Cooking, kitchens and fireplaces in my Italy house

So, we are having guests for lunch tomorrow and it has again, been an adventure. I planned a classic chicken stew which is American comfort food and non-threatening in every way. Of course it called for boneless chicken thighs. Not happenin’ in Italy. So I bought the closest thing. They just chop the crap out of the legs so there are splintered bones throughout. I did my best to de-bone them but I will warn my guests of possible hidden bones. Here is the stew.


Next I wanted to make Panna Cotta. This is a classic Italian dessert so I figured it would not be hard. The first hurdle was the gelatin. In the US it is powdered. Here it is in hard sheets. Plus I had to look it up on the internet (thank you that there IS an internet!) and got a picture of what I needed. Then I found it at the Coop. Then I had to guess how much to use. The recipe calls for strawberries over the panna cotta. They don’t have them here at this time of the year but I had a great idea that I could put some of the frozen cranberry sauce I made for Thanksgiving on it. I bet that will work great. I hope it turns out OK.


This was the first time I spent a lot of time sitting in the kitchen. That got me to thinking about cooking in the big fireplace here. I opened up the wooden doors and peered up the chimney. Scary.


I also noticed that it was once a cooking fireplace. Note the iron hook to hang meat or pots from…Cool!!


Now I am pretty psyched about this. I think what needs to be done is that the wooden doors need to be removed and I need to have a custom wrought iron with glass door made. Uh oh… costly… well we shall see. Here are the existing doors and the fireplace behind them.



Finally a note on the ridiculous refrigerators here. They are sooo small. And we got a big one! I knew of this before we came but, maybe you didn’t. And to boot, the freezer is not frost free. Frost free!!? what is that?


Yea verily, this is the entire inside of the frig.

Lastly I got a lovely, olive wood cutting board that a friend made for me to my exact measurements. It covers the drain on the sink that I did not want and gives me more working space. Here it is!