Let’s go to the beach

Go to the beach; Lamia Pellegrino; In Puglia in vacanza Lamia Pellegrino has 2 bicycles that are available to guests. So why not use them for a bike ride to Punta Penna Grossa or Torre Guaceto? Let’s go to the beach!

On a beautiful day it’s worth while to grab your bike and go for a ride. And so we did the other day. At around 9 AM Giovanni and I were ready to go.

Adriatic Sea here we come

Leaving our plot, which is situated next to Lamia Pellegrino, we turn to the right. We are on the road to San Vito dei Normanni. From there we follow the SP 36 and the SP 37, they’ll lead us to the Adriatic Sea. 

San Vito is situated at 108 metres above sealevel, therefore the 14 km to the beach by bike are easy. We don’t rush, we enjoy the surrounding. During this time of year (spring) the roadside is filled with wildflowers. Butterflies are flying from flower to flower. And ofcourse ancient olive trees are everywhere where you look.

We pass the castle of Serranova. The elegant castle was built by the feudal lord Ottavio Serra in 1629. Once it was the summer residence of the noble family Dentice di Frasso of San Vito dei Normanni. Hopefully one day it will open its door for the public but for now it is inaccessible because it’s private property. So we keep on pedaling as the Adriatic Sea is our goal. 

Go to the beach; Lamia Pellegrino; In Puglia in vacanzaAfter about 45 minutes of relaxed riding our bikes we arrive at our destination, the beach of Punta Penna Grossa. The sea is calm and the sky is blue. And yes we’ve got the whole beach for us 🙂 . That’s one of the reasons why we suggest visiting Puglia during spring and autumn. Besides the not so crowded beaches, the temperatures aren’t as high as in July and August.  

We take off our shoes and walk barefoot towards the sea. The sand feels soft and warm on our feet. By dipping our feet in the water we check the temperature. Are we brave enough to take the plunge? To be honest, not really 🙂 .

Orecchiette con salsiccia e funghi cardoncelli

Go to the beach; Lamia Pellegrino; In Puglia in vacanzaAfter about an hour we prepare ourselves for the way back. One of our guests is chef Costantino from Bari and we were offered to taste a “primo piatto” for lunch. We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t want to taste a specialty of the Murgia barese. Let me tell you, the orecchiette con salsiccia e funghi cardoncelli are delicious. In case you’re not so lucky to have Chef Costantino cook for you after returning from your bike ride, here’s his recipe of orecchiette con salsiccia e funghi cardoncelli

 

Smile :-)

Tomorrow is World Smile Day. Sometimes all it takes to make your day better is a smile. Small acts of kindness can bring a bright smile to someone who has otherwise had a terrible day and can change everything that follows. For this reason today I’ll make some soap bars which I want to send to 5 people, on December 1st, so that they receive this gift just in time for Christmas.

Today is International Coffee Day. Coffee yes, but how? Among the millions of ways to use coffee, I’m going to use the coffee grounds from my morning coffee in one of the soaps. Since not everyone loves coffee, I’ll also be making Rooibos tea soap.

I love to get postcards and letters sent through regular mail so if you want to have
a chance of receiving two of these soaps, all you need to do is send me a postcard or a letter on World Post Day – October 9th.

On November 3rd we’ll announce on FB who the 5 winners are, drawn from all those who have send a postcard/letter to the following address: J. Noorland, Via Brindisi 6, 72019 San Vito dei Normanni (Br) – including the sender’s address.

A banana plant in a forest of olive trees

Finally our banana plant has found the right spot to grow: in between 2 olive trees, sheltered from the wind but in full sun. It did take us a while finding the best place  but now that we found it, the banana is growing fast. Normally it takes about 9 months to grow up and produce a bunch of bananas. What about that! This would mean next year we’ll be having some bananas 🙂 . As they do best when planted in groups rather than as single specimens hopefully around the base of this one, soon we’ll see some little baby plants pop-up. 

A banana plant; In Puglia in vacanza

This way Tarzan & Jane of Pellegrino can swing through their jungle of banana plants and olive trees harvesting the bananas necessary for preparing a delicious banana bread 😉 

Ingredients:

  • 220 grams of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 140 grams of sugar
  • 10 grams of vanilla sugar
  • 115 grams of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 225 grams of mashed very ripe bananas, about 2-3 large bananas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 80 grams of Nutella
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 23 x 12.5-cm loaf pan with butter or line with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture until combined.  Do not overmix.
  • In a bowl mix half of the cake batter together with the Nutella.
  • Spoon the plain batter and Nutella batter alternately into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes. Test whether the bread is cooked, when a cake tester comes out clean the banana bread is cooked. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and set on the wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

We can’t wait to welcome our guests!

Given the exceptional circumstances we currently face, we have developed a COVID-19 security plan to ensure your stay is as safe and stress-free as ever. We have maintained the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene throughout our lamia. Another preventive measure we have adopted is to leave the lamia empty for 72 hours between one guest and another.

Book with confidence

Guests may have doubts about booking their holidays, which is why we are offering more flexibility on all bookings made directly to us via email, phone or WhatsApp. For these bookings the following applies:

In the event that it will be necessary to cancel the holiday due to a Covid-19 lockdown, the deposit made will be refunded as we have done this year with guests unable to come due to the coronavirus.

