Sunday, 30 August 2009

WHB# 198 - aromatic salt

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
this week we are hosted by a very dear friend of mine..
rachel from
The Crispy Cook
thank you so much for hosting, rachel! :)

the WHB idea is kalyn's,and now kept by haalo .

thank's both of you :)

if you would like to join, please read the rules

to know the order of hosting please read here

today is a very special day here on this side of the Garda Lake. we are celebrating Santa Rosa from Lima*, and with today officially the summer season of celebrating mass in all the small churches around Monte Baldo, is overof course, the turist season is still on! :)

that will officially finish with the wine festival in the beginning of October, here in Bardolino..if you ever plan a journey to this part of Italy, consider coming in October. this is real fun:)))

this is my friends and me at the Telegrafo today. we had a beautiful and relaxing day up there.


santa rosa mix

santa rosa del telgrafo 10 agosto 2009 061
original recipe Nilla Bertani
sale aromatico1
you need:
coarse salt (possible marine)
and if you like:
pepper in grains
junipers in grains
pick your herbs on a very sunny day, at noon is the best because they well perfum at most.
let them dry a couple of days on a cloth in the sun. (recover in the evening) put in a mixer o blender together with coarse salt (non more than 500gr at the time) until pulverized.
then let dry again on the cloth for an other couple of days.
use and give away generousely


* santa rosa from lima died on the 24 august 1617, but she is celebrated the day before the 23august, as the 24 august is the feast of San Bortolomeo. I couldn't find any notion on why she is been celebrated in the little church (named after her) in the hut G. Barana - Telegrafo (monte baldo) and why not on 23 august but on 30th. when I find out I will add notions.
she is the patron saint of the gardeners and florist....and beeing envoked in family quarrels and vulcanic eruptions. (strange combination, isn't it?)
I would like to leave you with to photos of the colour of the sunset and the clouds yesterday evening.
have a nice week :)

sunset 29 agosto 2009


Sunday, 23 August 2009

WHB #197 - obscure delirium liqueur


ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
this week we are hosted by Prof. Kitty from The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty
thank you so much, Kitty for hosting!! :)

the WHB idea is kalyn's,and now kept by haalo .
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

I was very active in an Italian food forum between 2004-2007.
that was my first experience in the web, and I was very thrilled.
I learned a lot in matter of cooking, how to choose ingredients,
how to put them together, what to combine and many other things.
But the best part of all this was that I made acquaintance with a bunch of other people
with the same passion as! :)
one of thoose was Filippo, he is a young man from Parma,
now living in New Zeeland. we had a lot of fun exchanging liqueur
recipes, trying one an the others, inventing new ones, trying old ones.
this is one of his special recipes, with a very affascinating name :))))
obscure delirium liqueur
you need:
300ml of alcohol 95°
300ml of water
200gr of sugar
2 branches of fresh rosmary
20 leaves of fresh salvia
20 leaves of fresh laurel
put the herbs and the alcohol in a big glass jar.
close the lid and let marinate for two weeks.
prepare the sugar syrup:
boil the sugar in the water for 10min.
let cool completely* and add to the herbs.
filter twice and pour in bottles.
let rest in a dark, cool and dry place for 2 months.
it is very important that the syrup is completely cold when you
add it to the alcohol.
if not, you liqueur will be muddy
and there is no way to get it limpid an clear again, how much you filter.
I usually do the syrup in the evening and let it cool all the night
until the next day.
the magical with this liqueur is that you will see it turn from a beautiful
green colour to red rubin colour when it is ready after 2 months.
it could be a very nice home made gift for Christmas :)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

peach chutney

1chutney pesca1

august is the month of doing conserves of any kind.
the weather is very hot, so the fruit and vegetables ripes very quickly,
and that means that you have to leave anything you are doing
and move into the kitchen...
sweating, gasping, burning...
but, when you are finished, cleaning the mess
and looking at all the glass jars
in every cupboard, on any shelf, behind any closet...
the satisfaction is enormous, almost oversized :)))

in these days my friends Luciana, Alessandra and Luciano have
overwhelmed me with fruit and vegetables of all kinds.
yesterday they gave me 2,5kg of Borlotti beans (pinto beans)!!!

this recipe is not tipical indian, it is more sweet-hot in taste.

