Posts Tagged ‘Panettone’

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

After this morning’s fill of SKY and BBC world news, I realise that the only way to treat all this bad news is to concentrate on all the good things in life. Here in our little bit of Tuscany on the edge of the Chianti Hills, the countryside is bathed in morning sunshine. It’s cold and frosty in the shade, but wrap up warm and it’s perfect for a country walk. Then back to light the log fire! Ah, that feels better!

It’s just six days to Christmas and my thoughts turn to our lovely family and friends and organising some video calls. Also, there is much fun in doing some on-line shopping therapy; I’ve just ordered some new leisure wear from Next Italy where they have a huge range of labels on board. My man thought I should go for more colours, rather than my usual black. As he is treating me I have chosen navy, pink and green. I have also noticed some lovely stuff on James Lakeland’s UK site which are made in Italy. Sadly, if I order stuff from the uk I have to pay a heavy import tax now, but hey ho! I just love this really colourful Christmasy retro look frock; if you like it too and are in London you could pop in and buy it whilst the shops remain open! Otherwise go to http://jameslakeland.net

Dare I say it? Yesterday I discovered another hand-made Italian handbag site. All the Italian designers are up there now. This is a godsend if you can’t get out around the shops like you used to! I love this snowy white bag with colourful changeable strap and make-up bag/purse from Elisendra. Well, I hope Father Christmas is reading this! All the presents that I know about are under the tree and it all looks very inviting. http://www.elisendra.com

Oh, I must mention that my man collected his fig and walnut Panettone from Certaldo yesterday and it came in the most delightful box! The packaging here in Italy is wonderful and you are always asked if it is for a gift. Your purchase is then immediately wrapped in colourful paper and bows and place in a luxury carrier bag! No charge.

Well, I hope you’ve got your stock of wine in for the festive period. There’s nothing quite like a warmed bottle of Chianti Classico by the side of the log fire! Put out the cheeseboard and antipasti, pour the wine and away you go! Salute!

OK, time to go and get festive! If we don’t speak again before Christmas do have a wonderful time, stay safe and I’ll see you soon xx

Buon Natale June x


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

Here in our little bit of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti it is 10 degrees centigrade, sunny but with a cold wind. However, we are expecting colder weather to reach us shortly, thus my man is currently putting covers on the vulnerable plants and has brought the lemon tree inside.

Meanwhile, we have turned our thoughts to nice hot winter foods and at the top of my list is Judy Witts Francini’s Tuscan recipe for Red Onion soup using local Certaldo red onions. Judy has posted a great article about the history of Onion soup and her website has the full Tuscan recipe for you to try. Judy, a celebrity cook, is a friend and neighbour as many of you already know and if you are not already signed up for her newsletters, you are missing out on some wonderful Tuscan recipes! http://www.divinacucina.com

Now, my man has a favourite Panettone, which is the traditional festive cake at this time of year. Here in Tuscany they come in many different flavours and his choice is walnut, ordered from the bakers in Via Giugno in Certaldo. In Italy, historical accounts of panettone invariably state that it originated in Milan. The word panettone derives from panetto, a small loaf cake. … The beginnings of this cake appear to date from the Roman Empire, when ancient Romans sweetened a type of leavened cake with honey. However, I like the following version better. One of the legends of its conception says that the person who invented panettone was the Milanese nobleman Ughetto degli Atellani who lived in the 1400s. He fell in love with Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni! But, whatever the originality, it’s hugely popular at Christmas time!

So yes, I seem to have got the Christmas bug already. Seasonal markets are popping up everywhere and there is nothing like going to Florence, even on a cold wet day. This one is in Piazza Santa Croce. Anyway, if really wet, one can always dive into a lovely welcoming coffee bar or restaurant, two more good reasons for going! Foto Corriere Fiorentino.

Now, I’m going to fast forward you to June 2022 and to be precise Friday 17th. Stefano and I have just agreed to do a Rock Chick Band Concert here in Tuscany on this date, so you must put this in your diary. If you are not already on my invitation list, send me your email and I will include you when the invites go out next year. I can’t wait, it is so exciting!

OK, Enough for now. Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers! Also, time to order your books in time for Christmas! http://www.junefinnigan.website

Have a great week,

Salute June x

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers

Rugby victory for Italy! La Nazione

Rugby victory for Italy!
La Nazione

Yesterday evening my man was jubilant!  Many of you know that we are a great Rugby family.  Most of our men have played rugby and our grandson has followed suit.  Why was my man so happy, well Italy had just beaten South Africa, a very strong team, 20-18.  So, Italy goes from strength to strength and considering Rugby is not the country’s first sport, which is football (Calcio), this is very pleasing indeed.  The new coach, Conor O’Shea, seems to be making a big difference and confidence is high.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil senza (without) palm oil. La Reppublica

Extra Virgin Olive Oil senza (without) palm oil.
La Reppublica

Anyway, what about things closer to home in our little bit of Tuscany?  The subject of pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on everyone’s lips in the caffè bar.  Are you aware that this beautiful nectar is being sold around the world, some claiming that it is pure when in fact it is ‘watered down’ by palm oil!  Now, this should be shown on the label, so read the very small print and make sure you get the real stuff.  You can always come to Tuscany and buy fresh from the producers if you fancy a little break!

Carlo and son Simone behind a pile of lovely panettone at Bar/pasticeria Fiorentino. La nazione.

Carlo and son Simone behind a pile of lovely panettone at Bar/pasticeria Fiorentino in Montespertoli. La Nazione.

Meanwhile, and in the run-up to Christmas, our part of Tuscany has been running a Panettone making contest, and we were really pleased to read in the paper yesterday that our good friends at Bar Fiorentino in Montespertoli have won the accolade!  This ‘Derby Del Gusto’ is a popular event each year and my man always takes two of the fig and walnut versions to England for friends and associates.

Grilled Porcini caps at Montalbino. Foto J Finnigan

Grilled Porcini caps at Montalbino. Foto J Finnigan

Ah, then there’s the subject of Porcini mushrooms.  Still available in the shops, markets and restaurants the big grilled caps are to die for.  My man and I went out to Trattoria Montalbino for lunch on Thursday.  This tiny family-run place is in the middle of nowhere but not far from Fiano.  They specialise in fungi and the husband goes hunting for fresh porcini and truffles.  When the season is ended they still manage to do some wonderful dishes with the dried varieties.  Visit Trattoria Montalbino, Montespertoli on Trip Advisor.  Table bookings – 0039 339 3695 121

Simple Minds in Tuscany. La Repubblica.

Simple Minds in Tuscany. La Repubblica.

And, not to forget for all you rockers like me, touring bands this week have included Simple Minds and Aerosmith.  Oh, and for all the teeny boppers we are also currently hosting Justin Bieber.  I just popped off to check out Simple Minds on YouTube and there’s some great stuff there.  You may remember their number one hit ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ in 1985.  The Scottish band was heavily influenced by Roxy Music.  Now Brian Ferry I can watch him perform anytime!  Aerosmith?  Well they are just brilliant in my mind, but tickets seem to be sold out the minute we hear about these bands; hey ho.

OK, time to go, cooking lunch at home today (Sunday) as two-thirds of the local restaurants are closed for winter holidays.

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

Salute June x

Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

My current Books.
Foto J Finnigan


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