Monday, March 31, 2014

South italian markets. Part one - farmer's fruits and vegetables market

Near my house there is a large daily farmer’s market where you can buy everything - fruit and vegetables, cereals and legumes, herbs, fish and seafood ... There is a great variety of things - fresh, just ripped, just caught ...
I decided to divide this interesting topic into two parts - one about the farmer's market of fruits and vegetables, the second is about the fish market.
Today I invite you to go with me to buy some fresh vegetables :)
South Italian market bustling and noisy, every seller screams that his product is the best and cheapest, talks up its in verses and prose. I even had a desire to make record on Dictaphone of all this cacophony of sounds. Every seller rains compliments to pretty girls. I Can say for sure after I wakled with the camera on the market, now all sellers remember me :) They think I made them famous all over the world :)

What vegetables you can buy on the market? Any of the current season. Part of the market is occupied by the so-called "zero kilometer" market where local manufacturers bring their products. On the rest of the market there are products from more distant places - such as oranges from Sicily, apples from Aosta. And if in the supermarket you can find off-season fruits and vegetables, instead on the local market is likely to be sold only seasonal greens. And,of course, you can haggle. Often after you have weighed and paid, the seller throw a couple of extra zucchini or beans in your bag. Trifle , but nice!
In southern Italy, wild greens are very popular. This is a wild spinach and greens called chikureddi ( I askes at people, but I realized that no one knows the name of these plants in Italian, only in the local dialect) . There is another popular green called paparina, but when I was in the market , I didn’t find it.

These bulbs are called "pampachuni" and it is something like a wild onion. They must be boiled sooooo long, about 2 hours. 

Another local greens - "sponzali"  is something between a leek, usual onion and chives, you can find it with bulbs or only greens.

Now there is the midst of artichokes season, you can find them from 10 to 20 pieces for 1 euro. 

Also begins the season of fresh beans and peas.

Fennel and celery are ate only raw,  great in a fresh salad with olive oil.

Certainly there are eggplants and zucchini – very traditional in local cousine. I always buy eggplants only on the farmer’s market! One time my husband bought them at the supermarket -  they were beautiful, but just stuck to the grill and turned into something mashed and completely tasteless.
Cimi di rapa is a relative of normal radishes, but only buds and small leaves are edible. A very popular recipe here - orekkette (hand-made pasta in the form of ears) with Cimi di rapa.

Chicory is ate fresh or cooked - you can just boil it, or you can put out some tomatoes and garlic.

Some sellers cut minestrone from of fresh vegetables and greens.

There are fruits, of course. Now season of oranges – you can find a lot of both local and Sicilian oranges at very reasonable price. I love red ones. 

On the market there are also several sellers of cereals, beans, lentils and various marinated olives. Choice is  a large and quality is better than pre-packaged ones in the supermarket.

Also on the local market you can buy eggs, either normal or special, which can be eaten raw.
And of course, I can’t finish without the local delicacies - snails like small escargot, which were collected after the rain in fields. There are other type snails, very small.

In fact, it is impossible to write about everything in one article. Difficult to describe colors and sounds of the South Italian market, so come here :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New season - New skirts

Are you ready for summer? Did you think already to add some new piece to your summer wardrobe? 
I hand dyed a lot of doilies and of course I didn't forget about tableclothes. So I made new beach skirts upcycled from vintage crochet tableclothes - Yellow, lavender, blue... And I have in plans to make others!
Crochet skirt upcycled from vintage tablecloth is great replacement or those who can't afford to buy a real crochet skirt. Every skirt is unique, has satin ribbon ties on the waist. Use it for cover up your swimsuit! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Again spring photos

Again some spring photos to give you a little of spring mood also if at your home is still winter like at my mothers home on the Polar North of Russia. But I hope these photos give you a positive mood for today)
The field of green grain
The field of green grain

Small flowers under olive trees

Small flowers under olive trees

Friday, March 7, 2014

Featured Artist - Valery from Alery Etsy shop

Hello! I’m Valery and I'm owner of Alery shop
I was born and lived in Ukraine – beautiful European country. Some time ago work brought my family to California, USA.
As long as I can remember myself, I was interested in creativity and handmade. I tried many different kinds of crafts and finally started making jewelry. At the beginning I worked with seed beads, then tried wireworking, and at last started working with metal. 
It’s a great time now – we have so many opportunities to learn! So I started learning metalsmithing and silversmithing. Then I took some enameling classes in a local jewelry school with an amazing teacher… and fall in love!
Enameling opened a whole new world for me, it fascinated me! 
I love to experiment, to discover new techniques, to combine traditional with contemporary. 

 The world around us is full of inspiration – sophistication of nature, beauty of architecture, simplicity of minimalist man-made designs.
 All items in my shop are true artisan jewelry. They designed and handmade by me.  I use raw materials – sheet copper, silver wire, powdered glass enamels. I add my skills, my creativity, and a fire from a hand torch to make enamel earrings, necklaces, rings.

 I make both practical jewelry for the everyday wear and one of a kind whimsical items for the special occasions. For all my items I think a lot about making them not only beautiful, but also comfortable and durable, so people can enjoy them for a long time. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring is here!!!

The spring is here and I gift you some photos I made during trakking last weekend. It's some wild bush I don't know the name. Flowers are about 1-1.5 cm, very small.


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