Ciao AmalfiWriting, photography & tales from daily life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, through the eyes of Laura Thayer, an American writer and art historian. Currently co-writing a novel with my mother, Sandra Thayer, set on the Amalfi Coast.
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Monthly Archives: April 2013
Very exciting news for all of you Amalfi Coast lovers in the UK! Tune in tomorrow evening to the MasterChef UK show on BBC One to see the semi final, which was filmed at the beautiful Mamma Agata Cooking School on the Amalfi Coast. In this episode, judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace take the semi finalists on a culinary odyssey to Italy, including a stop in Ravello to learn Mamma Agata’s cooking secrets and enjoy those dreamy Amalfi Coast views. Sigh … and what amazing views they are from the Mamma Agata cooking school!
Enjoy a sneak peek here with the preview for this episode of MasterChef UK. But you won’t have to wait long to see the full episode! Here are the details:
MasterChef UK on BBC One
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
If you didn’t catch Mamma Agata and her family featured on MasterChef UK, you can catch it all here. One word of warning … don’t watch when you’re hungry!
This has been one of those days that just couldn’t make up its mind. Beautiful spring morning … sure thing! Sudden thunder and hailstorm with pounding down rain … why not? My husband called mid morning to say batten down the hatches (well, he didn’t really say that … but now I wonder if there’s a similar expression in Italian?) since he was on the boat to Capri that sailed through that big black storm. I did fix the outside shutters in place, unplugged all the electronics and took in the newly planted basil, parsley and herbs from the terrace. In the sunshine.
Sure enough … not long after I heard the thunder rumbling in the mountains and looked out to see dark clouds up above. The rain and grandine (small hail) weren’t far behind. As the cats slept (they miss just about everything that happens…) I peered out from the dark house (always a good idea to unplug things, see?) at the rain pounding down. Perfect for the garden, but I was glad I heeded my husband’s warning and brought the delicate new herbs in. Some fat snail has already sat on enough of the new basil plants, and they certainly didn’t need a hailstorm!
Now the sun is shining and, besides the shimmer of raindrops on the plants, there’s no sign of the sudden storm. Spring brings with it so many remarkable moments – just sharing one of them on the Amalfi Coast!
After a long and unusually dreary winter on the Amalfi Coast, the time change and arrival of spring temperatures means it’s finally time to dry laundry outside again. If you heard a loud cheer recently from the general direction of the Amalfi Coast, it was all the housewives who could finally put the laundry outside to dry again. While some lucky women have a balcony or terrace with sun exposure in the winter, our terrace receives sunshine for approximately 35 seconds per day in the winter. (Sure, I’m exaggerating … but 35 seconds is really what it feels like!) I’ll spare you the drama involved in drying laundry in a humid and cold house all winter long, but I will tell you that it involves much creativity, patience and small prayers to the heavens. (Translate: socks and underwear on every electric heater, buying special towels for the kitchen that dry quickly and seriously debating wearing the same thing for 12 days in a row…)
And then one day the sunshine arrives and all is good and right in the world again. Quickly we forget about icky smelling clothes that never dried, days upon days of being lost in the low-lying clouds and the monumental effort of trying to dry queen size flannel sheets without a dryer or sunshine. Now the laundry smells like sunshine … and I don’t want to hear anything about winter until I have to. (Usually I pass the denial of winter phase about January, so we can talk then…)
Happy spring from one very happy southern Italian housewife!
There are some days that—without even having to think about it—are unanimously pizza days. Sometimes that means we go out in the evenings for pizza or stop in one of our favorite restaurants in Amalfi for a quick lunch. Other days it means making a quick call and having pizzas delivered to our front door. Oh … yeah … now that’s the life in Italy!
Today was very much one of those days to order pizza for lunch One of my favorite pizzas in Italy, pictured above, is pancetta e cipolla in bianco, which is made with pancetta and onions without a tomato sauce. While I love the traditional pizza, many of my personal favorites are without the tomato sauce. If you haven’t tried pizza without the tomato sauce, give it a go on your next trip to Italy!
Of course with the traditional pizza margherita you can have all kinds of different toppings. My husband likes prosciutto cotto and mushrooms. The pizzas are delivered on a scooter from the next village over, which accounts for the mushroom that looks like it tried to make a flying leap over the crust. So now you know … this is what you do when it’s pizza day on the Amalfi Coast!
If you love Italy ephemera and pizza, you might get a kick out of Pazzo for Pizza Boxes (Crazy for Pizza Boxes) on Facebook!
It amazes me each spring just how quickly we can forget certain things. Dinner with the gas heater blazing by the table for warmth, the hot water bottle (or cat) sitting on my lap to keep my fingers warm enough to keep typing and that old “for the rain it raineth every day” attitude. But then one day I noticed that it has been several days since we’ve turned the heater on for dinner and my fingers are no longer so cold. It’s the sun – it makes us forget all those cold days of winter and look forward only to the warmth of spring.
This morning the sky was clear blue and after a busy week it was time to enjoy a walk in the sunshine. Much needed – both the break and the sunshine! Here’s what was happening in Amalfi this sunny Saturday morning in April.
I love the brilliant green of the sea today. That peculiar color is a leftover from the bad weather the last few days. Here’s hoping that spring sticks this time and that we’re done with winter until next year!