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Posts Tagged ‘Certaldo Onions’

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

2018-08-19 08.38.29I know you will forgive me for starting this blog with an emotional outburst about the state of our roads and bridges.  Last week was the great holiday exit to the coast and mountains, so the roads were full of happy Italians heading off for their little bit of paradise, meeting up with family and friends, some never made it…….  The loss of so many lovely people with the collapse of the Morandi Bridge is unforgivable.  There will be thousands of people counting their blessings, including ourselves, who have driven over the same bridge in the past.  We have lived here in Tuscany for fourteen years.  The first thing that hit us was the terrible state of the roads.   Roadworks and bridge repairs are started and left unfinished, the weeds taking over and years passing before the work is completed; some never finished.  We see it every day!  Thank you for listening.

20180603_104928Meanwhile, families gather round and support each other, many still on holiday and so help them, they will still enjoy the rest of the time they have on the beach.  August is not our most favourite month of the year, but nevertheless, when we sit under our big ash tree and gaze across these Chianti Hills towards San Gimingiano and beyond, where our lovely family lives, we are reminded just how lucky we are.

2018-08-19 14.15.44Other things to celebrate include Our local restaurant, C’era una Volta, which continues to serve up the best Tiramusu in Tuscany,

2018-08-18 09.07.04And, Jam Caffe in Certaldo, which continues to make the best early morning pastries  and our lovely local Villagers in Fiano who continue to smile and greet us like we are old friends.  Life eeez good, Life eeez now.  Fotos J Finnigan

And, some good news for us fashionisti.  Autumn fashions are starting to appear in the shops and newspapers.  This is my time of year for both the colours and the styles, and as my man and I will be off for a short luxury break on the coast in the near future, its time to check my wardrobe.

2018-08-18 09.49.48I love this outfit in the foto, which I spotted in La Republica.  Luisa Spagnoli website is one of my favourite Italian designers.  Did I tell you that I have dropped a dress size after I stopped drinking alcohol last January?  Living in Tuscany surrounded by vineyards is wonderful, but it can also have its negative effects.  No my friends, this does not mean I will never drink a glass of Chianti wine again, but it may be some time before I do!  Salute x

And, down in our local town Certaldo, it is time to celebrate that beautiful glossy red onion, with La Sagra della Cipolla, famous for its flavour and uniqueness.  I may have mentioned before, but I keep a stock of Certaldo Onion Marmalade in my cupboard; it’s delicious.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to celebrate and be grateful for in beautiful Tuscany.

Have a great week and do drop me a line and/or visit my author site at My site

Salute June x

PS  Just sending off my short story & thriller ‘The Man in Black’ for publishing.  It will be available to download free, so watch this space!

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all My Lovely Followers

2017-09-04 13.39.54We have just had heavy overnight rain.  “So what?” I hear you say.  The UK has virtually had no summer and we are excited about the arrival of rain!  Yes, I know, large parts of the World have been deluged with terrible storms and our thoughts are with those people struggling with loss of life and property.  But, here in Tuscany, it has been over three months without a drop of the refreshing stuff.  Now the countryside smells wonderfully damp and the vines are sighing with relief.  The crazy thing is, until today it has been too hot  to work outside, now it is too wet!  But lets move on…. Foto Storms clouds arriving, J Finnigan.

Meanwhile, down in Certaldo, the Saturday morning market arrived as usual, with all the local growers selling seasonal fruit and veg.  2017-09-09 09.39.14Last week I mentioned the Certaldo Red Onion and was disturbed to hear a tourist guide beside me telling a group of American tourists all about the onion, whilst standing next to baskets of red onions that were, in my opinion, the Statina variety and not the bright red Vernina as she was indicating.  You really do need to know your onions in Certaldo and it’s important to ask the vendor if they are ‘The Certaldo Onion’ and which variety they are.  Now I am not trying to be clever here , and I would be very happy to have one of you knowledgeable readers put me right, if you think I am wrong!  See Foto.  Also, you cooks out there could tell me, which are the best varieties for the various cooking methods.  Grazie Mille!  Foto J Finnigan.

2017-09-02 13.18.23It is also the season for Fichi (figs to you and me) and at Ristorante C’era Una Volta in Lucardo, they were on the menu last week.  Paolo the owner, grows all his own fruit and veg and the freshly picked Fichi were not going to last long.  So I had my fill on two separate days in the week!  Yummy.  Foto J Finnigan.

Ok, enough 2017-09-07 08.45.03about food!  Back in our local village of Fiano and over coffee, I read  a fascinating article by Paolo Pejrone in La Repubblica, about ‘walking’ Olive Trees.  Well, you only have to see the pictures to understand why, and amazing to look at they are too.  As olive trees get older they can take on the most amazing shapes and characters!  Fotos Alejandro Chasklelberg.

