Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Recipe from a friend

'Torta salata'  or savoury flan, or quiche, is very popular in Italy. Everyone has their favourite filling, mine is spinach and cheese and I have given the recipe here on my blog. all you need to do is have a roll of ready-made puff pastry in the fridge and you can a make a quick and easy supper that suits everybody.
Yesterday a friend of mine told me she had discovered a new recipe for 'Torta Salata' that it was delicious and I should try it at once. It sounded nice and Autumnal so I went ot get the necessary ingredients straight away.
Here it is

Paola's Torta Salata for Autumn

1 pear, peeled and cored and cut into four slices
2 Belgian endives
300g green cheese like gorgonzola.
3 tablespoons of cream
i packet of ready-made puff pastry
walnuts to scatter

Set the oven to 180
Line a pie dish with the puff pastry and put it in the oven while you prepare the filling
Gently heat the cream and green cheese in a small saucepan until you have a spreading consistency.
Wash and dry the Belgian endives and cut into quarters,
Take the pie dish out of the oven and pour the cheese mixture over the base.
Arrange the endives  and pear slices in a star shape.

bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Scatter over the walnuts and bake for another 5 minutes.

this torta salata is best warm.

Hope you like it

Ready to go

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Friday, 1 September 2017

Whatever the Weather

The British have always had a reputation for being obsessed by the weather. It's one of our favourite topics of conversation. Well I can tell you that  now so many of us have smart phones, Italians are too. Everyone is constantly checking the weather forecast and planning their lives accordingly.
We had been invited to an end of summer pool party and everyone has been looking forward to it for months, it's an annual event. then two days ago we were told that it is postponed to next year because of the forecast on the host's phone.

This would never have happened once, a long time ago, in my youth. We never trusted the weather forecast and just carried on regardless.

We sang songs that went like this.

'Here we all are, happy as can be
All good friends and jolly good company.
Never mind the weather, never mind the rain,
As long as we're together..
Whoops she goes again.'

We always had a wet plan and a dry plan.

We had tongue twisters like this

Whether the weather be hot
or whether the weather be cold
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not.

The phrase 'Rain stops play' was used for sporting events when the weather was so bad there was no choice, but the play started whatever the sky looked like and however dark the clouds were.
Only in the last few years has Wimbledon given in to having a sliding roof to make sure that the matches can carry on, and only over the Centre Court.

Anyway just to let you know the weather forecast on the phone has changed and it looks like it won't rain after all, but the pool party is still postponed for another year.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Fun Philosophy

Over a year ago the British voted to leave the European Union and not a day goes by without it being somewhere in the news. Whatever your thoughts on the matter you can't have missed all the debates and questions that appear daily.
The British have been accused of 'wanting their cake and eating it' and today they were arguing about paying for 'everything including the kitchen sink.'
This reminded me of how often my mum and dad used these one liners to express their opinions.
Maybe they say a lot about a nation. British people will often say about something they are not sure about, 'it's not really my cup of tea.' When translated into another language these one line philosophies could sound quite funny.

My earliest memories involve hearing my parents talk to each other using a variety of these expressions. I would be playing with my dolls and their voices would quietly drift around me, comforting and reassuring with their soft tones.

'Old Fred has bitten off more than he can chew.'
'Well Betty always did have a bee in her bonnet about that .'
'It's the pot calling the kettle black really.'
'Well you know what they say about the early worm.'
'Don't beat about the bush and tell me what's the matter.'
'Ah, the other man's grass is always greener.'
'John's over the moon about his new job.'
'I think you're barking up the wrong tree.'

And so on, a seemingly endless supply of phrases to express in a calm way what was going on around them.

Their favourite ones to say to me while growing up were.-

'you can't put old heads on young shoulders'
'familiarity breeds contempt.'
'Actions speak louder than words'.
'Two wrongs don't make a right.
"Practice makes perfect.'
'Don't bite off more than you can chew.'
'Look before you leap.'
'Walls have ears'
'Keep wise counsel.'

Back to Brexit and having your cake and eating it, my mum and dad would say that too, to mean you can't have everything. It seemed it a bit strange because why would you have a cake and not want to eat it? It would go stale.
As for the kitchen sink one in the paper today, that would be used if we were going on holiday and there was too much luggage.

Just one final one tat is always good to remember, 'where there's a will, there's a way.'

Barking up the wrong day, a gentle reminder that you might just have got it wrong