May 30, 2008

Signs of Summer

my village of certaldo, all in red brick a real treasure

This year's weather has been really strange, cool rainy days, followed by steamy heat.
Not a favorite, so we must look at the good news.

Porcini mushrooms only grow on a hot day after it has rained
at a certain altitude
under chestnut and oak trees.

So something good does come of it!

Another sign of summer is the red color palate.

After the strawberries,
we are now being assaulted with tomatoes in all sizes and shapes.

For me this means it is time to make my favorite summer salad
Panzanella, Tuscany's bread salad with
ripe red tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and basil
sort of a Tuscan Taboulleh!

The stale bread is soaked and then the moisture squeezed out to create tiny little crumbs
which are then dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt!

1 pound stale bread
3 tomatoes, cut into 8ths
2 red onions, thinly slices
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
Soak the sliced stale bread in cold water for 10 minutes.
Squeeze out the water and
crumble the bread into a serving bowl.
Add tomatoes, cucumber, onions and basil.
Season with olive oil and salt.
Mix well and let sit in the refridgerator.
Before serving, add vinegar and mix again.
Serve with olive oil, vinegar, and salt on the side.

Another sign of summer are the festivals with their fabulous flea markets.

At the flea market the other day I saw these pots.
I really need a larger home so I can buy these!

And with nice weather we all look for places to sit and have a nice drink.
As I was walking down to the Duomo from the San Lorenzo Market
I saw a new wine bar!

A new wine bar located right on Borgo San Lorenzo
I had a lovely chilled Rose' and am going back when I am hungry
to try the Gorgonzola and pear panino!

wonderful wines by the glass

Borgo San Lorenzo


here are two of the new kids at our house
( 2 of the 9 kittens!)


  1. Oh my goodness, I love all the pics!! I just cant wait to come in a few weeks!!! My Italian language learning is getting better!!! :)

  2. Thanks!
    The weather has been weird, heat and rain, but like I said here, for us that means Porcini Mushrooms.

  3. Judy your kittens are so sweet! I love gatti. So we are so excited for leaving this Friday. Do you still want to try to meet up with us on Friday June 13?

  4. Sweet kittens - it is a good thing I didn't see this while we were in Italy or one might have found its way into our luggage!

    It was neat watching the colour of Tuscany change as the heat set in last week.

  5. Deb- send me a real email, I have left you messages on facebook etc.
    divinacucina at

    Jerry you could have had 9 kittens!
    two new ones just showed up yesterday too with the 4th mom,who really lives next door.

    sounds like you guys had a fab anniversary trip!