea is blowing them dry.
Before the next step, the olives need to completely dry. Patting and turning ever so often takes out any moister.
As I write, Rino is preparing the herbs for the next step. Our jars have been boiled in hot water and dried. Peasano garlic & lemons from Positano’ garden and pepperincino-tiny red horn-like shapes with a hot bite, our red hot chilli peppers are our choices for bottling.
Pick (or buy) 3 kilos of fresh olives
Soak in sea salt and water for 10 days-or until soft, changing water each day.
Dry the olives and crack open with a hammer
Put the olives in the water bath and repeat process for 3 days
Lay out to dry on papertowels in the sun
Mix your favorite herbs-
Rino’s sea salt, red chilli pepper and garlic
Lauren’s sea salt and lemon zest
Toss herbs and olives
Jar and seal tight
Ready to eat in a week!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Italian Food News
Summer in Italy is always hot, hot, hot, and this year is no exception. Each morning by 8am the glorious sun rises early over the Tyrannian Sea peeking around Praiano onto Positano and casting temperatures at 30C., or 86Farenheit.
By mezzo giorno it is over 100F, and locals close shop and head to Da Ferdinando at Fornillo Beach. Mamma Celeste, mom to 7, grandma to 13 and great grandma to 3, is the Chef in charge. With her sons Guido & Marco, and grandsons Nando, Ferdinando and Francesco, Mamma is behind the stove and cooking! Local fresh ingredients from her garden fill the the wooden tables set under the shade. Fresh smoked Provolone grilled between lemon leaves, frutti di mare insalata, totani & patate (a local calamari and potato delicacy slow cooked), Paccheri con spada, (wide tube pasta with fresh caught sword fish slow cooked in cherry tomatoes), and lots of green bean and potato salad dressed with our olive oil are lunch specials, and a creamy gelato to follow.
With the world of Italy closing from 1pm to 4pm in the afternoon, why not head down for a beachfront pranzo at Ferdinado’s with Mamma Celestes’ & Company. Beach chairs to follow and an afternoon nap under the sun, is the recipe of the day for our long days of summer on the Amalfi Coast. Front row chairs on the seafront go fast, to reserve call Guido at 089.875.365.
A Note From The Garden
The hot and dry weather on the Amalfi Coast cultivates prolific verdant gardens climbing and cascading everywhere. Heavy pumpkin vines hang over ancient stone walls holding the heat of the summer days, while below country baskets magically suspended catch the almost ready fruit, if you can picture it! We captured a photo for Signore Antonio’s pumpkin. Signore also picked the first watermelon of the summer from our garden, we will bring it down to Ferdinando’s beach and share it -for an afternoon spuntino on the sea.
Read on and discover a few of our local summer recipes, because no matter where you are, we are sending you safe travels and great cooking from sunny Positano!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Our cooking classes, despite a slow economy, are full! We are cooking each in every day-from the small canals of Venice to sea side in Positano.