In the spring garden I have lettuce, spinach, radishes and chard.
In the summer garden I have tomatoes, green beans, summer squash, onions, sweet corn and chard.
In the fall garden I have tomatoes, winter squash and…. chard.
The sweet corn is only around for a week or two, but the rest of the summer vegetables feed us for at least two months. At the moment we’re eating lots of everything and freezing lots of everything.
I still buy peppers. I grew them one year and, like sweet corn, they were all ready within a few weeks of each other.
Unlike sweet corn, they are readily available to buy here.
Unlike the beans, tomatoes and squashes, I don’t freeze them for winter.
That’s a convoluted way of saying this recipe is almost from my garden…..
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Peppers and Onions
Total time: 20 minutes
- 8oz (240gr) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ (3cm) pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/3 cup Greek olives, pitted, chopped
- 2oz (60gr) feta, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp mushroom or dark soy sauce
- 1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil, paprika in a medium skillet.
- Add beans, pepper, onion and stir-fry over medium high heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, 7 – 9 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar and stir well to combine.
- Remove from heat, stir in feta, olives and serve.
After leaving Bologna, and having a quick stop in Modena to buy Balsamic vinegar, we spent the rest of the weekend exploring Verona.
Naturally, it being a Sunday, we went to church.
Okay, okay…. we went into a church to look around. Did I mention I love exploring old churches?
On the square in front of the church we could hear opera. We followed the music.
There was an open door with a guard standing in front. I got closer to stick my head in and have a look and the guard motioned for us to go in, There was standing room in the back.
We watched and listened for a bit. I’m not sure but I think we were watching opera try-outs. Various singers would take the stage, discuss something with people in the front row, then sing an aria. Sometimes they sang a second aria, sometimes not. There were other people taking notes.
Whatever it was – it was a treat for us. The acoustics in the little chapel were outstanding.
That was our first surprise.
Our second surprise was, again, sticking my head through an open doorway, I discovered a little chapel….. With a black virgin.
Usually, in my limited understanding, black virgins are are at more prominent pilgrimage sites, not tucked away in little chapels with no signs.
For those unfamiliar with Black Virgins or Black Madonnas here is a fairly good article describing them and what some call ‘The Cult of the Black Virgins’ There are a lot of them in the world – estimates at 400 – 500. Wikipedia has a partial list of the locations of Black Virgins
We’ve seen the one at Rocamadour, France, which is one starting point for the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – where there is also a black virgin..
We’ve also seen the one at Monistrol de Montserrat in Spain.
The virgins are usually small, may or may not hold the child and are most often made of wood. They also usually wear elaborate gowns that are made by the local parish and are changed often, to celebrate various festivals and holy days. The one in the photo is wearing a white gown – it’s over the statue, not part of it. (Hard to tell in the photo).
It’s all rather mysterious and quite interesting. Finding this one so unexpectedly was a treat.