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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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June 26, 2010

Nothing in Particular...

except...
I'm going to Italy again!!!

Yep, I'm off in September (one week later than last year) and will stay three weeks this time. I booked my flight this past week and am now trying to finalize plans for where I'll go when and where I'll stay when I get to the various places, etc. I had toyed with the idea of renting a car this time for 5 days or a week but decided against that again. However, since there's one place I've been thinking I might like to get to that is apparently kind of difficult by train or bus, I may rent a car just for one day to go there and also to see if I survive the experience. But that's still on the back burner.

This time I'm going to make it to Bologna if I have to camp out in a Piazza! I want to take one of the all day, 3 or 4 stop tours of the food production places - prosciutto, balsamic, parmesan and wine. I also wouldn't mind another cooking class but they all mostly seem to be pasta - I'd like to learn to make a good ragu which is a very famous Bolognese sauce.

At any rate, that's what's been occupying me lately. I had already started a file for "next trip" so had some places bookmarked as possible places to stay and have now been e-mailing with some of them trying to make sure I'll have a fairly good idea of what to expect. My eyes feel like they are permanently crossed or something and my poor brain is getting kind of bogged down.

And in addition to all that computer work, I'm getting some more of my "personal" auctions set up which means lots of photographing, uploading of pictures, setting up the web pages, etc. This time I'm going to have half inch scale, one inch scale, some tools, dollhouse-related and needlework books, and cross stitch charts! It's way too much stuff to have all in one auction and I've decided I'll take each category and put about half the stuff up and when those are done and mailed out, I'll put up the second half of each category. So, hopefully that will go all right.

I've been doing some cooking since I got back from Massachusetts. There's something about visiting somewhere that always makes me inspired to cook when I get home. One thing I made was based on something my sister made while I was there. She sauted some garlic in olive oil and I think some butter (at any rate I used butter when I did it), then added some chopped up black olives and at the end, some pine nuts. Then she served it over shell pasta. It was right tasty so I decided to do it too, only since I had it on hand, I sliced up some zuchini and yellow squash and sauted that along with the rest. I was eating away, enjoying it quite a bit when I suddenly remembered I had meant to drizzle some of my precious olive oil from Florence over it after I plated it. So I did that midway through eating, and, oh my goodness! The difference it made! And, no, it wasn't all in my head, it really gave it a truly succulent flavor. That's pretty much when I decided for sure that I was going back to Italy. I have to get some more of that olive oil!! And, if that means going to Italy, well then, by darn, I'll just have to bite the bullet and do it. :)

I've also been having eggs with some regularity. And I'm getting to the point where I do a pretty good job of getting an omelet cooked without browning it and actually folding it over twice like I guess you're supposed to. The first time I first chopped up some new potatoes and browned them in some olive oil (not the precious stuff) and when they were nicely browned, dumped my beaten eggs in on top. I can't seem to remember if I added anything else. I think maybe I didn't - but I think then I had it with some steamed broccoli. Anyway, whatever I did, it was a nice little dinner. So, I've just been kind of putzing around in the kitchen and enjoying it.

Gosh, I don't really have any pictures that tie in with this post at all. I'll post these pictures of some of the mini-quilts I've made and maybe that will inspire me to get busy and make some more. When I was making them I could hardly stop - I loved making them! So that's something I should get back to, maybe.

A little fan quilt "quilted" with miniature buttons...

One of my favorites - a flying geese quilt. I made another one where the little triangles were just over a quarter inch across the bottom. I only made that one wall-hanging size.
And, this is my little Americana quilt. The house blocks were printed fabric - I didn't piece them. But I thought with the little, tiny flag print for the other blocks, it was kind of quaint. I quilted it by knotting.

And that's all there is for today. You all have from now until September 24 to prepare for the onslaught of "Mary Lynne's Second Trip to Italy"...oh, and when I make up my mind where I'm staying, maybe I'll remember to post some pictures of the places.

3 comments:

christopher said...

hurrah, hurrah! Sure wish I was going over there...! I think I should go on record and state that 2011 will be my year to visit Italy... gives me something to look forward to!

Mary Lynne said...

All right, Chris!! Let me know if you need a guide. :) My rate would be reasonable!

vrmichie said...

Happy you've made the decision to go back again this year and that you'll for sure spend time in Bologna. I've never done the "drizzle" of olive oil after plating and am rather amazed it would make such a difference. I wonder if ordinary olive oil would also make a differnce -- have you ever tried that? I don't really need another way to use more olive oil :) but I may have to try drizzling some time just to see if I think it makes a huge difference. I'll wait until I decide to spring for some really good oil. Happy planning. xoxo

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