Sunday, May 13, 2018

How great thou art - happy mother’s day

We were listening to our favorite Sunday morning radio program, the bbc’s “easy like Sunday morning”. It’s a fun and random compilation of easy soft pop/rock/folk songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s- a lot of Chicago and Gordon Lightfoot and George Michael. Just the exact right amount of corny for me, and of course I know all the words to every song. Immediate winner. The program ends with a segment called “in praise of god” which is a live broadcast of part of church service from a different English country church each week. The program goes from cheesey dj-ing radio to preaching without missing a beat, which only enhances the randomness of the show. Fantastic.

 This week’s “in praise” started with a hymn. Yep, actual singing from a congregation of what I can only imagine to be primarily white women of a certain age. You know, sung completely off-key and with a strident sense of duty. It’s odd how something can be so powerful and so unenthusiastic at the same time.

 This brings me to mother’s day. Hearing that hymn transported me to a church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin circa 1978 where I found myself standing between my mom and her mom, my grandma Sally, as they belted out that very song. Golly what I wouldn’t give to be standing in that pew this morning.

 For my mom, thanks for teaching me unenthusiastic power, faith, duty, and how to sing. How great thou art

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Carciofi - the recipe

So I got this WhatsApp message last week.

It was from our friend and fearless leader - Delia, the president of Maberga. (That she is, or WAS I should say, president of our consorzio has very little nothing to do with the story. I just like saying it).

For those who don’t read Italian or really blurry very small print, that says “how are you? Are you home tomorrow, I want to come see you and bring you some artichokes.”  "Thanks! Unfortunately we aren’t. Guess where we are?!”  Yeah, we were in Venice - different blog post. This one is about artichokes.

So the other day, true to her word as all presidents are, we found this hanging on the fence

I stared at them for a couple of days. All I could see was a memory —a huge pan of perfectly cooked artichokes, swimming in their own juices, and more than a little olive oil, resting on my auntie Jan’s stove top waiting for every Easter dinner in the years I was growing up.  It was sort of like magic...they were just there.  Thinking that one must be magic to make such delicious artichokes, and knowing that I am personally NOT magic, I've never tried making them. 

yeah yeah, ok. that's bullshit for the fact that I totally took the amazing food I had growing up for granted and am too lazy (and spoiled) as an adult to learn to cook.

So, to the Serpe Family hotline - home of all advice on food and everything else, solicited or not, -  I went to learn to make artichokes.

ARTICHOKES - the recipe




In case you couldn't follow the written recipe, here it is in photos.....

Friday, February 02, 2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

Saturday, December 09, 2017

what should a person do...

when she has realized all her dreams?

Take up extreme rag rugging, of course

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017 the magic number

The final frontier of the house, the kitchen.

Oh wait, not the final frontier since this the THIRD attempt to manage the electricity. In case you've forgotten, here's the first attempt....

And the second attempt

 And lucky number 3* ....

which includes 3-way switches, accessible wall plugs, a built in circuit breaker, and EXcludes any and all extension cords.  The kitchen is now also grounded so I can put the kettle on the stove in the morning in my bare feet without getting a shock.  Incredible.

Also the third try at this wall*...

But this is new - first and only attempt at a new kitchen window...



And in the 15th year we said, "let there be light."  And so there was, there is, and there ever shall be.  Amen.


* obviously the walls still need the final coat of the plaster.  stay tuned for these photos to come!