Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mountains, Tomato Bloggers and Spring Minestrone

We had minestrone for dinner yesterday - it's one of my specialities and I make it regularly all winter. But apart from referring to vegetable soup, minestrone also has another meaning - in Italian it's used to mean a hotch-potch. Which is what this post is going to be - a minestrone hotch-potch of unconnected themes.

A couple of posts back I was bemoaning the fact that we should be able to see the Alps from Milan, but they're almost always obscured by the pollution haze. Well, yesterday there was a cold wind coming down from the mountains, and it blew all the smog away. So here they are - from the roof of our appartment block this morning. They look better if you click on them to get a bigger picture.

There's a website which I collaborate with called Rat Race Rebellion. They're dedicated to encouraging a slower, more human pace of life - and in particular, work from home. Every day they run ads for work from home jobs, and I noticed that today one of them was an advert for tomato blogger. Tracing the link back it came from a site called Tomato Casual . Check it out if you're interested in growing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cooking with tomatoes - or just about everything else tomato related. would you believe that in Japan, for instance, they even make beer out of tomatoes? (Having spent quite a lot of time there, I would, I would.)

Tomorrow is the first day of spring officially, but for the last week or so here it's been clear that winter is over. The trees are starting to look green again, and even when it's been cold there's been that difference in the quality of the light that says the season has changed. I spent the weekend continuing my post-winter clearup on the balcony, and rearranged the containers. Even the plants that have been blooming all winter are now starting to look as if they really want to be there, and there are more and more jobs to be done. And it's that lovely time of year when every time you go outside, you know there might, just might be something there which wasn't the last time you looked.

And so it all starts again ...


VP said...

Hi Sue - glad to see you've got rid of all that smog and can see the mountains for once. Have a good Easter!

LadyLuz said...

Oh, Sue, it all looks lovely and bright on your balcony. What a delight to go out and see the Alps.

Have a happy Easter.

Naturegirl said...

Wishing you the beauty of Easter time with the sight of golden daffodils in the sunshine!
sunkissed NG xo

Katarina said...

Milan must be nice this time of year! And your balcony sure looks pretty enough!
We had a back lash of winter - the ground and the flowers are all covered in snow...
Happy Easter!

Lia said...

Your flower are very beautiful.

I wish you a Happy Easter!

chaiselongue said...

Thanks for the pictures of the Alps - we're in the Languedoc and we can see the Pyrenees when the air is clear and the wind from the north. Your balcony looks lovely.
The double use of minestrone has equivalents in other languages too - in Welsh 'cawl' [meat and vegetable soup] is used in the same way, and here in the Languedoc the local occitan stew 'escoubille' means literally 'rubbish' and is made with all the left over bits of meat and vegetable! All these are good, as is your minestrone post! Good luck with the balcony gardening.

VP said...

Sue - I've rushed over to see you because of the comment you left on my site. The beef gelatin's in the sweets, not the chocolate, so you should be OK with all your goodies :)

However, you have made a good point. I had to avoid wheat for a few years and it's surprising which non-wheat food products it and its derivatives got into. It just shows how careful you have to be with food labelling.

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