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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Come and pick just pick !

Spaghetti cooked in tomato water with shrimp and parsley sauce. Picture by Nick Cornish

Spaghetti cooked in tomato water with shrimp and parsley sauce


Yet another month has gone by since my last update on my online diary .
To maintain a technological life, isn’t always easy!  Yes, to link onto the social networks, download my instanphotos and add a few words about my dishes, that is the easy part … but, to be honest I like to be able to do more then that and pass on to you things that happen here ( small or big ) so that you can get the feel of what it is like living in the hills of Umbria, hopefully without talking to much rubbish.

So with no pressure then, I  will get started and hope that you readers out there will enjoy sharing my little story :

Thankfully Nick and I have both been very busy since my last entry.The many many people who have passed thro my kitchen this month, and many other people, who I have had the pleasure of catering for , have given me great feedback about my food , so for ALL of this I am truly grateful and really happy. But also one of  the most pleasing experiences  that has come from all of this has been the great interest and enthusiasm shown about our vegetable garden, and as our policy is “the gate is open please come and PICK just PICK “ to be able to share this abundance of produce was wonderful.

Each May Nick and I give a lot of time and energy to the preparation of the vegetable garden, we have learned over the years how important this is, and when we see the plants starting to grow, well it`s a good feeling of achievement and what could be better then being able to pick and bring fresh ingredients into your kitchen and make a beautiful meal. This is what this past month has been all about, the FUN of picking FRESH ingredients and serving up YUMMY food.

So as part of the cooking class, boys girls and adults who all came from a variety of  different countries, were out there picking planty of zucchini, looking for a red chili, trying to recognize ( or not )a climbing plant of green beans and so much more , it was a fantastic experience for me. Some had no idea of what an eggplant looked like let alone where or how it grows, and then a lot of people  knew every possible variety of plant ….  I  learned many things from them and they learned some from me too ..  I tell you what …we could have spent hours talking about vegetables , variety, soil and of course recipes!!

While all this activity was going on, with Hilda the goat in the next field keeping an amused curious eye on us,  we were also having a bit of a “domestic “  One of our chickens had been very broody so instead of having some good strong Polish chickens from our helpful neighbour we decided to pin all our hopes under the warm bum of one of our own chickens. A tough survivor (remember the evil weasel story ) and very broody……………. 21 days is all she`ll need, they said, so we waited imagining lots of little chicks running around and plenty of fresh eggs for my future cooking.

Well, we waited and waited in fact we waited for over 30 days and then our super broody hen decided to get out  from her basket and change her position for a better and more relaxing spot ! So,  do you want to know what was under her big  bottom ?? NIENTE !! NOTHING!  Nessuno , nobody, a bloody empty basket, would you believe it.

Back to square one, here we are again planning how many and when to go and pick up the new polish ladies , I tell you what , the cockerel is definitely strutting his stuff with more energy, he must of overheard about the plan changing

Anyway ,when I told the  local experts about our little drama at the farm, I was told that  hens can suffer from hysterical pregnancy, exactly like humans, MAMMA MIA,  I tell you what, in life, you never stop learning!

At the moment the days are a bit more peaceful here in the country so Nick and I decided  to enjoy our small corner of paradise,and take a few nice walks . As you can see from the photographs this area it’s a beautiful spot of Italy and I must say we are very lucky and happy to be living here.

Trevinano Village


While talking about happiness, few days ago, Nick and I celebrated our seventeenth  wedding anniversary , we had a great evening at home with bubbles and a yummy fish BBQ cooked by Nick. I love BBQ especially when Nick’s does it !

Sagraincasa house

So, here I am at the end of my little Umbrian story, I hope you enjoyed reading it  and  I wish you all a fantastic July with plenty of  good things to eat and drink.

And don`t forget if you are planning to have in your holiday in Umbria, you are always welcome to pop in my vegetable garden and then in the Sagraincasa kitchen for some action cooking. Ciao e a presto, speak soon.

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