26 November 2012

Canarino (Lemon & Bay Leaf Tisane) and The Town of Cibiana di Cadore, Italy


When we moved in to our house, we surrounded our house with plants and little trees to make it more homey. We have a big planter filled with three tall alloro (bay trees / bay laurel) fronting our bedroom window to give us a bit of cover from the parking area of our neighbors.  The owner of the plant shop we bought it from suggested that these evergreen plants serve as perfect divisions.  The foliage never fall off and they are always lush and very green all year round.   It was definitely the plant we were looking for.    Besides, a bay leaf or two in cooking is always needed.  I looked at him with doubt in my mind.  I was never really fond of bay leaves when I was growing up.  


This tisane changed that.   When my husband was complaining of a slight tummy ache once, my mother-in-law, who was visiting, prepared this tisane for him.  She asked me for a few bay leaves and an untreated lemon which I got from our trees.   I watched and listened as she prepared the tisane.  What I didn't expect was the aroma that permeated the whole kitchen.  The lemon rind mixed with the bay leaves gave off such a pleasant aroma and taste. 


I made this the other day when I looked out the bedroom window and noticed our growing bay trees.  I have been consistently using the leaves for cooking meat and beans.  The tisane which my mother-in-law calls canarino (named after the yellow canary birds because of its rich yellow color) came to mind.  I didn't have an upset stomach but I thought a cup of this warm tisane would be a pleasure to sit with in a cold afternoon.


Canarino is prepared primarily with lemon rind boiled or steeped in hot water for a few minutes until it gets the vivid yellowness of the lemon.  Some prepare it with bay leaves, sage or other fresh herbs.  My husband's family puts bay leaves and I too, like it that way.  It is advisable not to sweeten it but I like the slight hint of sweetness from honey.


I saw a beautiful picture of a mural the other day and I suddenly remembered how much I admired a peculiar, colorful town in the Dolomites called Cibiana di Cadore.   With the mountains in its backdrop and old rustic houses painted with murals, I remained in awe with this inspiring town. 


Cibiana di Cadore became famous after it commissioned Venetian and international painters in 1980 to voluntarily paint murales (murals) in the old houses in the town.  Each mural corresponds to the the characteristic of the house it is painted on.  There is the mural on the house of the locksmith, the baker, the ice cream maker, the dairyman, etc.  There are also murals about the history of the town.  Presently, there are 50 murals around the town.


To a person holding a camera, it is hard not to take so many pictures of such an interesting place because every single piece merits a picture of its own.  If you were there, you wish there was more than one of you to take pictures in all directions. 


I hope you enjoy these pictures I am sharing in this post as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Have a good week to all of you!












 

Canarino (Lemon & Bay Leaf Tisane)

Ingredients
Makes 2 cups
  • 500 ml. water
  • 1 untreated lemon, rind only (without the white part)
  • 2 - 4 fresh bay leaves
  • honey or sugar to sweeten (optional)
Directions:
  1. Pour water in a pot.  When it starts to boil, drop bay leaves and lemon rind.  Boil for 3 minutes then turn off fire.
  2. Cover and steep for another 10 minutes.
  3. Serve hot sweetened or unsweetened.




12 comments:

  1. Those murals are stunning, so glad you shared your photos! As for the tisane, it sounds so warm and comforting - just what I need on a cold evening!

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    1. I know, those murals were really beautiful, painted on each house. So colorful! I can't believe that I forgot all about them. I'm sure you will enjoy this tisane Laura!

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  2. Amazing pictures, super story, beautiful town. Your post is so interesting! Bay leaf in your garden, how about it-)) I planted a pear tree and peach tree in my garden. Will see what the summer is going to bring for us. Thank you so much, I ma so glad we are in touch now.-)) Have a lovely day!

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    1. I love fruit trees in the garden! We tried with pear & peach before but failed. :-( We have other fruit trees giving us good yield every season which is really nice. I'm a huge fan of your photography Yelena. Thanks for dropping by!

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  3. Not only that it is delicious but very healthy. I wrote whole post about bay leaf and the best is when you are sick and down with flu. Rowena this is one amazing post, full of fantastic pictures and so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Have a gorgeous week!

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    1. I didn't know that bay leaves are also good when you have the flu. Thanks for sharing. I'll check out your post about it. Thanks Sandra! You are very nice!

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  4. What gorgeous pictures. The murals are stunning. I wish I had a bay leaf tree, not sure they would grow here though :( What a warm and comforting dish - great for when you are sick, or just want to warm up!

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    1. Thanks Erin. Maybe you can try taking the plant in a protected spot during the cold winter?

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  5. Beautiful murals! Speaking of bay leaf trees, I finally found one this summer at a local nursery. I was so excited to have one after seeing fresh bay leaves on your website. Our family went on week long vacation and I forgot to tell the house sitter to water it... As a result, I lost it. I will do better next time. Have a great week!

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    1. I've also gone through forgotten plants when on vacation. :-) I hope you'll fare better with the nest plant! Thanks!

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  6. OMG, what a beautifully rustic town! It looks like they were stuck in time and never moved! I wonder if there are any movies shot here? It's beautifully preserved, so I hope it stays that way for our children and grandchildren to appreciate! This tea is just lovely. I think I will make a cup for high tea this afternoon!

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    1. I don't know if there were movies shot there. I also hope for the same things, that they continue to be preserved so that the next generations can still see them.

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