Happy Easter


Here is what Easter is looking like out in the country, a/k/a Sant’ Erasmo.  We rowed over to the island today to buy some vegetables from the Finotello brothers and came home not only with bitter chicory and a couple of fresh eggs but also two bussolai buranelli and hearts full of spring.

As I write, it’s 11:00 PM and the bells have just begun ringing outside. This means it’s Easter.  They don’t wait till a sedate, well-bred 8:00 in the morning. In fact, they don’t want to wait at all.  If nothing else could make Easter beautiful, it would be enough just to hear all the bells singing in the dark.

I had a fleeting notion of looking up some Easter poetry for you.  Then I decided to just let the world speak for itself.

Somebody in the Finotello families -- two brothers and wives and small children -- always assembles some sort of festal creation. Whoever does it manages to make it look like it wasn't any effort at all.


Even the rosemary is in bloom.


And the baby fruit trees.

And some embryonic fig trees, branches already budding with teeny little figs.

This is what an Easter basket for that happy Primrose family looks like.

Of course you knew it was all going to come down to food. For anyone who thinks chocolate is too simple or trite, let me present their homemade bussolai buranelli. This is how I like to consume my Easter eggs. All you need is large quantities of flour, whole eggs, egg yolks, butter, sugar, and small quantities of lemon and vanilla. Like most homemade comestibles, these bear little resemblance to the ubiquitous commercial version.

A sample was thoughtfully and craftily offered. Because only one small chunk was needed to convince me to buy two. Believe me, this is not a confection to scarf like popcorn. It demands to be taken seriously, to be eaten with appreciation and complete denial of any knowledge of what it's made of. If you think of the ingredients, you're doomed.

Buona Pasqua!






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  1. Erla…..Thank you for sharing your Venetian Easter with us!!!

    What a lovely day!!!

  2. John Garrett says:

    Thanks Erla,
    It seems to me that bussolai buranelli are lacking an essential Easter ingredient: chocolate. I made a torte caprese that doesn’t bother with flour but goes straight to the point: eggs and chocolate, with some butter and chopped almonds to fill things out.
    Buona Pasqua a te e a Lino!

    • Erla says:

      Torta caprese? Wouldn’t that be with tomatoes and mozzarella???? Well, to each his own cardiac infarto. I got my chocolate via the traditional large egg.

  3. Yvonne says:

    I feel my arteries clog as I read.

    Erla, my former-favourite niece (the one who threw me over in favour of you, and is now out of the will), thinks it’s absolutely the most wonderful thing that you casually row over to Sant’ Erasmo for fresh produce. My getting into the car and driving to the supermarket somehow does not impress her one iota. I will still read your blogs, just to show I am an equal opportunities kind of person.
    Yvonne recently posted..More of Treviso

  4. Yvonne and Erla….you wouldn’t want me in a boat heading to San Erasmo. At least not one that I’m commandering….that’s one story that would hit Il Gazzettino.

    Erla I’m so impressed….and I bet the trip makes the vegetables that much better!!

    Yvonne….thumbs up for Will removal!

  5. Carol @ Cookware reviews
    Twitter: cookwarerev

    Hey Erla,

    The first thing that came to my mind is the spring smell when I looked at the nature pictures! I am interested in the bussolai buranelli but I cannot find a recipe on how to make it, do you have one or do you know the steps?

    Thanks again and I hope you had a great Easter!

  6. Jordan says:

    That bussolai buranelli looks so yummy!
    Jordan recently posted..kids costumes

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    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having this problem. (Gad, I sound like some Service Center geek.) It must be at your end; it’s the first I’ve ever heard of this happening. Maybe you need to do some tinkering under the hood.