• Delicious Memories!

    Krakow, Poland…well, the weather still won’t cooperate! I see people in sweaters and shearlings, but I refuse to give in; shorts for me! It’s August and it’s cold and dreary…today is a public holiday in Poland as they celebrate the Assumption of Mary and honor their military. More importantly, it’s the start of the famous Pierogi Festival…Polish dumplings of every kind…meat, cheese, fruit, you name it! I am a traditionalist and I prefer classic versions such as potato & cheese (“ruski”) or cabbage (“kapusta”). I may get my fill for a lifetime!

    Women dressed in traditional Polish costumes and freshly picked wild flowers decorate the square. People line up to get their Pierogi fix…this is Poland’s treasured food and they celebrate it in a big way! Of course, none can compete with my grandmother’s pierogis; I remember spending all day with her as she prepared them and then I would sneak the potato filling when she wasn’t looking!

    The four day fest will last through the weekend and I cannot imagine how many of those hand pinched dumplings will be consumed!

    Alot more carbs and a bit of nostalgia here in Poland! I feels as if I am reliving all my favorite food moments of my childhood.

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  • Life Lessons!

    Pylos, Greece…the days are starting to blur! More amazing azure seas and a crystal clear sky over a quaint place I have never heard of! I headed to Gialova Beach on Navarino Bay today with no plans in mind. It was windy which kept the temperature from sweltering and made the seas choppy, bringing out all the windsurfing enthusiasts…I staked my claim under an umbrella and settled in for the afternoon.

    It was beautiful watching the brightly colored sails cutting across the brilliant blue waters. I took a dip and the slight chill of the salty water was refreshing…Today had no agenda, I just totally relaxed, worked on my tan, and downloaded some shows on the excellent WI FI at Zoe Resort beachside!

    I topped the afternoon off with a Greek lunch of Spicy Cheese Dip and Greek Salad…the tomatoes were so homegrown and sweet, yet the feta cheese was way more pungent than I have tasted so far; the combo was delicious! Eating out of what coulda been grandma’s dishes made it all feel that much more authentic! What else do you need?

    When I woke up this morning to Pylos, I looked out and said disappointingly; “another sleepy Greek town”…how unfair that statement was…It hit me today that we place too much expectation on destinations to entertain or wow us! It was exactly this sleepy slow paced simplicity that I coveted most about this place today. I live my life in the fast paced whirlwind of NYC…it has taken me till today, exactly 1 month to the day I left on this adventure, to really understand how to “chill”!

    I know how to travel; but maybe I am just starting to learn how to live!

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  • Power Shopper!

    Kotor, Montenegro…sunny skies greeted our early arrival today into this picturesque town nestled in the base of a gorgeous mountainside.

    I love getting inside perspectives of places from those in the know, so when the opportunity to set out with the ship’s chef into the local market presented itself, I thought this would be a fun intro into today’s port and it’s culture! Unfortunately, the early bird gets the worm and in order to have our pick of the liter, we had to set off very early on our expedition.

    Fresh tiny blueberries picked this morning on nearby hillsides, wild raspberries & plump blackberries in abundance…exceptional homemade olive oils being peddled by the woman who bottled them…robust fruit & veggies straight from remote village farms…cured meats with the animal’s hoof still attached all made for a taste of local flavor!

    Our South African chef assessed it all and bargained with the vendors as a crowd grew around him. It seemed the whole waterfront market was abuzz trying to get him to select their goods. We walked away with kilos of berries, some homemade cheese, and a type of local prosciutto that will all find their way into our lunch and dinner tonight! I always love a market, but getting to do it with an expert came with the added perk of a lot of taste testing of the fare on display. Yum!

    Now that’s called working for your dinner!

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  • My own Poseidon adventure!

    Sitges, Spain…I am thoroughly enjoying my chill time at the beach! But I love to eat and I am finding some YUMMY treats seaside in Spain…

    This tiny town was a former sleepy fishing village and it definitely stays true to that DNA with amazing fresh seafood. Of course, this is Spain, so cured meats, tapas, olives, and potatoes (patatas bravas) are in abundance. To accompany your meal, Spanish wines, white or red Sangria, and every version of Mojitos (strawberry Mojito seem to be a local favorite) are on the drink list.

    I have experienced some amazing seafood while here and I especially like how creatively Spanish staples are mixed with fresh caught fish!

    Fresh calamari rings, large langoustines (large shrimp), sardines prepared in a myriad of ways seem on every menu straight from the morning catch. Paella made with an array of seafood is an easy shareable plate that is super satisfying, black squid ink paella with shrimp (arroz Negro) is definitely an interesting looking choice if you want to try something new and a bit more rich… But, I love finding more creative fish preparations that I would rarely see back home…

    Yesterday, I had a delicious lunch beachside that I am still thinking about! Local fresh Turbot sautéed with Iberian Ham in a light garlic vinaigrette (Rodaballo con vinagreta tibia de jambon iberico y ago). Unusual, yet delicious! Lucious fillet of white meat turbot with crunchy bits of ham, sautéed like bacon…sooo good! You know I never met a pork product I didn’t like..

    Today is fresh caught Tuna (Atun) that I am swooning over! Now this is definitely NOT “chicken of the sea”!

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  • Playing the markets!

    My first stop in any city, no matter where in the world, is the local market. Anyone who has travelled with me has experienced this pilgrimage! It’s not about food (though I love sampling food of any kind!), it’s about soaking in the local flavor…the regional delicacies,the aromas, and seeing how residents live.

    Today I am in Valencia,Spain and my first stop is Mercat Central (Central Market)! I just love it!
    Local women shopping for today’s meals, men sipping strong coffee, vendors hawking local finds, and tourists alike in this gorgeous Gothic style market. The home to the famous orange, there is so much more to see, hear, and smell here…

    You can get no better sense of a place than spending a morning in the local market.

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