orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Before we are off on our first wee "holiday" in 4 years (we're going hiking for 4 or 5 days over the Appenines following the old partisan trails), I thought I'll give you a wee insight into our daily routine, especcially our eating habits. Today we'll start with breakfast and when we come back I'll go on about the other meals.

Compared to the majority of the western world we have the opposite problem: i.e. our lifestyle requires a rather large energy intake, which we sometimes struggle to fulfill.
Our morning routine goes somthing like this: between 7 and 8 am (depending how late the night was) Eddie will wake me up wanting to go for his early morning walk. Depending on what the plans for the rest of the day are, this can take anything from 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. At the moment we are alternating activities, one day on the land (walking there, except maybe once a week, when we take the car or bike), the next day at home preserving what we have picked the previous day. So on preserving days the walk is obviously longer, whilst on land days, Eddie'll get plenty of excersise later.

On this walk I will usually pick something to contribute to breakfast like blackberries, elderberries, apples, pears, peaches, hazelnuts, grapes... They all grow in the vicinity. When I come back I will make the first course.

In the juicer I will make a wholesome juice out of some of the fruit. Today for example it consisted of apples, pears, peaches and blackberries. To go with that we usually like a cereal. Not being able to grow many cereal crops, we have always bought a decent quality muesli, but I have now come up with a recipe of my own, while stocks last. I made it like this:

  • Soak some dried sweet corn over night (we still use some from last year, although the new crop is ready). Next morning slow cook the corn in some salted water until soft.
  • Drain the corn and place in a food processor together with dried fruit (figs and apricots in our case at the moment), nuts (hazelnuts are available now), seeds (pumpkin, but sunflower and sesame would do nicely too, and I should try amaranth in this) and some honey or brown sugar. Whizz until well chopped.
  • Place the mixture on lightly oiled baking tray and bake at a low temperature for an hour or so, until the mixture is dry to the touch and crispy, without being burned. Store in a metal tin.
Serve this with either milk or as we do at the moment with a topping of stewed preserved apple and some fresh fruit, such as some figs that wanted using up today as they were attracting the attention of the local fruit fly population.

While eating that, I check out my e-mails and any internetty news and Susan prepares the second course: a cup of mocca coffee (yes I'm addicted I'm afraid! I don't function without my daily caffein fix.), 2 slices of home-made wholemeal bread (I will soon tell you how I do that too) topped with home-made jam. Today's offering was aubergine and chocolate jam and some jam made from the fruit of the strawberry tree made last winter (corbezzolo)

Now we are ready to face the day! (...until lunch that is)


Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful blog, I have found it through your comment on Mr H’s blog.
I especially like the post on pine kernel, as I remember gathering them and cracking shells when I was a kid. They taste so good!

Heiko said...

Thank you Vrtlarica!

Mr. H. said...

I think you would be astonished at how similar our mornings are, very interesting and I love how you make the cereal:) We were out walking the dog yesterday morning musing about how much of our time revolves around feeding ourselves. I am very much looking forward to hearing more about your meals. Hope you have a very fun trip and wish I was there as it sounds like my kind of vacation.

By the way, do you have "lambs quarter" growing wild in your area? If so, they make the very best soup...I just had some for breakfast.

Have fun Heiko! Oh, and watch out for bears and such.:)

Heiko said...

Mr. H., I didn't know what lamb's quarter was until I just looked it up. We do have it and eat it frequently, I just didn't know what it was called. Italians refer to it as erbe, which basically means weed, which doesn't stop them eating it. I always simply referred to it as wild chard.

We no doubt will have a most excellent holiday.

chaiselongue said...

Oooh, that sounds a very good way to start the day, especially with all that foraged wild fruit. And the coffee, of course - I can't do anything at all until I've had a strong cup of Italian coffee, the only 'food' (drug?) we buy regularly that comes from more than 100 km away.

chaiselongue said...

I forgot to say: have a wonderful holiday!

Kristin said...

I found your blog from a referral from one of the Sicilian Sisters who recently visited you. I find your path so intriguing that I added your blog to my dashboard. I don't always comment, but I do enjoy your posts, especially when you describe your meals; I'm in.

Glad you're able to take a vacation. That's a long time to go without one.

Stefaneener said...

I love my homemade granola, but the kids will only eat it quite plain. Someday my breakfast will be exotic.

I don't have the "need more calories than I consume" problem, but the opposite, although I have high hopes for more walks soon.

Ayak said...

I love the sound of your breakfast. I couldn't manage that much early in the morning, but I can understand your reasons for needing to eat enough to provide you with sufficient energy for the day.
My breakfast tends to be around mid-morning...after watering and weeding the garden and showering.
I love mocha coffee too. And I'm addicted!

jann said...

No wonder you have all that energy to write your great long blogs and forage for your own food, etc. You eat a super-healthy breakfast! Down here we start the day with sugary granita and a white-flour brioche. Oh, well. Time for a nap.

GetSoiled said...

Darn it. We *need* a dog!

Between our own love of all things four-legged and your canine stories and Mr. H's tales I am now drooling with dog-envy.

...and about that breakfast, one word: YUM! That granola sounds *so* good! Which brings me to my next point: I think I know our next vacation destination now :)

I wish you guys a great time off loaded with great wine (always first on the list, eh?), music, yummy meals, and lotsa luv.

Heiko said...

So is that what you people call granola?!

Kristin, welcome to my blog, hope to see you again.

GetSoiled, I shall expecting you any day now. Wait 'till you see our holiday snaps on FB!

GetSoiled said...

I saw some pretty darn sweet shots of abandoned neat stone houses already...oh to blow up a piece to add a window and then make it an art studio for moi! Do you think anyone would mind?

Ruralrose said...

I love seeing real food meals. This was a fascinating post. I adore the Holly Hobby I haven't seen her for years. Hope you had a great trip. Peace