Archive for the ‘margherita’ Category

Calabrian Peas Fresh from the Garden

Remember when I shared Judy Witts Francini’s recipe for Piselli alla Fiorentina from her wonderful cookbook Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen? I had to use frozen peas for that dish because ours weren’t ready yet . . . but then they got ready. And man do I love fresh peas from the garden.

Peas are even gorgeous as plants, aren’t they? Such pretty flowers!

I know the goats agree, and although I’m sure they’d love to munch on the peas at any stage of growth, they usually just get the pods once we’ve removed the peas.

And they love ’em!

If you’ve been following along at Goat Berries, you know that these photos are from a few weeks ago as we no longer have the goats pictured above. *sigh*

But we still have Pasqualina and Pinta, and they both love the pea pods too (and fava pods if you got ’em) . . . as I also wrote on Goat Berries, we now even get gift bags of pea and fava pods left in front of our door just for the girls!

I don’t have to tell them twice to eat their veggies!

Come back Wednesday for another great fresh pea recipe — this time with pasta!

What’s growing in your garden right now?

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I love writing about my experiences as a goat maaa because I find myself learning something new every day, especially as we’ve gone on this goat pregnancy journey.

From your comments here, I know a lot of you love to read about our goats. On the flip side, I do realize that not everyone cares *nearly* as much about them as I do or understands my obsession, so instead of interspersing goat posts here (not as often as I’d like!), I’ve done up a new site — just for goat news from our pen and elsewhere.

Some of you already know about my new website, Goat Berries, but for the rest of you who care to read about the kids, do head on over because woooh boy, there’s some big goat news around these parts lately.

And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single post! You can also follow @goat_berries on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

And in other “new site” news, you can also now find me at, my professional writing website with samples, testimonials, and more; if you know anyone who needs a writer or editor, feel free to direct them to!

Yes, I’ve been *very* busy with CSS lately…and I’m not done yet. If you’re a Bleeding Espresso fan on Facebook, you may have noticed that my logo has changed. Or maybe you’ve noticed the new favicon in your address bar? Hmm….

Have a great week, and as always, thanks for reading!

Goat Zen in the Goat Pen

After compiling my part of the World Nutella Day round up and finishing some work assignments early in the week, I decided to enjoy the sunshine this afternoon and spend some time with my girls (of the caprine persuasion).

I never would have imagined how calming and reassuring just being in the presence of these goats can be. It’s really hard to be worried or stressed about anything when these sweet faces are looking back at you.


Right now I’m reading Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler (recommended by a reader and native of Calabria, just down the road from me; grazie mille Anthony!).

Kessler describes the connection with nature, history, and yourself that raising goats provides, noting that throughout time, goats have been the subjects of many legends and stories, always “helping humans or leading them to unexpected places.”

“If you follow living beings assiduously in the field, or through the lens of a microscope,” writes Kessler, “they lead you to an understanding of their lives, and all life. They usher you into a kind of Eden.”


Margherita and Carmelina usually don’t care *too* much if I’m in there with them–they often come to say hello and then just go back to eating, unless they’re not hungry, in which case they’ll stay for petties for a few minutes.

But my Pasqualina, who you might remember, I bottlefed, rarely leaves my side when I’m in the pen, even when I’m clearly disturbing her nap time.

There’s just nothing like goat zen in the goat pen.

An American Expat in Italy Goes “Home”

As many of you know, I was back in the US from mid-November to late December. This was my first trip “home” since February 2004.

Yes I write it in quotes; as much fun as I had there, you see, I was also extremely excited and happy to get back to P, the pooches,

and the three kids (who, incidentally, we believe may all be pregnant!).

Stateside, I spent lots of time with family and friends, visited Philadelphia, New York City (where I met two online friends for the first time and met up with an old college friend–none of whom are shown in the photo below!)

and Washington DC,

helped my mom make cookies (which she sells for Christmas),

and shopped. A lot. The Christmastime prices in American malls? Worth the price of the airline ticket, quite frankly.

For instance, P was amazed that I could get him a pair of Levi’s for $30 (€21) when they cost, oh five times that here. My other spectacular purchases for myself include a new iPod Touch (to make it easier to read English language books, mainly) and a new external hard drive.

NB: Anything technological/electronic costs *way* less in America than it does in Italy.

My biggest culture shock actually came very early on in the trip when I couldn’t. stop. speaking. Italian. It was the weirdest thing! On the plane over, no matter what language the person addressing me was speaking, I would answer in Italian…and only sometimes catch that I had done it–once purely by the blank look on a fellow passenger’s face.

The two hardest things to stop saying were “Ciao!,” “Grazie!,” and “Sì!” So I imagine I just looked like a really pretentious American for at least the first few days of the trip. Oh well.

The other thing that was hard to get used to? Things being open in the afternoon. So strange to be able to go shopping or *gasp* get something to eat between one and four! Lovely.

I still have lots of photos to go through and post on Flickr (and possibly here), and probably a lot of mental processing of the whole experience. Soon I’ll be publishing my Top 10 Realizations After Being “Home” for the First Time in Nearly Six Years so please check back!

And the Kids Come of Age

You know as a goat maaaaa the day will come when your lil’ kids, particularly the one you bottle fed,

Che sorriso! on Flickr

would go and get all grows up.

Yes, it’s breeding time around here (for the GOATS people!), and last week, the girls were anxiously, let’s say, waiting for Godot.

Aspettando Godot on Flickr

Meet Godot:

Beard *and* little tuft of hair on Flickr

If all goes well, kids in March.

Gaaaaah! Are we ready for this?!

Five months, and we’ll have our answer.

Buon weekend!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



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Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
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Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake