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October 2009 Archives

October 2, 2009

PhotoHunt: Words

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This week's theme is "Words."

I went to a Folk Art show earlier this year. This wasn't part of the show, it was just an artist's car outside in the parking lot. I don't know who the artist is but there are some nice words (and lots of other stuff) on his/her car~

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Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

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October 4, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Goat Cheese

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week (goat cheese) was selected by Nancy of A Wine Lover's Wanderings. Nancy just recently returned from Italy; check out her blog for some wonderful photos and stories.

This is a recipe I clipped from Food and Wine magazine: Polenta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes; I changed it into an appetizer by cutting the polenta into bite-size pieces. I used a local goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy - jalapeno flavor! It had a little kick to it and the flavor was great with the polenta and tomatoes.

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Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "smoked salmon."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Goat Cheese" »

October 9, 2009

PhotoHunt: Sports

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This week's theme is "Sports."

I've got a couple of sports-related signs from here in North Carolina.

First is this eye-catching warning sign at the historic Durham Athletic Park baseball stadium:

Durham Athletic Park sign

And this one is in a shop window in Chapel Hill. Translation: I love the UNC Tar Heel basketball team (2009 NCAA Champions). And I do. Go Heels!

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

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October 10, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Salmon

smallbites Our ingredient of the week (smoked salmon) was selected by MarciaB, whose blog is Happy Trails to Us. I ended up making salmon cakes with unsmoked pink salmon since I had a pouch of it that I needed to use. Plus, I love seafood cakes (fish, crab or salmon) and wanted to try to make them.

A number of "country cooking" restaurants here in NC serve salmon cakes for breakfast. You can order them with your eggs and toast instead of bacon or sausage. When I see them on a menu, I almost always get them.

I modified the recipe on the package and they came out great. Very tasty and easy to make. For a party, I'd put these in little buns or biscuits and make sliders. The recipe is below.

salmoncakes

Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "pecans."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Salmon" »

October 11, 2009

San Zaccaria

San Zaccaria

On many of the "must-see in Venice" lists, San Zaccaria is a church with lots of layers and art that spans the centuries and styles – it’s a fascinating place but even someone not into churches should pop into this one and spend 10 minutes or so with the Bellini altarpiece, one of the great masterpieces in the city.

One of the San Magno churches, San Zaccaria was founded in the 7th century and then rebuilt after an 1105 fire. The church we see today was built in 1456-1515 and parts of the older churches were incorporated. The façade is a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, and the church has an enormous collection of art from Gothic to Baroque. The campanile (12th century) is one of the oldest in the city. San Zaccaria was John the Baptist’s father; some Byzantine emperor gave his body to Venice as a gift, and it's inside the church too.

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The Bellini altarpiece in San Zaccaria

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San Zaccariadetail

The photos above show Giovanni Bellini’s Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints, in the church of San Zaccaria where there are almost always a group of people gathered in front of the painting in rapt silence. So many recognizable Venetian details in this painting: the gold mosaics above the Virgin, the red and white marble floor, the mascaron on the top of the throne, a Murano glass lamp hanging down, the Lombardi carvings surrounding the scene, all the glimpses of veined marble. The architecture in the painting is connected to the actual frame itself with tiny glimpses of trees and skies on each side. Everyone is so quiet and beautiful, and only the young angel looks out at us.

Continue reading "The Bellini altarpiece in San Zaccaria" »

October 12, 2009

Torcello (part one)

Torcello

So the three highlights of my December trip to Venice were the Joy Singers concert in the church of Santo Stefano, my daytrip to Padua to see the Giotto frescoes, and the day I spent on Torcello. And I can’t believe I haven’t written about Torcello yet! It’s mainly because I took so many photos that day and it’s taken me a while to go through them and also because I just didn’t know where to start, it was such a wonderful day with my best church visit ever.

It’s easy to get there from Venice. Go to the vaporetto stop on Fondamenta Nuove in Cannaregio and catch boat LN (Laguna Nord) which is the express boat to Burano. There you change boats to line T (for Torcello). The whole trip takes about 45 minutes to an hour and it’s a fun ride. You’ll pass San Michele, the cemetery island, with its beautiful Renaissance church, cruise past Murano and then by a number of romantic and mysterious abandoned lagoon islands with ruins on them. You can enjoy the crazy colors of Burano either before or after the trip to Torcello.

