Yesterday events conspired to make me feel like I have a little bit of Italy with me right here in Texas. My great friend Grace just got back from Rome, Capri, Napoli and surrounding areas. She brought me back a few wonderful little treasures including Limoncello, a very large tea towel with Lemons and the Limoncello recipe printed on it in six different languages and a local food and events magazine that highlights all of the great restaurants of the region. We talked about the five modes of transportation she took to get from Texas through Italy and the local customs and mishaps of an American Tourist , but mostly we talked about the food. The more she talked about the things she saw growing there and the foods she ate, the more I realized that those are the exact same things that I have in my garden.....I must have some Italian roots in me somewhere. My most beloved plants right now are my artichokes(as previously mentioned in this blog), Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Fennel, Arugula, Zucchini Squash, my one Citrus Tree, Pole Beans and various herbs that all seem to be Italian. I like to go for the more strange plants and seeds, especially if someone tells me that they have never had success growing them, like my Bay Laurel Tree and my Asparagus Beans. The best thing that I have to say about growing things outside of your growing region or something you have never grown before, is to plant it in several different spots...you never know where it might like it best!
Here are some pics of my loot, a photo of Lemons that Grace took at the market in Italy, my(now Italian, It used to be French) garden, and the recipe for making your own Limoncello!
1 liter of 95 proof alcohol
1 liter of water
700 g sugar
Wash and peel lemons, only removing yellow part.Place the rinds into a large glass jar with the alcohol for 10 days. After 10 days, boil the water and sugar for five minutes and add this mixture to the lemon infusion. Wait seven days, filter, pour into decorative bottle and enjoy!