If the bookings have been made through booking sites, please contact them directly.

Puglia has long been a favorite summer destination for travelers

Italy’s southern regions, including Puglia, have largely escaped the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope it stays that way. For this reason, the President of the Puglia Region has issued an Ordinance requiring that anyone entering Puglia from another part of Italy or abroad must fill out an online form. More details on these regulations are available on the Puglia Region website.

Eggplants and the outdoor oven

Our eggplants are growing great, 3 weeks ago the plants began to flower now little fruits are appearing. I didn’t know that an eggplant is actually a very tender perennial grown as an annual. For that reason I hope we can save the plants for next year. The eggplant is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family to it is akin to the potato, tomato as well as the tomatillo and chayote. Although the eggplant is used as a vegetable it is really a fruit. The English actually gave the fruit the name of “eggplant” referring one one varieties shape which was similar to an egg. In a large part of Europe the eggplant is referred to as an “aubergine” and Italy it is called melanzana.

As it is almost Ferragosto we’re busy planning a family evening around the fire pit with in addition the use of the outdoor wood oven. Next to some focaccie for sure grilled eggplant will be on the menu. This time I want to try the recipe below to see of it really will come off crispy brown on the outside, creamy sweet on the inside, and full of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 2 liters of cold water
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • olive oil

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the 2 tablespoons of salt in 250 ml of warm water; stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Add 2 liters of cold water. Set aside.
  • Cut the eggplant into slices (either diagonal, crosswise, or lengthwise).
  • Place the slices in the salted water. Weigh them down with an upside-down plate, and let soak for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
  • Drain the eggplant and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Lay the slices on a large baking sheet or tray. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the slices with the oiled side into the wood oven for about 5 minutes. Take out of the oven.
  • Brush the top sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Turn the slices over, back into the oven and cook until the eggplant is very tender; about 5 more minutes.

Recipe: thespruceeats.com

Thinking about next year …

It’s the time of year that peaches are in season. Originated in China the fruit arrived in Rome in the first century AD. The fruit had already spread throughout the Mediterranean Sea basin thanks to Alexander the Great. This very popular and delicious stone fruit, what a collective name for various fruits with a hard stone pit, is like apricots in season from May to August.

At this moment one of our fridges seems to turn into a nursery for seeds. The “babies”, 5 apricot seeds and 8 peach seeds, are sleeping in their beds covered with soil. 

Next spring I’ll wake them up and hopefully they will grow fast. Let’s wait and see if this method of David the Good works 🙂 .

Next spring sounds a long way off, but before you know it the time has come. For that reason we’re kicking off a ‘Daily Special Deals’ series, starting 23 August 2020. Don’t miss out the opportunity to grab a holiday bargain!

 

For (giro d’)Italia lovers

In the autumn you can still enjoy a wonderful holiday in Puglia. The sweltering heat of August has passed and temperatures have dropped. In late September and early October, the daytime temperature is still around 22/23 ° C 🙂 For giro d’Italia lovers: Matera-Brindisi will be the seventh stage of the Tour of Italy, which will exceptionally take place in the autumn this year. So why not give yourself a well deserved holiday during this period of the year?! And you know what: the “Take a break late September” offer is still available so hurry up before someone else takes this offer!

 

Video: giroditalia.it

Lavender and bees are very good friends!

Lavender and bees are very good friends! Bees love lavender in bloom, so having some lavender plants in your garden and let them bloom as long as they want, will result in bees saying ‘thank you’ . You’re helping them in their ‘mission’ to sustain their hive and produce honey.

That’s why we had our lavender bloom. But their comes a time the lavenderplants needs to be cut back. Cutting back the flowers isn’t that difficult as you can see Jane Edmanson explain in the video.

This morning I took my pruning scissors. For a moment my thoughts wandered back in time. A couple of years ago we had a wonderful lavender in the garden of Lamia Pellegrino which needed to be cut back. Not that difficult!? Long story short: the plant didn’t survive 🙁 The good thing of the whole story is that I learned a lot of my mistake. We now have 2  great looking plants and about 8 little ones to be planted this autumn along the lane we’re constructing.

I started cutting back the lavender flowers that had bloomed. The smell is fantastic! I’ll be using the flowerbuds for this year’s lavender soap. A quick calculation tells me that, from preparing the lavender infused olive oil to making the soap, the bars will be ready for use around november/december. So just in time for Christmas! Thinking about Christmas: there’s hardly any chance that Santa is going to skip the delivery of Christmas gifts for those who will spend their Christmas at Lamia Pellegrino 😉 . 

 

500 eggplants?!

Do you know how much fruit one eggplant aproximately produces? In case you don’t, neither did we at the time we bought “some” plants. After putting them in the ground, I was curious to learn more about this vegetable so I decided to do some research. If I had only done that before buying them! Our plants are doing great, by now they start to show us some amazing flowers. It still takes a while before we can enjoy our own grown eggplants but when the time comes and everything goes the way it’s supposed to go, we’ll be having a lot of eggplants. One plant will hopefully give us about 5 pieces of fruit and we’ve got 100 plants so you can do the math 😉 . Maybe it’s time to think about building a little stall so we can sell some of our naturally grown eggplants 😉 . To be continued!

Which photo do you prefer?

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We want to have some photos enlarged to hang in the lamia. Which picture would you definitely choose?

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