September, 2007

Interesting Yogurt Flavors

Perhaps you’ve noticed that a few yogurt brands are branching out and developing innovative new flavors.  Yomo is one of the highest quality yogurt brands here in Italy and they have quite an array of new flavors, including:

fragola.jpgStrawberry Tomato – the mineral salts & vitamin C in strawberries (11.6% of the final product) and the “oligoelementi” & vitamins in tomatoes (5%) combine for a really red yogurt.  I noticed that they use concentrated beet juice to give the yogurt an extra rosy color!

 mela.jpgSpinach Apple – Iron & soluble fiber, baby yeah!

 pumpkin.jpgMango Pumpkin – Rich in vitamins A, E, potassium, calcium, phosferous & magnesium.

 fennel.jpgPineapple Fennel – Pineapple has detoxifying properties and fennel improves digestion and can even lower cholesterol.

 carrot.jpgCarrot Blueberry – Blueberries help the body’s microcirculation and improve vision, while carrots provide anti-aging elements and help repair damaged skin tissues.


The New Car

On a tearful afternoon in August, we said goodbye to the Lancia and bought the new-to-us white Palio Weekend Station Wagon.  I’ve never had a car with a bigger trunk–it’s humungous!  Both the Lancia and the Palio are made by Torino’s Fiat.  The Lancia needed a new muffler and really wasn’t very economical.  With the new Palio I save 400 a year on insurance and €50 a month on gas.  Ding!  As you can see, I’ve proudly displayed my Keuka Lake bumper sticker on the rear windshield.  We have yet to name her…

Journal Scraps

I was going through my old journals today and found this random piece of text…

 “Take  my hand and be young with me; don’t rush; be a beginner; weave pearls in your hair; grow potatoes; light candles; keep the fire; dare to love someone; tell yourself the truth; stay inside the rapture.”

Barilla Press Release

pasta-press.gifLooking for your good deed of the day? 

The Barilla Celebrity Pasta Lovers’ Cookbook celebrates the 130th birthday of the Italian brand and features recipes from celebrities like singer Delta Goodrem, chef Darren Simpson, Socceroo Marco Bresciano and food writer Joanna Savill.

To download the book, just head to Barilla’s Australian website and click on the pdf link.

For every person who downloads the 35-page book, Barilla will donate $1 to the Children’s Food Education Foundation, an organization which aims to help children make healthy food choices.

Italian Citizen


I officially received Italian citizenship last week.  Woohoo!  All that hard work and years of collecting documents finally paid off!  I see video rentals, salary increases and health insurance in my future.  yay.  Thanks for all your help!

Happy Rosh Hashanah

Today, millions of Jewish people around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  I was wondering about the tradtions of this holiday and so did a little research…

Apparently there’s a trumpet made from a ram’s horn called shofar which is blown in traditional communities every morning of the month before Rosh Hashanah.  According to wikipedia, “the sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listener from his or her ‘slumber’ and alert them to the coming judgment”. I wonder if Frances has one of these…

Like most religious holidays, there are special services and prayers that are recited, but during Rosh Hashana,there are also special poems (called piyyuttim), which I found interesting.

There are traditional greetings for this special day: “Shana Tova” (Hebrew for ‘A Good Year’) or “Shana Tova Umetukah” (‘A Good and Sweet Year’).

During the afternoon of the first day occurs the practice of tashlikh, in which prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one’s sins are symbolically cast into the water. Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the “casting off” of sins.

And my favorite part–food!  Rosh Hashanah cuisine often includes apples and honey to symbolize a “sweet new year”. Various other foods with a symbolic meaning are served as well, depending on local custom.  Some of the more popular are:tongue or other meat from the head of an animal, or fish head (to symbolise the “head” of the year), dates, black-eyed beans, leeks, spinach, gourds, and pomegranates.  Often, round challah bread is served to symbolize the cycle of the year. (I love challah.  I remember when I was in culinary school I saved all the parchment paper that we baked challah on and used it for wrapping paper at Christmas-hotness!)  Epicurious has a mouth watering array of Rosh Hashana menus if any of you are interested in getting in on the festivities.

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