Win A Deer, Here

November 20, 2012

I have a serious maiolica fetish.

You’ve already seen my Alpine-steep staircase in Sicily, all done up with Caltagirone tiles.

Sicilian Staircase using tiles from Caltagirone, copyright Jann Huizenga

Now I’d like to share my fetish with you. Drop  a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win this Sicilian tile  from Caltagirone. Tell me anything–why you *need* this 4″ x 4″ prancing blue deer (trivet for your Christmas casserole?), what you love most about Italy, what you will cook for Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll need to provide an address in the US or Canada if you win. (Deadline for entry: Midnight EST  Friday, Nov 23.) Thanks for playing, deers!

Caltagirone tile from Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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50 comments to Win A Deer, Here

  • Margo Chavez

    Jann! I want everyone to win and I want to win too. I see deer around my house and they are always glorious, so this bit of crafted beauty will remind me of the live beauties. There’s so much to love about Italy: it’s about the people, and the food, and the architecture, and the landscape, etc. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I would love to have this “piece of my homeland” to give to my Sicilian father. He has only been back twice, and since we visited our ancestral homeland last year, we have been haunted by the resonant beauty and belonging Sicily imparted on us. Grazie!

  • In Canada where we live most of the year, our house lies right in the middle of a deer path between Somenos Lake and Quamichan Lake (Vancouver Island). All year, but especially in the summer, we see deer in our backyard almost daily. They stop and munch on our apples before they head off down the street to the next yard with an apple or pear or plum tree, or a garden with a low enough deer fence!

    On one of my travels, I went to Nara in Japan. Nara was one of the earlier capitals and the palace/temple grounds have been made into a park that is full of semi-tamed deer. One of my wonderful memories of my daughter’s childhood is standing in this park and placing in her 5-year-old hands some of the cakes that are sold in the park to feed the deer. She giggled everytime they took a cake from her hands.

    So, I would love to win your tile and put it in my new kitchen in our Cianciana house to remember our home in Canada and to keep thoughts of my daughter so far away in the forefront of my mind. Also, when I look at it, it will make me think of my “dear” husband, Nick, who is about as dear as they come!

    Thanks for doing this contest Jann. It was fun writing about the deer in my life.

    • I forgot to mention that what is now a staple in our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner is arancini. Those little deep-fried balls of deliciousness are gifts from the Sicilian culinary gods!

    • Jann

      Diane, have you learned to make arancini?????? Brava!!!

    • Jann

      Ciao Diane–thanks for these lovely deer stories. Your house on Vancouver Island sounds amazing!!! Sounds like you live two lovely lives in two fabulous parts of the world. Che bella fortuna!

  • Angelo Milo

    I’d place that alongside my ceramic numerals I bought while in Sicily last September to go on my front door address. It would go along beautifully and make one heck of a “bella figura”.

  • sue gaughan

    Hi Jann~ I wanted the deer tile & I was preparing a post when I read Vickie Carol’s about her Mom. My vote is for Vickie & her Mom!

  • Happy Turkey Day,

    I would love to have the deer tile to give to the Dearest person in my life, my Mother. Her Birthday is today and she is 94. Might I add that she is home cooking the turkey for our dinner. Her Father was born in Sicily and came to the States through Ellis Island in 1907. My goal is to get her to Siclily for her 95 Birthday.
    love to you and your new family of Sicilans

    • Jann

      Vicki, you have no idea how I admire you and your mom. You are two absolutely amaaaaaaaaaazing women!!! What a plan–to get your mom to Sicily for her 95th. If this happens, be sure to contact the NY Times to tell your story!!!!

  • I remember your post about the staircase! I love ceramics and would love to hang the tile on the wall of my bedroom. It’s too hard to describe what I love most about Italy-the people, the food, the art and the beauty of the countryside! I’m cooking the turkey and trying to recreate my grandmother’s “Italian stuffing” (she was from Calitri near Avellino). Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jann

      Hi Janie–how did the Italian stuffing come out? Fabulous, I’m sure. You just sent me to the map to find out where Avellino is (Campania, sort of inland from Naples and Salerno, I see.)

