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TANTUM CUM LIBRIS CUM ISTIS USQUE LOQUAR (only with books, only with these I'll speak forever). NE QUID IMMINUAT DAMNOSA DIES (so that the fatal day won’t consume everything).~~~~~~ Sono americana,ma per più di un decennio ho vissuto e lavorato in Italia, in Veneto. I miei antenati e alcuni dei miei parenti arrivano da Brescia e dalla Val Camonica. Adesso vivo in Ohio e lavoro in una biblioteca. Sin dal nostro ritorno in U.S., più di sei anni fa, mi sono impegnata molto nel mantenere il mio italiano - non un'impresa facile,considerando che l'Ohio fu in primis colonizzato da persone di lingua tedesca. Lavorando in biblioteca, cerco sempre di cogliere ogni opportunità per diffondere il mio amore per la cultura e la lingua italiana tra gli americani,che parlano solamente l'inglese,e incoraggiandoli ad imparare una seconda lingua - l'italiano ovviamente!~~~~~~ I am an American from the United States, but for more than a decade I lived and worked in the country of Italy in the Veneto region. I have relatives who are Italian and they live in the city of Brescia and in the Val Camonica. Now I live here in the state of Ohio and I am working in a public library.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello Glaze

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello Glaze

Makes 18
2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cups (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely grated lemon peel

Glaze and topping:
3/4 cup (or more) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons limoncello or other lemon liqueur
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

18 strawberries or raspberries

For Cupcakes: Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Line 18 standard cupcake pan with liners. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl (I used the BIG KA for this) until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions. Beat in lemon juice and lemon peel. Divide batter among liners.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks.

Meanwhile, prepare glase and topping: Stir 3/4 cup powdered sugar, butter, limoncello, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and glaze comes to simmer... (now, don't get scared...this turns out to be pretty easy)...Whisk in additional powdered sugar by tablespoonfuls if glaze is very thin. Spoon 1 teaspoon warm glaze over each warm cupcake. Cool cupcakes completely.

Arrange 1 berry on top of each cupcake. Drizzle remaining limoncello glaze over them. Let cupcakes stand until glaze sets, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tartarughe Piccole ~ Little Turtles

bill the turtle
Originally uploaded by sevenworlds16
Aaron had several of these miniature turtles as pets during the years we lived in Italy. He also had hamsters as pets. It was always a challenge when we would spend a summer in the U.S. (every three years or so) because we would have to find 'pet sitters'.

The mini turtles had a nice home in the bidet of one of our four bathrooms. Just prior to one trip back to the U.S. I found that one of the turtles had passed away and did not know what do do with him/her (do turtles have a sex?). Anyway, I made the decision, as we were to leave soon for our trip, to bring the turtle to a nearby stream, on a street called Via Cantarana (street of the singing frogs). And I informed Aaron that evening when we were praying before bed that his turtle had gone to turtle heaven, i.e., the stream on Via Catarana. Unfortunately, I did not know that in his elementary school class, they had been learning about pollution, and the teacher had told the children that there was industrial waste in the stream on that very street.

I had told Aaron that I thought the little turtle would be happy in Frog Heaven, as they would sing to him. Talk about having to think on your feet ~ whew! I also told him that his turtle would probably become a full-fledged Ninja Turtle ~ that was the popular TV show for kids even in Italy during that time. Our son was thrilled. Don't know if he told the teacher and his classmates about his Ninja Turtle when we came back from the U.S. Hopefully, he forgot about it.

Now is the Time for Drinking

The quote in its entirety, from Horace's Odes:

Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus.

which translates:

Now is the time for drinking, now is the time to dance footloose upon the earth.

(In this case, the teacup is not appropriate for the beverage at hand. Salute!)

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