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

Lamia Pellegrino and its outdoor space

As the year 2020 continues we’re looking already to 2021. What changes can we make to the outdoor space of Lamia Pellegrino? For the patio we’ve got already some things in mind, we want it to become greener and plastic-free: the plastic chairs will be replaced by a wooden bench and wooden chairs. More plants will be added. And last but not least, the pavement is also in need of a makeover but until now we’re indecisive on how we want it. In addition the BBQ will be replaced by a fire pit and underneath the olive tree you’ll find a couple of lounge chairs next year. This way the backyard area will be even more inviting to spend time after a day of exploring Puglia during your vacation in 2021.

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!

Take a break late September

For those who want to take a break late September, we have the following offer:
If you book the Lamia from Wednesday 23 September 2020 (arrival) to Wednesday 30 September 2020 (departure), you pay only € 275.00 instead of € 310.00 and the price does include the final cleaning and the costs of electricity/gas) .
You can’t book this offer online so leave a message on the form below, write an email (info@inpugliainvacanza.it) or call us (0039 3270912079) if you’re interested.

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?

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

 

Eat breakfast like an Italian

To eat breakfast like an Italian, you only have to follow these simple guidelines:

1. Find the neighborhood bar.
2. Order the coffee of your choice and a baked good.
3. Remain standing at the bar while drinking your coffee and eating your cornetto.

With the COVID-19 quarantine still in progress, all bars in Italy are closed at this moment. Luckily the “A Casa” bar is always open so why not take a few slices of Lucia’s two colored Nutella roll, pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and enjoy breakfast while reading a newspaper? 

Thank you Lucia for sharing one of your breakfast recipes with us!

Two color Nutella roll

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of eggs
  • 140 grams of sugar
  • 10 grams of honey
  • 25 grams of potato starch
  • 110 grams of flour
  • 15 grams of cocoa powder
  • 300 grams of Nutella
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preparation:

  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  • Whip the egg whites with 100 grams of sugar.
  • In another bowl, whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and honey.
  • Add the stiff egg whites to the cream obtained with the yolks, from top to bottom.
  • Combine 95 grams of the flour with the potato starch and add to the egg mixture little by little, mix well mixing gently.
  • Pour half of the mixture into another cup and add the remaining flour in one and the cocoa in the other.
  • Butter a 30 cm x 50 cm rectangular cake pan, cover it with parchment paper and pour the dark cocoa mixture into it. Level well and bake in a static oven at 200 ° C for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and pour the light mixture on top of the dark layer, level it quickly and put it back in the oven at 200 ° C for another 4 minutes.
  • Once the two-colored biscuit is out of the oven, remove from the pan with all the parchment paper, and while still hot, wrap it on itself on the longer side. Wrap the biscuit with plastic wrap in order to better maintain the shape and keep the moisture that will keep it soft and allow it to cool completely.
  • Once cool, unroll the roll, remove the parchment paper and cover it with a light layer of nutella. Leave a margin of about 1 1/2 cm from the edges and roll again without squeezing too much, to not let come out the nutella.
  • Wrap the roll well with plastic wrap, seal the ends and leave to firm in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Will your breakfast be the next one?