  • Maria De angelis

    Jann, I climbed the steps in Caltagirone on my first trip to Sicily. I am missing this enchanting island every day since I got back “home” in August. The island and people including my amazing, loving familia siciliana have a hold on me. Love the deer tile! Your stories help keep Sicily close Grazie. Maria

    • Jann

      Hi Maria, welcome to the blog. I’m so glad it keeps Sicily close to your heart. Though I don’t have a blood connection to the island as you do, it feels like I’ve got a Sicilian family too.

  • Anitre

    My Thanksgiving meal will have a Sicilian accent. I’ll be roasting my turkey but be serving it with roasted eggplant (melanzana). All my herbs are from my garden in Sicily (salvia, timo, etc). I’ll be making my pumpkin pie and pumpkin/ricotta cannoli, too. Gosh! I’m getting hungry as I type. Happy Thanksgiving! Auguri, Jann! ps Is that sweet staircase in Modica?

    • Jann

      Anitre, those pumpkin cannoli are making my mouth water. (Wow, you’re ambitious!) My little staircase is in Ragusa Ibla. Buona festa di ringraziemento.

  • I would just love to look up and see this dear little deer, as I work or before I close my eyes. We would look after one another! Alas I’m out of the running but I share your fetish Jann. It’s so full of energy. Lovely post. xx

    • Jann

      You’ve got that lovely Deruta in your neighborhood, Janine. Another town it’s hard to pull me out of. xxxxxxxx

  • Jill

    I’m having real live Sicilians for Thanksgiving dinner! (AS GUESTS!!!) 🙂

    • Jann

      🙂 What fun!!! What will they think of all those foods crammed together on one plate??? What will they think of cranberries? I hope it’s not all too much of a shock to their systems. Buona festa di ringraziemento!

  • I love Italy because this is where my roots are, my ancestors, the pasta makers, the red wine drinkers, the style trenders, the butt pinchers, and YOUUUUU, Jann.

    Love love love. Xxx

  • Rosario Buscemi

    Oh how sad that we here in the great southern land (Australia that is, not Sicilia my birthplace) cannot play this enticing game.

    Were I able then I would say that such a object of beauty would forever remind me of my childhood and as yet unfulfilled dream of visiting my home town of Palazzolo Acreide with my sons.

    I had the good fortune of doing so with my late wife several years ago, albeit for a very brief sojourn and continue to hope that an opportunity to take my sons will present in the not too distant future.

    Have fun and enjoy the prize you Americani (and Canadiani) you.

    • Jann

      Ciao Rosario–I so appreciate that you’re commenting in spite of the fact that you live in the “wrong” part of the world for this game.

      I’m sure you’ll get to Palazzolo with your sons sometime soon. What a very special place it is. Have you been there during Festa??? Wow. They really know how to put on a show. And tiny little Buscemi–for which you are named–just 5 km or so from Palazzolo, is also among my very favorite Sicilian villages. They have a truly wonderful “living” museum.

  • Jan , as always, a gorgeous post. Oh, to have a Caltagirone dear deer! Thx, Susan

  • jan walcott


    How fortuitous was your recent post! While reading it, a small herd of deer just walked up our street (Lake Bluff, Illinois) on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. We usually see them sleeping in our backyard later on( when there is snow) and nibbling on our shrubs and bushes. We love Sicily, have been twice, and are planning our next visit, hopefully to the areas that you highlight so beautifully in word and photo. I do have some Caltagirone purchased at Poeta’s, a tiny Sicilian specialty market near us thtat features the most divine Sicilian bread baked by a local carpenter!!! Would love to see this tile as a special hotplate on my table!!! BTW, love your stairwell!!!


