Starry Little Matron, A Garden Tea, Conversation

It’s lily season, and the stargazing has begun.  For me, it never really ends; head in the clouds I’ve been told my whole life.  As an only child, it’s easy to appreciate this wonderful gift, and I am more grateful for it every day. 

When the pandemic hit, I watched as so many loved ones quickly wearied of spending time by themselves.  I told them to remember that we’re never alone, to enjoy the stillness.

There’s so much that we’re only able to see when we still ourselves.

Like intricacies, a peek at a heart, just a peek because who has ever known one except our Creator, glimpses into nature and light, stars that aren’t always up above but right by our side.

I am grateful.

Oh my, tea conversation can get carried away at times.

Little matron, the literal translation of Matryoshka. I’ve always loved them. I purchased these directly from a lovely lady who kept them for years. If you ever visit Belarus, you quickly learn that not every Matryoshka is created equal. There are those that are mass-produced as souvenirs, and there are those that are handmade and hand-painted. The daisies and the deep sky blue on these called out to me.

Thank you for joining me for a sip of bright beautiful. Don’t forget to take a star with you.

Under The Belarusian Sun, Limoncello Anyone?

Coming from South Florida you’d think I’d be completely used to hot summers, but Belarusian summers are very different from tropical summers. The air is dryer and there is no ocean breeze, so you basically feel like the top of your head is a frying pan as you walk down the street. That and having no air-conditioning in most homes can be a bit of a challenge at times, but the good news is that summer doesn’t last very long here. Whew! I’ll take a lemonade with extra ice, please.

Lemons, pucker up and giggle because today’s kitchen prep is an old Italian favorite, limoncello. I’m prepping it along with Under the Tuscan Sun. Dinner in and a movie has long been my favorite choice for Friday. Actually, it’s my favorite way to spend any day. No A/C, no problem. Open windows, higher levels, swaying lacy curtains, bubbly sounds echoing from children playing outside, all mixed with citrus air, it’s too wonderful for words.

The best part of this particular limoncello is that the alcohol was provided by a dear family friend who made it himself with ingredients grown on his own village land.  This is grain alcohol, the best way to go for authentic limoncello.  I wrote it whole grain before, automatically, but it’s grain.  I’ve tried using vodka in the past, you might like it, but for me it doesn’t taste the same.  

  • 9 organic lemons
  • 1 ltr pure grain alcohol
  • 1.5 ltr water
  • 700 gr white granulated sugar

In a large glass container with proper fitting lid, steep the lemon peel (making sure to peel only the outer yellow skin).  Place away from direct sunlight, infuse for 3-4 weeks.  I check for bright deep color.
After 3-4 weeks, bring sugar and water to a boil, reduce heat, stir, cool.
Strain the alcohol into the fully cooled sugared water.  Stir.  Pour into glass bottles.  Store in fridge or freezer.

I enjoy adding club soda and ice to my limoncello, and I also like to use it in baking.

For more details, visit Vincenzo’s Plate.  I use Nonna’s recipe.

I caught these beautiful rays while visiting the botanical gardens in Minsk earlier this week.  How perfectly they go with this post.  I smile. 

Follow the sunflower.