Making Scones

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Making Scones

Baking adventures on the Amalfi Coast

I love tea. I love scones. Yes, I’m American. (We’re allowed.) I usually keep my tea drinking ways to myself here in the land of espresso and cappuccino. Although I do go into a sort of giddy haze in London when I go in Fortnum & Mason or the original Twinings tea shop on the Strand. And my husband is very patient as the cupboard in the kitchen has been slowly taken over  by tea. Frankly, I don’t even remember what used to be in there.

Now there’s black tea of various assortments from my favorite earl grey to a soothing Assam with the hint of jasmine from F&M to good ol’ strong cup of Yorkshire Gold. And since I don’t drink as much black tea as I used to, the cupboard is full to the brim (i.e., boxes fall on your head when you open it) with an assortment of Pukka herbal teas, chamomile tea and a big bag of dried peppermint from the erboristeria in Amalfi.

But the scones? There are so many tempting sweets here in Italy, but they’re all just a bit to sweet for me. Especially to face first thing in the morning since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Even the cornetti here, while very good, make me miss the slightly more savory croissants in Paris.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Scones from Oven

My first scones

I’ve thought about making scones many time. Last year in London I stopped in Books for Cooks in Notting Hill and picked up a little booklet with recipes that had a very basic scone recipe. That little cookbook has since gone missing. How rude. Searching online often turned up recipes that had too many ingredients that are hard or impossible to find here on the Amalfi Coast. Buttermilk? Eh, nope. (And I’ve tried the substitutes with Irish soda bread … it’s just not the same.)

This morning I did a bit of searching and came across this recipe on delicious:days that was beautifully simple, had very few ingredients and all ones that I had in the pantry. Scones! They became quite golden brown, but that was because I had to run to keep Toulouse from knocking over and breaking the bedside lamp. (Again.)

Scones ready for tea

Ready for tea!

So how did they come out? Well, I’ve had four. Just to make sure, you know. Result: very good! I look forward to experimenting with different types of scones. And I need a cutter, because the glass I used was a bit thick and it was hard to get a very smooth cut so the scones would rise evenly. That’s OK, they still tasted good.

Check out the recipe I used here. Or please to share your own. I’d love to try it out!

A Pastel Sunrise

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pastel Sunrise Over Ravello

Waking up to a colorful sky on the Amalfi Coast

I’m going to run the risk of offending all you night owls that may be reading and just say it. I love waking up early. There, now you know! The early morning is such a glorious time of day with the first light, the colors creeping across the mountains and the sound of birds fluttering about in their happy way. Before the noise and craziness of the day begins there’s a moment of complete peace.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pastel Sunrise Pink and Blue

Yawn!

This morning started a little earlier than usual, which meant I had a good look at Orion and the Pleiades in the dark, clear sky when I first opened the window. I took a look after breakfast and the sky had been splashed with pastel shades of pink and blue. Gorgeous!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pastel Sunrise Sky

A watercolor sky

Everything was pink. Looking out to the Bay of Salerno even the sea was tinted pink. Usually the sky is a bit more orange during the sunrise, but I’ll take pink for a change.

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Pastel Sunrise Pink Sea

The sea tinted pink

Wishing you a beautiful day ahead … on the Amalfi Coast or wherever you may be!

Harmont & Blaine on the Amalfi Coast

One day last spring I was hurrying along the harbor in Amalfi to catch the boat to Positano. I stopped for a second when I noticed a photo shoot taking place at the end of one of the piers. I looked down at the prep area where all of the outfits were carefully arranged on racks and the ground was scattered with shoe boxes and accessories. There was tweed and more tweed and there were boots, scarves and other seasonally inappropriate gear. Ah … the fashion industry. Always working a few seasons ahead!

Harmont and Blaine Photoshoot in Amalfi Clothes

All the clothes and accessories ready for the fashion shoot

There was a sign on the truck that said Harmont & Blaine, a Italian clothing company with strong connections to Naples. (They presented their first show in Capri.) How appropriate to do this year’s Fall/ Winter photo shoot on the Amalfi Coast! I snapped a few quick photos and continued on my way to catch the ferry.

Harmont and Blaine Photoshoot in Amalfi

Models posing for a photo shoot in Amalfi overlooking the harbor

I had forgotten about the event until I was searching through my photos earlier this week and spotted them. I wondered what had ever happened with the photo shoot so I checked out their website. Ah … gorgeous photos! Their website is not only filled with beautiful styles, which are now most seasonably appropriate, but also offers a visual treat for those of you who love the Amalfi Coast.

Book Review | Dreaming of Laughing Hawk by Linda Katmarian

While my reading time has been quite limited since the summer, I’ve had the pleasure of dipping into a wonderful story every moment I could with Linda Katmarian’s debut novel Dreaming of Laughing Hawk. With deep and fascinating characters and a storyline that drew me into the novel more and more with each page, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

On a cold spring day in 1964, with the hope of escaping home and studying art at university filling her heart and head, Elizabeth Leigh skips out of high school early. In a matter of moments everything in her unsettled life changes. Her mother’s packed suitcase, broken promises, more lies, dreams shattered – and no one to tell her why.

With nothing keeping her in the place that wasn’t really ever home, Elizabeth accepts a fortuitous invitation from her cousin to spend the summer in sunny California. Life couldn’t possibly be more different at her aunt Caroline’s house, where Lizzy, as her family insists on calling her, settles into a beautiful home and comfortable lifestyle where she meets new people, led along by her gorgeous and bubbly cousin Melina.

While Melina is more concerned about summer fun, Elizabeth works to save money for university. Through family connections she starts a job as secretary for Collin Greenslade, a handsome and ambitious young man eager to get out from the overbearing grasp of his father’s business. The most unlikely of matches, Elizabeth and Collin both have a hole deep inside–a need to be loved–that draws them together. Collin offers Elizabeth everything she could dream of, love, comfort, beautiful things, and she falls for what is too tempting to resist – security.

But, there’s just one problem. Mark Laughing Hawk. A Native American from South Dakota and studying medicine at UCLA, Hawk is the roommate of Melina’s boyfriend Jake. When Jake gets in trouble with his civil rights activism in Mississippi, he calls in the help of Hawk to come and rescue him and tow his ruined car back home. Never one to miss out on a little fun, Melina concocts a story that allows her and Elizabeth to go with Hawk to Mississippi. This is no average road trip. It’s an adventure that sets in motion unstoppable events in the life of Elizabeth and Hawk.

There are choices to be made by the characters in the story, and they are certainly ones that resonated with me. Do you risk everything to follow where your heart leads you or do you hold on with all your might to the one thing you always thought you wanted? There’s a point in the novel where Mark Laughing Hawk says, “Your destiny is determined by the choices you make and the angels–or demons–you invite to accompany you.” As Collin, Elizabeth and Hawk make their decisions–some followed by angels and others the darkest demons–the story unfolds into one of deep, beautiful and fierce love.

___________

Find out more about Linda Katmarian and Dreaming of Laughing Hawk by clicking here.