March 25, 2010

Am I one of THOSE???

distorted visions of life in Italy?? even artichokes have a prickly heart!



I have been living in Italy since 1984 and started my website in 1997. Living with slow internet connections it was hard to post often, but I put my dining guide online for Florence and Chianti, introduced you all to some of my friends and their recipes. Since 2003, I was able to start blogging, slowly, but surely and since then internet connections have gotten better, even on the hill where I live.

I try to share what's going on in my simple life- my job is food related and teaching. There is only work 6 months out of the year- so money is not flowing all over the place, but I chose a simple life style and am happy with my life here.

Then I get this:


in regard to this blog post- referring to the simple things here in Tuscany- like bread and chocolate- then drifting off to what is available here.

Whoever "me" is ( unavailable profile on blogger) perhaps has not been to Italy and does not know the cost of living here or the history of the country.

I do not write about that- but perhaps should so people do not think I am "yet another expat American gushing over the Mediterranean"

Italy is a country where the war was held for many years- and the people living here treat life with a great respect and do not waste. The reader commented on how much the "rustic" bread must have cost or the saffron chocolates".

Food is one of the most important things in the Italian life and hence also for the budget-
In America I paid $5 for a "Rustic" loaf of bread- here in Italy it is 1 euro.

Saffron grows on the hills near where I live and although is expensive, a tiny bit goes a long way and has always been used in regional dishes and is available in a less expensive powdered form for everyday use in the home.

Yes- the subtitle of my blog is " try being Tuscan once a day" and I still believe it.
When one truly lives here, like a local and not like a tourist, there are so many things to learn on living a simple but full life.

I am sorry for the person who wrote this note to me- and hope they can find a way to make the most of the simple things in life to be happier!

I have!

I have always wanted a T-shirt which says NOT FRANCES MAYES- for the problems I had restoring the tiny little piece of old farmhouse I have in Tuscany. No not a villa, a one bedroom house, which is a 1/3 piece of a old one family home, divided.

The work was started and then stopped for 8 years--- of red tape!!!

I am the last person to GUSH- since I have paid with blood, sweat and real tears for what I have here in Tuscany.

I am sure most expats that actually live here fulltime and not just in holiday homes feel the same as I do. Perhaps it is because we don't complain online about the hardships of the life we have chosen to live, which for most Americans would be unheard of such as:

Washing machines but no driers-
paying bills standing in line at the post office ( no writing a check and sending it in)
Gasoline at almost $6 a gallon

Thanks for listening to my rant!!!

Here is another reason I love Italy---- ARTICHOKE SEASON!!!

Spring is here and the markets are full with mountains of artichokes.
I just did a simple version of the Roman Carciofi alla Giudea- from the Jewish Ghetto-

Try them!!! and remember I write twice a week for Food Connect where you can get more recipes!