Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1st...and Planning Virtual Sicily

With fireworks and iced cold melons, grilling out and Cokes, long hot days and endless basking, Summer's TBR list and (soon) the beginning of this year's last virtual adventure.

Seeing Sicily...really spending time and exploring  EVERYTHING...for as long as it takes  (or November...whichever arrives first)

It can all be traced back to a Summer Romance that lasted a couple of summers in the late seventies. He was a "second generation from the boat" Sicilian. His grandmother arriving in New York with a humpback trunk and American Dreams. His parents also Sicilian- along with the prerequisite incredibly large number of siblings that entailed. He was maybe 5'5", had curly black hair and liquid brown eyes that sometimes looked black (obviously a Turk crept in somewhere along the genomic line). He was a little older than me.

We protested, read Kahlil Gibran and Max Erhmann, debated, made love and shared love, grew pot behind the house, and lived with equal passion.  

We were nearly married.

Anticipating 11 future children (his wish) was the deal-breaker.

"Who is going to HAVE these eleven babies for you, hon?"

Tucked inside an 1800-something copy of The Royal Path of Life (another relic from our time together) I still have a photo he gave me when we finally parted ways for the last time. On the back is written

"To a fine lady...a good gal...t'was good our time together..."

It has been 40 years.  

But when I look at that picture I can remember so many details. His laugh. His smell. Him teaching me to cook some Sicilian dishes. The taste of a bite of room temperature Parmesan knived from a huge wedge waxed in black can still take me back; eaten out of his hand when we cooked together. Usually naked. The click of the keys on the black Royal typewriter where we would fire off earnst (though often misguided) Letters to The Editor. Both of us fitting together like Yin and Yang in a bubble-filled claw foot bathtub...laying against the black pelt of his chest hair discussing Life...although we had barely even begun to live it ourselves.  We parted with good memories and no regrets.

I started the year in Virtual Cuba...somewhere I always wanted to see/experience...so it only seems fitting that my final Virtual Adventure of the year is the rocky island of Sicily.

(...which I have, also, always wanted to see and experience...)

My Itinerary is as follows:

  See Palermo, Messina, Corleone, Taromina, Noto, Enna, Ragusa, Arigento, and Trapani.

Learn more about the Historical Background of Sicily.

Learn some more Traditional Sicilian cuisine and purchase a Cookbook while there.

Understand what The Trinacria on the Sicilian Flag means.

Learn more about the rise of Cosa Nostra (and its structure) in Sicily.

Learn more about the Saladino lineage. Why not?

Explore some of the nuances between the Sicilian Language and Italian.

See the various Beaches Sicily has to offer.

Explore Bar Vitelli if it still exists.

See the Church of the Gesu in Palermo. 

See Mt. Etna which is still very active.

Explore Sperlinga Castle in Enna.

Experience Sicily's Wine Country and try some Sicilian Wine.

Try some  Sicilian Oregano Honey.

See the Temple of Concord in Arigento.

Read Seeking Sicily by John Keahey.

Learn to make Coffee Granita (and several other flavors...including lemon)

Make Limocello, Sicilian Strawberry Liquor and Basicello.

Make Pupatelli (Sicilian version of Biscotti)

See Enrice Castle near Trapani.

Shop the Marketplace.


Buy Black Truffles from Sicily.

Find a Landscape (or something interesting) in Sicily to paint.

and whatever else strikes my fancy...

Starting this Virtual Journey on the 5th!

More anon....

                                                        Trinacria