    • Jann

      Che coincidenza bella, Jan! Thank you for this, and all, your lovely comments on my blog. Do hope you’ll like my part of Sicily. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Steve Nagel

    I love what Italians do when you can’t speak the language. They see it as an opportunity to relate. I love Sicilians especially for their unquenchable hospitality.

    • Jann

      Hi Steve, so glad you feel the way I do about the hospitality. I always find it so odd when I read descriptions of Sicilians as “suspicious” of outsiders, etc. Al contrario.

  • Don Modaro

    The Sicilian colors (blu, verdi e giallo) match my trinacria tile and it would make a perfect addition to my collection of Sicilian items.

  • I visited Italy for the first time this Spring and loved everything about it. I am falling in love the Sicily through
    the Detective Montalbano Series – can’t wait to plan an extended visit there. I would love the deer tile.

    • Jann

      Hi Liz, thank you so much for dropping by my blog! I just checked out your blog, and love the fact that you live in such a pastoral “Italian” part of California! Montalbano’s great, isn’t he? I see them filming in the village from time to time–they shoot all around Ragusa Province.

  • Nancy

    I was just looking at maiolica on the internet this week. It’s a beautiful art form that the Italians have held on to. Let’s hope it is never a ‘lost art’. To summarize what I love about Italy and/or Sicily…everything.

    • Jann

      Love your summary, Nancy. “Everything” says it all! (Well, moving to Italy will open some cans of worms, but let’s ignore those for the moment!)

  • Terry Comparetta Wagner

    Oh how I love this!!!! Your blog has always kept me feeling like there is truly a possibility of sometime fulfilling my Dad’s final wish that i get to Sicily and find his family – and experience true Sicilian! Would adore to have this tile – I’d actually hang it in my kitchen, as a reminder everyday of the beauty that is Sicily! We’re having a small Thanksgiving here – Hurricane Sandy did a bit of damage here and left us in the dark for 9 days. In the morning we’re serving food to folks in the shelter where my daughter is an EMT and son-in-law a police officer. They worked through those first horrific nights saving people’s lives and are continuing their work by serving this meal. Then we’ll come back here for turkey and the fixings, which I’m working on now so all we have to do is heat it up. We are so very thankful this year for the help so many people have lent to our state and it’s people!
    Happy Thanksgiving Jann!

    • Jann

      My goodness, Terry. What horrors you have seen. Thanks for sharing your Hurricane Sandy stories with my readers. How wonderful your family sounds. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Terry, and keep dreaming of your Sicily trip, and I’m sure it will happen some day soon.

  • I just stumbled upon your blog recently and since subscribing to your feed have been delighted with my little virtual visits to Sicilia! I am a “daughter” of Sicily…both of my maternal grandparents emigrated from the island in the early 1900s. About 10 years ago I “found” cousins still living in the little town of Ferla, province of Siracusa, and I have visited them 4 times. What do I love about Italy?…I love that when I am there I feel a sense of homecoming that fills my spirit. Italy truly is una bella cosa!

    • Jann

      Oh, Patricia. How I love little Ferla. Isn’t it an untouched gem???? And it’s right next door to the amazing Pantalica monument/park, home to the Sicels, the original Sicilians. How lucky you are to have cousins there. Welcome to the blog, and thank you for commenting.

  • ciao Jann

    il concorso vale anche per una Siciliana??

    I ADORE YOU TILES and love the Sicilian ones…..give me an idea of a rainbow…


    • Jann

      Ma senti, Lucia–certo, per te, vale il concorso. Non mi fido troppo della posta italiana, MA se gagni, vado a Siracusa per incontrarti. Baci xxxxxx

  • Jann…..the colors, the life, the vibrance, the calm, the stern looks, the smiles, the smells, the food, the wine, the incredible countryside, the people, the heart………..I could go on, but I think I may cry….. 🙂

    • Jann

      Mmmm, yes. All of the above. Funny when we love even the stern looks! (Or are those just looks of complete curiosity?)

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