2017-09-06 09.01.03Meanwhile, the Regional Election in Sicily is hotting up and it seems that the Rock Star of Politics, Beppe Grillo’s Five Star party, is currently slashing its way through the front-line.  I love this magazine cover that depicts his rivals as either blind or struggling to see.  But I am glad to see Silvio on the hustings promoting his Forza Italia party, it certainly puts the colour back in.  I’ll just go and check when the elections actually take place, so don’t go away, I’ll be back in a minute….  OK, that didn’t take long; the election is on 5th November and the winning party will be found using some kind of complicated ‘proportional representation’ system.   Whoever wins, the current President Rosario Crocetta will go, as he has not been candidated by his own party due to lack of popularity!  I won’t go any deeper than that!  But I’ll keep you posted.

From a personal point of view, I will be back into my fourth book ‘Assassin’s List’ next week and organising a big marketing splurge of my three published books in the series ‘The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde,’ in time for Christmas.  So watch out for that.  There’s nothing like unwrapping a new paperback book at Christmas!  Visit my site at June’s author site  or any Amazon site around the world, or simply Google June Finnigan.  If you want to be notified directly of the Christmas promotion, send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you.

Salute June x

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Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Mimosa blossom in mid-January! foto P Finnigan

Mimosa blossom in mid-January!
foto P Finnigan

Very cold here, but bright sunshine and amazingly the Mimosa tree is already in blossom.  The Mimosa flowers are very sought after on La Festa Delle Donne, which does not normally arrive until the first weekend in March.  So we have a dilemma.  The beautiful yellow flowers are already out and they will definitely not survive until March, when bunches are cut and given to all one’s favourite female family members and friends.  Yes, I know, its much the same all over Europe, a long drawn out Autumn and then a sudden turn to cold weather when plants and trees have already been fooled into believing it is spring already!

Certaldo's history of slow food. La Nazione

Certaldo’s history of slow food.
La Nazione

Down in Certaldo, where we are more often to be found having our coffee, I read an article in the paper about Certaldo’s history and slow food.  The area does produce its own seasonal fruit and veg, cheeses and meats.  The most well-known veg is the Red Certaldo Onion.  A delicious sweet onion that is often turned into marmalade or bottled in olive oil.  I use them for everything, including frying in butter and piling into baked potatoes. Mmmmm.

Made in Italy - mens fashion article. La Nazione

Made in Italy – mens fashion article.
La Nazione

Also in the paper, there was an article on men’s fashion, ‘Made in Italy.’  Now the Italians much prefer to buy Italian.  Bright peel off stickers will be found on ready-made clothes, sporting the green, white and red of the Italian flag.  This does not necessarily mean you are paying more for the privilege as, unfortunately, Italian clothing workers are not paid high wages.  Of course these days, a lot of migrants are also being paid to do it.  But the quality of Italian clothes remains high.  Unlike, for example, Marks & Spencer in the UK, who I used to depend on for good lingerie; the finishing on knickers is awful and needless to say, produced in India or Pakistan.

The James Bond Archive Book foto J Finnigan

The James Bond Archive Book
foto J Finnigan

But enough of that.  You may remember it was my man’s birthday last week and I bought him, amongst other things, The James Bond Archive Book.  It’s immensely heavy, but beautifully put together and covers all the films in pictures and print right up to Skyfall.  Yes, OK, I confess I do love the Bond films and perhaps I wanted it too, well just a little….  The Italians also love James Bond, and the gorgeous Daniel is often in the news.

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday. La Nazione

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday.
La Nazione

A huge percentage of Italian women, and a sprinkling of men, are still having imaginary affairs with their own star Silvio Berlusconi.  Putting aside the politics, he was once a singer of ballads by the way, at the age of seventy-nine he still has charisma, perfect hair and a perma-tan.  The fact that he is short and rotund, does not seem to matter!  Of late he has been regularly back in the news and here he is attending a ninety-fifth birthday party.  Yes, another foto opportunity.

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill. Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill.
Photo P Finnigan

Well, here in my studio, the work is piling up.  No, I am not swanning around like Farty Barty the cat, I am currently busy writing a Cyber Crime Thriller for a client, my third ‘Joanna Wilde’ novel titled ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and putting in several days work each week with my company.  But ‘life eeeez good, life eeeez now’ as the Italians like to say, in Italian of course.

OK, time to get this post edited then off to ‘C’era Una Volta for lunch.

Have a great week, do drop me a line and visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

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