Summer’s bounty!

I love when the summer produce is at it’s peak, and that is right now! I always get carried away it is all so beautiful. I buy too much! Saturday at the Zero K market, where it all comes from right around here, I bought what you see in the picture below. On the right (above the arugula and next to the bowl) there are four small red/orange eggplants. I have never seen this color before. I am going to try them in a pasta sauce. I got our first watermelon and I’ll serve it with feta as a salad. The red and white beans are here all summer and I will probably add these to a sausage based pasta sauce. The heirloom tomatoes in the bowl are so sweet and perfect right now. I hope the nice man who is so proud of growing them keeps coming. He has all the types I am used to from the US. I remember last year he only came one time. It was very wet and I imagine he lost his crop. This year is hot and great for the tomatoes and this was his fourth week here.  The peaches on the right are apparently very famous and from Monte Corona. They sell them on Saturdays out of an old monastery and also at the market in Umbertide. We drove over to the monastery and were amazed at the caravan of cars buying them. Who knew!?

So much to cook!
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Last night I made fajitas! It has been a long time. I actually had to make the flour tortillas myself. They are much better than what we got in the US stores too. I had to use ghee (which I had brought with me) instead of the vegetable shortening. I need to see if they have anything like Crisco here. I made a nice salsa with fresh tomatoes (YUM) and onion, lime, and diced jalapenos from my pepper plants. Spicy and good! I grilled onions and peppers and then grilled the steak that I had marinated overnight in cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion with some lime juice and oil. The fajitas came out great and I’ll make them again.

And lately I have been enjoying my new favorite drink – an Aperol Spritz. So refreshing. It is 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and a splash of soda with a slice of orange. The taste of the Aperol is quite bitter so it is not a cloyingly sweet drink. Tastes great at the Bar Mary on the Piazza or anywhere else!
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Finally I was contacted by a man in NYC who does the casting for House Hunters International. He sent me a VERY extensive questionnaire. I guess most people know that the show is about people who buy houses abroad. Maybe you didn’t know that they are filmed after the fact. For instance, if we were chosen to do a show they would fly us back to Virginia where they would film the “back story” of us before we flew off to look for a house in Italy. They would do a one day shoot. Then they would do four days here in Italy of us looking at three houses one of which would be our house. They would pack up and move all of our stuff out of the apartment to put it back to the way it was before. Then they put all our stuff back and film us after we had moved in. I am of two minds about this. Seems quite disruptive especially because we are in the Centro and they would be filming and moving stuff about. Not sure how the Umbertidese would feel about that. We probably won’t be chosen anyway but it is something to think about.

6 thoughts on “Summer’s bounty!

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Correct! The whole show is staged. We would look at two places we never saw. Not sure how they choose them. Plus we will probably have a different realtor. I knew all this before because of another person who blogged about it. Still like the show.

  2. jencvt2002

    A vegetarian’s delight!

    The HHI info is interesting… I will watch that show differently from now on. So, the two other homes you ‘consider’ are not two of the other homes you really considered?!

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Mary Ann,
    Ah Cortona. Sounds nice. Are you renting an apartment or house there? I just had friends I know spend a month there. Nice location. If you come to Umbertide let me know maybe would could meet for a drink or something. There is not much to humble little Umbertide but the people are friendly. Visit Montone too, our nearby hill town. Very pretty with several nice restaurants.

  4. Mary Ann DeOliveira

    Nancy – The produce all look so delicious. Enjoy cooking. The idea of House Hunters filming you sounds great. I too would be a little reserved about all that moving in and out of your “Now Completed and Furnished” apatment but it sounds GREAT. A free trip back to the States!!
    Enjoy the rest of your summer. I will be leaving for Cortona, where I spend me vacation, in a month and I am looking forward to maybe getting to visit Umbertide. The town sounds and looks beautiful. Ciao

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Leslee, thank you for you complements! My passion is cooking. I love shopping for in-season ingredients and figuring out a way to use them. I totally am not sure about the show. I figure it is a no brainier unless we are chosen.

  6. Leslee Hinton

    Were you a famous chef in a past life? You sound like you are “the total package”…..talented writer, chef, decorator, business owner….
    I think you and Luther would be the perfect choice for the program. You are being very considerate of your neighbors. Filming is very disruptive.

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