In case you thought that I may have died and gone to heaven, I sort of did, just not in that order.
Waking up in Positano some days, is like looking out to paradise.
Just to let you know, I’m still here. Always in awe. xxx
Buon Natale a tutti!
We had a delicious lunch on the terrace in the warm sunshine and are about to take a walk on the beach to work it off on the stairs. A very Happy Christmas in Positano.
I wish you all peace and serenity in the New Year. Thank you for following Bell`Avventura.
I wake to an unearthly yellow light and the throb of a chopper overhead. Sunlight is lost to a haze in the air, and an acrid smell of smoke clings to the washing hung out overnight. Ashes scatter as I throw open the terrace doors and a Canadair plane swoops low over our house to the water where it scoops from the sea with it’s gigantic belly. A second one thunders past at an angle, fast on the tail of the first one. It is so close that I can see the pilot. The sound similar to air raids in a war-torn country is deafening and continues all day, unremittingly until dusk.
Today is the third day of a devastating mountain fire over the mountains of Positano. A fire which has destroyed the best part of the mountain’s pine forest and a loved walk of the Positanesi.
The fire started two nights ago in the hills above Chiesa Nuova, just before dusk, as always. The first flames were visible from our home.
Volunteers worked all night against the fire which fanned in the timber dry area until it had spread in an ever widening circle to include Montepertuso and the Monte Faito mountain in the Gulf of Sorrento.
When we set out in the morning in our boat the mountains looked like this, with pockets of fire scattered wide.
On our return in the afternoon, I was there in time to witness the helicopter’s release of a bucket of water over the forest beneath the mountain hole at Montepertuso. The scene was nightmarish. Blackened mountain as far as I could see.
If only tears could drench the flames.
It is early morning. The rustle of sheets gently nudges me out of my dream. But it is only the swell of sea breathing softly against the shoreline.
As always I wake from one dream to another.
I look towards Fornillo Beach and have to make the decision of whether to go for an early swim in the transparent waters and brave the climb of steep stairs returning at 11.00 or climb the mountain in the other direction to buy food and stop at the Bar Internazionale for a coffee and chat.
Rather than sit on the beach all day in the hot sun, I prefer to stay at home and watch the others swim from the shade of my terrace.
But today it is Sunday.
I have ironing to do in preparation for a week’s holiday in Ischia to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary.
But with this view from my window and Ingrid Michaelson singing in the background, that’s not such a bad thing…
For a post on What I Love about Living in Italy, visit An Italophile.
Buona domenica to you all!
Few of you will be aware of this, but in the midst of Christmas celebrations in Positano, a very special Festa takes place with contestants vying for a prize for sponginess, taste and hole-liness.
La Festa della Zeppola in Positano is a winter get together on the main beach which in amongst the organized games of football and treasure hunts, homebodies hibernate in their kitchens levitating dough and frying, dipping in sugar or dribbling honey in order to put their best donut forward to the judges.
But the donuts or Zeppole in Positano, which were once offered in a basket lined with lemon leaves, resemble not their industrial American counterparts, but are an ingenious way of putting together that which the Coast has best to offer.
Lemon zest, orange peel, pine nuts, and raisins grace the interior of these spongy delights, and local honey sweetens the exterior. Some add potatoes or milk to the mixture, others keep with the tradition of turning the dough over in the oil with a twig off the lemon or orange tree rather than the usual cooking implement, but most connoisseurs will agree that a hole in the middle is essential.
So when the proud ladies with their head held high present their wares to the judge and offer some to the bystanders what do I do? I skulk to the back of the crowd in shame, comparing these perfect beauties with my lot back home. Loving prepared, after an afternoon spent frying and filling oneself on oil fumes so that my husband has his traditional Positano donuts, I wonder how the heck do they get that hole to form so neatly in the centre. For if I were to present my Zeppole at this festa, they would be sure to get the ‘Ugly Betty’ award.
My zeppole look as if they’ve been dredged from the bottom of a swamp (after being there a long time). With no hole to speak of they sprout antennas and feelers in all directions, their bloated bellies extending in defiance where there should have been a cavity. As they hit the hot oil, the yeast takes on a life of its own, a growing blob of dough reaches out gasping for air and then, like the sorry life forms at Pompeii, stays that way.
But I haven’t given up on my Zeppole alla Positanese. My multi-limbed mutations still taste quite good, and despite the
sniggers smiles from the kids, disappear as soon as I make them proving that you can’t judge a book by it’s unappetizing cover. Zero on presentation –ten on taste.
If anyone wants to give me lessons, I know I have a lot to learn.
Basic Zeppola Recipe:
Put 50gms of yeast to rise with 600-700gms of flour, add enough milk and water to create very soft sticky dough. Add a tablespoon of sugar, a good handful of raisins, grated zest from a lemon and an orange, pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Let it rise for an hour. Deep fry in small spoonfuls. Drain on kitchen paper. Drizzle with honey diluted in water or dust with icing sugar. Serve on the same day.
Merry Christmas from Positano! Buon Natale a Tutti !