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They are home!! We dine on fishes & loaves.

They are home!!

It’s like greeting an old friend, “I’ve missed you” she says.  “Darling” he says… We have a little catchup & then we dine on fishes & loaves…


I want to show you a few of our ordinary lunches, & a few dinners, at home here in the Palazzo :))

We have lots of light soups, or pastas, as a first course. We also have a light second course, often cheeses & salads. And whole fruit or fresh squeezed juices to finish.

We have fish from the tuna family, baked whole, with the most exquisite sauce, called Salmoriglio.

It is a traditional Sicilian sauce, which is used to flavour meats or grilled fish…lemon juice, freshly squeezed, the most beautiful green extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped parsley & oregano straight from the palace garden, salt flakes.

Oh my goodness…try it!IMG_5824

We have the beautiful steamed green cauliflower, & Cucuzza, like a smooth, pale zucchini with an elegant curve & can be 2 or 3 feet long. Good for frying…

I expected that in Sicily zucchini would be big, but it is still a pleasant surprise to see their length at the markets in Palermo.IMG_5823

And a special pane, loaves still warm from the markets. The famous Monreale bread made on semolina, & baked in century’s old wood fired ovens, using only olive wood branches.

It is written that “the bread produced at Monreale is sought after by Palermo people.” And coveted the world over…IMG_5821

The gorgeous Duke & Duchess can’t wait to tell me that next week we are going to be on American Reality TV, filming a cooking class & then feeding 22 staff & crew in the grand dining room!

How will I loose 10kg by then?.. lolIMG_5842

Today, with the Duke’s very active & impeccably dressed older brother, we had a late lunch of pasta & ricotta.

Then one of Gioacchino’s childhood favourite meals, as requested yesterday when planning the menu…fresh mushy peas, prosciutto & poached eggs.

With the ever present gorgeous crusty bread & a drop of red wine of course.IMG_5828

We take coffee in the lounge room.

The gentlemen sit on the couch & chat in Italian, & Nico & I sit at her little office table directly behind them & talk about emails.

From nowhere, the older gentleman’s shoulders start heaving silently, his big white hanky comes out & Nicoletta plonks down on the couch beside him & throws her arms around him.

At this point I make myself scarce…

Allora, (means & then.) After a while I hear the tinkle of piano keys & deem it safe to return.

I hope not to create embarrassment by my mere proximity.

The Duke winds up a music box as we say goodbye to his brother.

I delight in the delicate notes of accompaniment to the intricacies of life no matter what country we are in, no matter what position we hold.IMG_5862

Last night a guest, an interesting gentleman writer for an American travel journal, took the Duke, the Duchess & myself out to dinner.

It was great to go to a flash restaurant in this amazing foreign country… I was so looking forward to it!

And then, although we had a lovely evening, the typical Sicilian food that Nicoletta & her staff cook far surpasses everything we sampled that evening.

I’m so relieved to get back to eating the food where you can feel the love & the passion in its creation… from paddock to plate!IMG_5856

As a documentation of keen interest, & a portrayal of all these tastes I would love to share with you, I’m trying to take everyday shots of our everyday meals, but I just can’t seem to win with the lighting… Yet!!

Have patience pretty people. :))

I will bring you a whole load of awesomeness on a plate, soon….

Although look at this food! It gives you a fair idea of the quality, no?

Off to the bakery now to sample some cannoli…one must research you know :))IMG_5843

The traditional Sicilian cannoli are fried pastries that were originally eaten during Carnival.

So successful that they have become the most popular & appreciated Sicilian sweet & are now eaten all year round.

Made of a pastry case fried & crisp, stuffed with a filling of creamy, silky, sweetened sheep’s milk ricotta. With maybe some chocolate chips, & then decorated with a generous dusting of icing sugar & candied orange, or chopped pistachios.IMG_5832 We were filming for the American reality program today…

Lots of standing around waiting for stall holders at the markets to be briefed, then setting up, then takes… Oi! Oi! Oi! Lots of team work & interesting personalities abounded…:))

But eventually, we got a 3 course meal cooked in front of the cameras. We were seated at the designated time of 1pm, at the magnificently set grand dining table.

We had waitstaff with white gloves, & crystal & linen & fresh flowers. We had highly polished silverware & candelabras, crockery embellished with the royal insignia, delightful conversation & a comfortably surreal experience…


It’s been a long day, full of interesting people & delicious food.

What a fairy tale!

  1. Oh Roni, what a delectable tale you’re spinning, the food looks and sounds so beautiful! It’s nice to see you’re back online, I missed you! Loving reading about your Sicilian adventures, keep it up Sista xxx

    • lol, thank you Jeanne.
      Yes, I missed being able to share with you too…so much happens everyday!
      I have a date with the Duke today so stay tuned…in fact we’ve got 3 appointments, so that will be the whole day with the Duke :))
      Loads of love to you
      Roni xx

  2. What an amazing life you are leading. When do we get to see the TV show? I couldn’t open that link BTW. The food all looks exquisite, are you cooking a lot?

    • Thanks Fran, yep it is pretty outstanding!!! And I am a very lucky girl… you can come too if you want!
      Thanks also for the heads-up about the link…I think I fixed it :)) no tech whizz, but give it a shot :))
      And no, not cooking nearly enough…but that’s cool for now :))
      big love xxx

  3. Wow! What an AMAZING story. Love it – and beautiful photos!! Xx

    • Yep, lots of stories to tell when I get home…thanks for reading & sharing :)) big love xxx

  4. Yumm, I love cannoli. I’d be so fat if I lived in Italy.

    • mmm, me to Jen….oh & me to Jen :(( looking forward to seeing you in a month or so :)) xx

  5. lol…& this from my amazing friend Lynn Maree, who can’t quite get her head around the techie stuff, like so many of us….:)) Forgive my indulgence, but her words are just too delightful not to share. .
    Lynn Maree
    When you look back at all this in a few years time, you will realize how much wiser and worldly the experience has made you- to me your like Amelia Earhart, an inspiring, brave woman who had the courage and drive to pursue a dream…..big hug xx
    Oh thank you Lynn Maree, I am both humbled & delighted,
    grazie mille

  6. Oh Veronica this food looks so scrumptious. I want to come back to Palermo!

    What’s the American reality TV program? I’d love to see it.
    Warm regards

    • Thank you Martha….I’m not sure when we will get to see any of the TV takes.
      It is some World’s Worst Hotel’s show where they pick a bad hotel & turn it around into a success.

      There was one in a town near Palermo & so they decided to spend a day doing the Cooking Class with the Duchess to help promote the area when advertising this newly modelled hotel…:))

      Free advertising for us here at the Palazza…maybe we could Google it :))
      cheers from Butera28 xxx

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