But why go to Torcello? Lots of reasons (and it’s going to take many blog posts to share them all) but in the words of writer Henry James, go to Torcello because enchantment lurks there. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

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Continue reading "Torcello (part one)" »

October 14, 2009

When you get there (Torcello)

When you get to Torcello, the first thing you see is a shrine to Madonna right there at the vaporetto landing. In the distance, you see the campanile of the cathedral. Turn around to see how vast and lonely and beautiful the lagoon looks.

Lagoon view from Torcello

To get to the piazza and the churches, you walk about a third of a mile along the main canal. The modern brick sidewalk you walk on is a bit controversial (more about that later). You don’t have to walk very far before you begin to see cats. Lots of cats! The Torcello cat colonies are what I expected to see when I first went to Venice but didn’t. There are cats in the gardens, cats hanging out with the young girls working at the souvenir kiosk, cats lounging around the piazza, cats on the rooftops of houses, even cats inside the cathedral!

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Continue reading "When you get there (Torcello)" »

October 16, 2009

PhotoHunt: Free Week!

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This week's theme is "Free Week (Share Any Photo)."

No surprise that I'm going to share a few favorite scenes from Venice.

I love this cathedral (Basilica di San Marco)~

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I love the leaning bell towers~

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And I love the hidden courtyards~

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Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

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October 18, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Pecans

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week (pecans) was selected by Sheri of the blog As the Seasons Change. Thanks Sheri!

I love to make roasted spiced nuts for parties and for the holidays, but almost every recipe calls for cooking high-fat, high-calorie nuts in a bunch of butter. So I started looking for a recipe that was a bit lighter and found one from Emeril's new show on the Planet Green network. These nuts are roasted in oil, not butter, and I lightened it up even more by cutting the amount of oil in half. I also changed the spices a bit by using Aleppo pepper instead of cayenne.

Aleppo pepper, from Turkey, "has an Ancho-like flavor, plus a bit of tartness and a nice bite" according to Penzey's Spices which is where I bought it. Cayenne would work just fine.

Anyway, this is my favorite Small Bite I've made so far. Very tasty with a glass of wine or a cocktail. Recipe is below.

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Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "pumpkin."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Pecans" »

October 20, 2009

Work Underway (Torcello)

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I saw a "Work Underway" sign at the vaporetto landing on Torcello, but I didn’t know that this work was so controversial until I read the book, Venice: The Tourist Maze , and learned about what the locals refer to as "lo scempio di Torcello" (the ruination of Torcello). In 1999, a plan was unveiled to widen the vaporetto landing and the fondamenta along the main canal and rebuild them with modern materials. The book reports that by May 2000, posters were plastered all over Venice and other lagoon islands that read:

"Goodbye Torcello! The Magistrato alle Acque is spending 28 billion lire to devastate the island with cyclopian works in steel and reinforced concrete. Of the very ancient charm of the island there will not remain a trace. Visit it while you can, because before too long you won't recognize it anymore."

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Continue reading "Work Underway (Torcello)" »

October 22, 2009

The Shrines of Torcello

I only found a few shrines there but wow, this first one might be my all-time fave. I'd like to copy this one for my own garden. It doesn't look like it would be too hard to build.

Torcello garden shrine

What a great use for a tree stump.

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I also like this empty niche on the side of the cathedral.

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Continue reading "The Shrines of Torcello" »

October 23, 2009

PhotoHunt: Tied

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This week's theme is "Tied."

Found this laying on the ground in a parking lot. A bit mysterious - purple beads and pretzels tied together with a piece of white string. I thought it was probably an art project that some kid had dropped.

But later, I found out that it was a necklace that people were wearing at a World Beer Festival that had taken place nearby. The pretzels are to cleanse the palate in between beers. Go figure. :)

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Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

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October 27, 2009

Santa Fosca

Santa Fosca

This is the smaller of the two churches that remain on Torcello and was built in the 11th century to house the body of the third-century virgin martyr saint, whose body and that of her nurse and fellow martyr, Santa Maura, were brought to Torcello in the 10th century. Santa Fosca was a local girl of sorts, from Ravenna, who was enormously popular in the Middle Ages (there’s also a church dedicated to her in Venice in Cannaregio).

This is a perfectly harmonious little Byzantine church built on a Greek Cross plan with a wooden ceiling and very little decoration inside. There’s something very magical about the simplicity of the interior of this one. The porch connecting Santa Fosca with the cathedral was added in the 16th century.

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October 30, 2009

PhotoHunt: Bags

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This week's theme is "Bags."

A big paper shopping bag is one of little Maria's favorite toys:

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My orange cat LuLu loves bags too:

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great Halloween weekend!

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This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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