Peach Chutney

2chutney pesca2

you need:
1kg of peaches (stoned and peeled)
120gr of white vine vinegar*
1 big onion
250gr of cane sugar
1 tbsp of ground coriander
3 cloves
70gr of fresh ginger (peeled and cut in pieces)
put the spices in a pot and heat up. use a pot with high edge, as the coriander "jumps".
let heat up for ca 2 minutes.
then add the peaches cut in pieces and the sugar.
let cook for 1 hour.
let the chutney rest over the night.
the next day, heat it up again and let cook for another 30min.
pour in clean jars, close the lids tight and put up-side-down.
leave the jars so until they are completly cool.
store in a cool, dark and dry place.
let rest for a month before using.
*for a stronger taste you can use red vine vinegar.
for a "hotter" chutney you can add 1 or 2 chilis.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

gazpacho..or almost..


it is so hot in these days, over 40° in the shadow..I don't even want to know how warm it is in the sun! :)))
I thought nobody would have liked to do trekking in this heat, but I was wrong!
(that is not including, simo, monica, laura and me, of course:))))))
today, I had to german turists.
I wanted to be angry with them,
but when they said they were on honeymoon, I just melted :))
they were sooooo cute!
and the love I saw in her eyes when he discussed with me about Dante, was..
so touching!
well, after 12km in the heat we all had enough!!
we struggled back to the busstaion in Castelletto, and it was such a relife
sitting in the airconditioned bus on the way back! :))

I left them in Torri, with the promise they would be back next year..
the month dosen't matter, important it is NOT AUGUST!!! :))))

back home I took out a couple of bottles of Gazpacho from the fridge.
this recipe is only similar to the original one, but it is very simple and
tasty never the less.


simil gazpacho

1kg of riped tomatoes
1 peeled cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 chili
50-80ml of white, red or apple vinegar

but the chopped vegetables in the blender.
mix for a minute on medium speed.
add the vinegar and mix on high speed for about 3 minutes.
add salt and pepper if necessary and pour in clean bottles.

it will keep 4 days in the frige.
you get two bottles of 750ml.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

WHB #196 - pickeled watermelon cubes

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
this week we are hosted by Anh from Food Lover's Journey !
thank's Anh for hosting!!

the WHB idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by
haalo .
thank's both of you :)
if you would like to join, please read the
to know the order of hosting please read here
I always try not to throw away things that can be useful.
anything that can be eaten or composteed, I keep.
some things you just have to throw away
even if it is a pity, like eggeshells
but eggshells is not good for the soil,
producing to much chalk and limestone (calcite).
for a while I used them in the Thermomix,
some eggshells, water and the turbo.
it got so clean and beautiful inside!
but, disintegrating the eggshell became like powder
limestone powder that attached to all the parts of the motor.
terrible to get away!!
sooo, no more using eggshells for cleaning!
in the last years I always made jams of the watermelon peels we left over.
but in one of my preserve recipe books
I found this recipe that thrilled me.
sooooo, why not try it! :)))
pickeled watermelon cubes
recipe from:

"preserves, jams, pickles and liqueurs"
Lindy Wildsmith

bucce D
you need:
300gr of watermelon peel
100ml of white vinegar
150gr of sugar
5 whole ground cloves
1 piece of ground cinnamon
1 piece of fresh ginger (crushed)
clean the peel, eliminate the red part left over and cut in small cubes.
put the watermelon cubes in a bowl
pour over the vinegar and 100ml of water and let rest over the night.
the next day let strain in a colander, and put on a dishcloth
for a couple of hours to dry.
in the meanwhile prepare the sirup:
350ml of water, 150gr of sugar and all the spices.
let cook for 10min, until the sugar is melted,
and the add the watermelon cubes.
cook for 3 minutes, and the then remove them with a skimmer.
put the cubes in small clean glass jars.
let the sirup cook until it withdraws until half
remove the spices,
and pour over the watermelon cubes.
close the lid and put away.
conserve in a cool, dark and dry place for one month before using.
this is very nice together with smooked ham or
ovencooked ham, or try with cheese.
deliciuos!! :)))

bucce mix 1

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


mmmmm..this you just have to try!

it is a tipical Tuscany recipe, given to me by my Tuscan friend Rosanna!
you should use the Tuscan white bread made without salt to make the perfect dish,
but you can also use some integral whole wheat bread as I did! :)

pane semintegrale1


serving 2 persons

200gr of bread
white vinagar to cover
1 sweet red onion (tropea)
1 cucomber
2 tomatos
fresh basil leaves

tore the bread in pieces and put in a bowl, cover with the white vinagar and let marinate until thre bread is well drenched.
in the meanwhile wash and chop the vegetables.
put in a large bowl.
squeeze the bread and crumble it in the bowl with the vegetables, mix well
and add the torned fresh basil leaves. mix again and put in the fridge until
you serve.
add some extra vergine olive oil before serving.
serve in high glass for example as a appetizer :)


Sunday, 9 August 2009

WHB #195 - Elder Berry Jelly

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.
we are hosted by Dhanggit from Dhanggit's Kitchen
thank you for hosting Dhanggit!

the WHB idea is kalyn's,
and now kept by haalo .
thank's both of you :)

if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read here

one of the interessting things working as a trekking guide
is that you get to know a lot of people.
almost every time there is someone new.
we talk about everything, it is strange how
walking can get even therapeutic! :)
in fact I read somewhere, that they call it
Deep Walking, not just Nordic Walking anymore.
I just adore this, it richen me so much doing this job.
so may things to learn, so many things to know..

not just problems or jokes...we exchange recipes also!
like in the previous post, this is also a recipe given me
by on of the persons that has come trekking with me.
Martina is the first girl on my right,
the other two are Ruth, and Carola

this recipe is Martina's!

gelatina di bacche di sambuco2

elder berry Jelly

you need:

1kg of elder berries

1 liter of water

300ml of red wine

5 junipers berries

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1kg of castor sugar or

500gr jelly sugar 2:1

wash the berries under running water
cover with water and let boil for 10min.
filter the berries.
(you should get ca 600ml of syrup)
and then add the
wine, sugar and the spices.
mix and let rest over the night.
the next day boil for 6 min if you use the jelly sugar
1 hour if you use normal sugar.
pour in clean jars and close lid tight.
let cool up-side-down.
store in a cool, dark and dry place.
let rest for an other 2 weeks.

this jelly is very nice together with
roastbeef f.ex or
soft cheese like Robiola.


doing jellies are a little more difficult than making normal jams and marmelades
this is becuase, it is difficult to understand when the jelly is ready.
it is liquid when you pour it in jars, and it solidifcates only when cooled.
the solidification process, can take up to 12hours.
you can try the consistance dropping some jelly on a cool plate
(let the plate rest in the fridge 15min before using)
wait a couple of minutes and then incline the plate
if the jelly sips very slowly or doesn't move at all,
it is ready.
remember to take the pot of the heat while doing the "jelly test"
this is a very good test to do,
everytime you are not sure that your marmelade or jam is ready.

this is Garda Lake early this morning, have a nice Sunday!

domenica 9 agosto 2009

Sunday, 2 August 2009

WHB #194 - Home made Sherry

home made sherry mix

ciao and welcome to this week's herbal blogging.

we are hosted by Anna from Anna's Cool Finds
thank you for hosting Anna!

the WHB idea is kalyn's, and now kept by haalo .

thank's both of you :)

if you would like to join, please read the rules
to know the order of hosting please read

walking up and down the Monte Baldo (the mountain chain looking over the Garda Lake)
we allways get to know a lot of different persons.
sometimes we just say hallo, other times we sto and talk..
ignazio-fiorio mix

or as in this case, we change recipes :))
talking about liquors and grappas, Ignazio and Florio gave me there special
Home made Sherry recipe.
I've tried is WOW! :)))

marasca mix

this morning I went with my friends to collect more marasca cherry leaves :)))

home made sherry4

original recipe from Ignazio

150 Marasca leaves *
1 liter of very very good red wine
(you better quality of wine, the better sherry)
1/4 of pure alcohol at 95°

pick your Marasca leaves in a field or garden, away from roads and to many houses.
dust them, and give a quick wash.
put to marinate in the wine for 4 days.
just leave them outside, if not to cold.
not in the sun.

after 4 days, filter and add the alcohol.
try at once! :))
then let rest for one or two months before using.
store in a cool, dark and dry place.

brigidaa_te :
marasca cherries is a kind of cherry tree.
Prunus avium
The wild cherry or gean is common right across europe. All of the cultivated cherries are derived from this tree, so as you might expect there's a huge amount of variation between the fruit. They can be anything from harsh, acidic, almost inedible little lumps to beautiful, succulent and sweet. You can only really tell by tasting them, but if you find a tree that gives you fruit you like then you can visit it year after year.

The fruit are ready around June, but be quick about picking them or the birds

will beat you to them.
with courtesy of Cab's Wild fruit page
here you can find other interessting things about the wild cherry tree.

perhaps you know the Maraschino wich is made of this fruit.
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