September 7, 2011

Out of the Blue...

"When Life Gives you Lemons....Make Limoncello"

God sure has a wicked sense of humor.  Take for instance that I think God played a practical joke when he decided to pour German blood thru my veins.  That is the only explanation possible, because I truly believe I am Italian! Nothing against Germans, believe me, I am very proud of my German roots and I have a long line of Germans to answer to.  I am only 2nd generation American, so the German heritage and traditions are still very prominent in many aspects of my life.  BUT, I just seem to have a natural affinity, gravitation and joy towards anything Italian.

My dream is to follow in the footsteps of Frances Mayes and purchase my own run-down "Under the Tuscan Sun" villa and renovate it. Actually, I vacationed in Cortona a couple of summers ago, stalked out the villa Bramasole', and got to meet Frances Mayes and her husband Ed.  Truth-be-told, I probably freaked them out when they saw me taking photos from the small street outside their Bramasole'.  But for whatever reason...I got to meet her (and she was VERY nice, altho looks nothing like Diane Lane...altho who does?).

But since that is a far off and distant dream, I take solace that I am very fortunate to be able to travel to Italy and soak up the culture fairly often.  So much of what we experience here in America as "Italian" is in truth just an Americanized version.  Everything is brighter, cleaner, tastier, more colorful, just more ITALIAN in Italy.  For example, Limoncello.  On the Amalfi Coast, the lemons are "as big as your head".  Okay, not QUITE as big....but Italians also seem to exaggerate a bit.

"Limoncello Bottle"

I've always wanted to make my own Limoncello.  I've been told it is actually quite simple, but I am put off by my anticipation that it will not measure up and I will be disappointed.  Lucky for me, I have a friend who makes the most wonderful Limoncello!  It was a Christmas gift, and has long ago been happily consumed....but the bottle sits on my windowsill shining and glistening as the sun's rays hit the multi-faceted glass.  Grazie mille my friend!

 It is a reminder both of friendship AND that I need to start planting the seeds in my better half's brain (and wallet!) that I hear Italy calling my name.  By the way, it likes to call me....Sophia.

 Hmmmm...I wonder if I could take some Limoncello making classes there?  You know what they say, "when life gives you lemons make limoncello".




  1. Love the story!!!!! I wanted to hear more! What a lovely bottle and it posed so well for you :-D .... nice work!

  2. Love the post, I think the closest I will get to Italy is my brother is vacationing there now. Not fair, the he goes and not me...MOM!!! I do not believe I have had limoncello, must try it sometime you make it sound like a must for every palette.

  3. Beautiful! My husband loves Limoncello, but unfortunately it doesn't agree with my medication I have to take! But cheers anyway!! : )

  4. Hi Kathy ~~ You are making me want to go back to Tuscony. We stayed a week there a couple of years ago, we may have crossed paths. Also we spent an afternoon in Cortona, only because of the book because there were a lot of places we liked better.

    Before Tusoncy, we spent a week in Provence, France, at St. Remy for a centrally located hangout. And before that we spent two weeks in Sicily and a week in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. It was a nice half summer. We have been to France a lot, Mrs. Jim is French blooded (I'm half German and half assorted British), so sometimes we visit relatives.

    I loved your tale of meeting the Mayes.
    Happy MidWeek Blues,

  5. Jim,

    I would really love to explore Provence...via bike tour. I'm going to have to look into that more seriously.

  6. Great little reportage. Good macro shots.

  7. WOW ! Those reflection shots are simply stunning ! I specially enjoy the one you did with your second subject : you really did a great job by enlight its transparency...

  8. Fabulous photography, and such an interesting bottle. Hope you had a great weekend.

  9. Hi Sophia! We are hoping to get to Italy...soon. But it will probably not be soon by the time we get to planning and all of that. So much going on that it is hard to keep up. Which is why I am so behind in blogging! My sister brought limoncello home for us this year, I never thought of making it!