A Story of Sicilian Bread

May 25, 2014

Sicilians revere bread. The never lay it upside down. If they drop it by accident, they kiss it. They never throw it away. Well, if it’s moldy they can, but not before apologizing to Jesus.

Since becoming gluten-sensitive, I idolize bread too. This is the round loaf sold by a man in a little truck who comes merrily tooting his way up the street everyday. Look what 80 cents will buy. I pinch it and sniff it and then prop it up on my sideboard, just so, to remind me of the good ole days when I could wolf down the entire loaf in one sitting, slathered in sweet butter and Sicilian orange marmalade.   Round of Sicilian Bread, copyright Jann Huizenga Buon Pane a Tutti! is the bread man’s mantra. “Good bread for one and all!”  It’s baked in a forno a pietra, wood-burning oven. Bread Truck in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga My favorite part about bread shopping is watching my sweet across-the-street neighbor Lina, who lives on the second floor. She tosses some coins in a basket and lowers it.

Lowered Basket for Bread in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Giorgio loads in the bread.

Hauling up bread in a basket in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaAnd up it goes with a tug of the wrist, just in time for lunch.

Hauling up Bread in a Basket in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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Mid-May Peaches, and Other Thoughts

May 15, 2014

Eeek! It’s already mid-May. I don’t know where the days go. It’s hard, changing careers at this stage of my life–tackling photography, translation, and writing after so many years of teaching. Figuring out how to afford a life in a new country. I’m slooooooooow, everything takes hours–and then more–to seep into my thick head. So with apologies: I have only enough time today to post peaches. (Compliments of my local market.)

Each juicy peach is filled with the perfume of Sicily. And with love, for you. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sicilian peaches, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Peaches, copyright Jann Huizenga

PS I’ve been posting on Facebook everyday. I’d love you to visit me there!

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Mario and Nuvola: An Industrious Pair

May 4, 2014

Meet Nuvola (left) and Mario (right).

They live and work in Castelbuono in the Madonie Mountains, not far from Cefalu.

Several years ago Mayor Marco Cicero had the idea of eliminating garbage trucks from the old town and substituting six donkeys–going back to the way things were done 60 years ago. Nuvola (Cloud) works everyday except Sunday, clomping door to door gathering and separating trash. She and her fellow donkeys are all female because, according to Mario, women are more docile and diligent.

Garbage-Collecting Donkey in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

The sweet creatures get pretty bogged down.

Trash-Collecting Donkey in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

The town is saving money (no need for truck upkeep or gas!) and there’s less exhaust from trucks. Eco-friendly, says the mayor.

But as animal rights groups and the mayor of New York are trying to ban horse-drawn carriages in Central Park as being abusive (though the “Horse Whisperer” says the horses are content), I’m wondering: what do you think??? Are trash-hauling donkeys a good idea?

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ABOUT CASTELBUONO: Nuvola (Cloud) gets her name from the clouds often hanging over this lovely town. If you’re on holiday in Cefalu, be sure to visit! There’s a stunning Norman castle and museum, some interesting shopping (check out “manna” and the fabulous sweet shop called Fiasconaro), and a yellow piazza bubbling with water, chatter, laughter.

Central Piazza in Castelbuono, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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Sicilians on (Easter) Parade

April 21, 2014

The week-long Easter madness in Sicily is winding down–whew.  (Today is Pasquetta, when folks move en masse to the countryside to picnic on yesterday’s leftover lamb and sleep it all off.)

Sicilians get all dolled up for Easter, like Americans used to do about 40 years ago. Fashion trends this season seem to be bow ties and rat’s nest coiffures for young men and super-stiletto-platform shoes for women. (Flowing robes for Jesus, Mary, and priests.)

Young Sicilian Couple, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Girls, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Man with Bouffant Hair Style , copyright Jann Huizenga

Young Sicilian Women, copyright Jann Huizenga

Young Sicilian Men, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Boy in Porkpie hat, copyright Jann Huizenga

Young Sicilian Priest, copyright Jann Huizenga

Jesus and Mary meet in Pozzallo, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

 

Hope you had a great Easter/Passover/weekend. xxxxx

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Everything Else Can Wait

April 1, 2014

Cleaning your sock drawer can wait.

Your FB friends can wait.

Get outside. Go watch seeds ripen. Finches flutter.  Lambs blink. Lilacs bust out like popcorn.

Pick a flower. Drink in the blue air.

Go. Now. Everything else can wait.

Landscape in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Landscape in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Two Carob Trees in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaSicilian Shepherd, copyright Jann HuizengaSicilian Farmers, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Man with Dog, copyright Jann Huizenga***

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