The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers

Welcome!

Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Panicale

During our April trip to Italy, we did three things that we had never done before.  The first thing was that we took a cooking class with Sharon Oddson - my last few blogs describe all of the recipes and have some yummy looking photos to go along with them.  The second thing that we did was taking the train from Florence to visit FHFB's cousin Mario and wife Pam at their wonderful little farm right outside of the wonderful little town of Panicale, Umbria, about 90 minutes outside of the city of Florence.  I think that I'm overusing the word 'wonderful', sorry!

Isn't this just heaven???

Here's a photo of my son, Pam, Mario and FHFB on the brick patio, where we sat and ate a delicious meal and drank local wine most of the afternoon. 

I think I'll just post the photos with short explanations - the photos just bring me back to that very wondeful day!

When we arrived (Mario picked us up at the train station) Pam  had a wonderful table full of delicious Italian specialties for us to try.  You can see the one bottle of local red wine labeled 'B'.




Mario built his own outside pizza oven and stone grill - don't these little chops look delicious and so rustic?




Believe it or not, we do other things besides eating!  After we sat and ate for a few hours, Mario took FHFB and my son to his neighbor's home to fill up on their homemade wine.  Pam and I stayed behind and had some time to get to know each other - it was the first time I had met her and she is a fascinating and intelligent lady.  I loved hearing about her life.

The next three pictures show the process of getting the wine from the large oak wine barrel into what looks like a white plastic bucket.


Here's the next step, pouring the wine from the white bucket into Mario's large glass wine container using the biggest funnel I have ever seen. 


And here's the wonderful container that Mario has for the trip home in the back seat of his car...



So, after the wine delivery, Mario took us on a walk through his property.  The most amazing thing that I saw (and there were many amazing things to see!) were the artichokes growing in his garden.  When we were in Florence artichokes were all over the vegetable markets - they were in season and just delicious and beautiful to see in huge piles.  Have you ever seen them grow?






Aren't they they gorgeous??

You know, as I'm putting this blog post together I'm missing Panicale so much.  It was such a lovely day.  Here are some more photos just to enjoy and dream with:


Walking through the woods, Mario showed us where the wild boar forrage for acorns. 

Wild cyclamen also grow in the underbrush.


An olive grove on one side of Mario and Pam's property.  I think the olive trees closer to the bottom of the photo belong to Mario and Pam.



A view of the front of the farmhouse and the patio where we sat and enjoyed a delicous meal with wonderful people.

My son and I enjoying the wine - this was bottle 'A'!


It was hard to leave this very tranquil and lovely home. 
Mario and Pam are wonderful hosts and very lucky people. 

They love their home and property so much and it shows in every nook and cranny.

Thank you both so much for making such a wonderful memory for all of us!

My next post will be about the third new experience we had during our trip - a street stroll in Rome with Eleonora from aglio, alio e peperoncino

I'll be linking to Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper and Foodie Friday and Alphabet Thursday!!

Ciao, bella!
xxoo

17 comments:

  1. I love Italy.....what a beautiful trip you have posted about today. I have sort of missed the background here. Does your son live in Italy and work on their farm? Just curious.

    Xo

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  2. WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME YOU HAD ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL TRIP, THE FOOD MUST BE SO DELICIOUS. YOU SOUND LIKE YOU WANT TO RETURN AND LIVE THERE. BOY, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING. A GREAT POST FARM GIRL, THANKS FOR SHARING IT WITH US. LOVE YA, AUNT RIZ

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a day to pull out of the memory bank and enjoy again in November!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a marvelous time you had! The artichokes are amazing, aren't they?!!! Mother Nature is a surprising lady! Wonderful memories for you and makes me want to back my bags! :D Happy Seasonal Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a lovely day and lovely place to spend the day.. It's wonderful that you got to meet family and experience local color! Many blessings, marlis

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just beautiful! It looks like a very special trip:@)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a delightful afternoon! So full of interesting things. Loved seeing how the artichokes grow and the wine jugs. You warmed us with sharing your visit with us. What lovely scenery and truly a unique experience. Thank you for taking us there with you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It sounds like you had an amazing trip. How fortunate for you to be able to visit with family and really see how life really is. It looks magical!

    Thanks for sharing your magical trip with Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful post! My husbamd was born in Italy and his family liove in Calabria. Good food, good wine, and a bountiful garden are such an importnat s of life in Italy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are you ready to go back... can I come too! What a great post. I just poured over every Italian detail! Wine, artichokes, olives, vistas, good people... You must be in "Italy afterglow"!
    Thanks!
    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my word this looks like an INCREDIBLE trip! I love to eat my way through cities when I travel. We're hoping to make it to Italy this fall- let me know if you have any good tips! : )

    Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for sharing your very special visit with Mario and Pam. What a fabulous opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a wonderful trip! The meal looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think I could move into that charming little house and be happy for the rest of my life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, that farm IS heaven.

    =)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful countryside and culture. I always watch House Hunters International and this is what I find the most intriguing....their way of life~Ames

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh...I am green with envy.

    This has always been a dream of mine!

    The culture, the food, the stories, the joy on your faces...

    What a perfect, perfect link to Alphabe-Thurdsay's letter "P".

    I'm so glad you got to experience this!

    A+++++++++

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are like little treasures, I cherish each and every one of them! Frog Hollow Farm Girl reserves the right to edit or delete all comments that are offensive, hateful in nature, or attack other visitors to this blog. All potential spam comments will be deleted.