Njord's Adventures

01 January 2018 | Modica
01 January 2018 | Castillo di Donnafugata
28 December 2017 | Modica
28 December 2017 | Modica
28 December 2017 | Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio, Marina di Ragusa
25 December 2017 | Marina di Ragusa
10 December 2017 | Beach at Marina di Ragusa
10 December 2017 | Porto Touristico, Marina di Ragusa
27 November 2017 | Porto Touristico Marina di Ragusa
04 November 2017 | Porto Touristio, Marina di Ragusa
04 November 2017 | Halloween evening - MdR
04 November 2017 | Porto di Ragusa
04 November 2017 | Ragusa Ibla
22 October 2017 | Punta Secca
21 October 2017 | Marina di Ragusa
14 October 2017 | Ragusa di Marina
08 October 2017 | The River Cafe
01 October 2017 | Manhattan

Njord's restaurant reviews reinstated. Eremo della Giubiliana - 30 December 20177

01 January 2018 | Eremodella Giubilana
Prue was checking out things to see, things to do and where to go for her trip to Marina di Ragusa and to spend Christmas and New Year with us. She found this fabulous estate where the family are restoring it to its former glory and in doing so have created a superb 5 star hotel with astunning restaurant. The buildings formed part of a hermitage or ecclesiastical stronghold of the Knights of San Giovanni a sect of the Templar Knights of Malta.

The menus were beautifully matched by lovely wines. A foodie paradise. We had a red wine to die for that Natalya had been lucky enough to try in Exeter and saw it on the menu: Gulfi. It is an organic wine and they make various different wines mostly from the indigenous Nero d'Avola grape variety from the vineyards between Pachinom and Noto. The one we tried is a rich velvet purple, full bodied wine. More please...

Modica Chocolate

01 January 2018 | Modica
Modica, is guess what another UNESCO listed Baroque town in south-eastern Sicily. Apart from the cooking school we went to it is famous for its chocolate making. The town was divided into two sides split by a river which at one point was diverted to accommodate modern transportation. But that is not what they tell you in the guide books. As always there is the impressive selection of churches and two grand Baroque cathedrals.

Modica chocolate is a new experience, we have not come across it before. But it is not so good for export as it is not as smooth and silky looking as Belgium or Swiss chocolate. These chocolate processes have oils and fats added to make a consistent and smooth appearance and taste on the tongue. This local chocolate is grainy and does not really melt on the tongue. It is made using an Aztec technique which was brought to Sicily by the Spaniards. The cocoa is melted over a very low heat so the sugar does not dissolve completely and additional oils and fats, to make it smooth and are not added. Flavours are typically added during the process: sea salt, red chilli, coffee, cinnamon and vanilla.

This photo was taken from one hillside slope looking across to the other valley hillside tomthe Duomo di San Giorgio.

Castillo di Donnafugata

01 January 2018 | Castillo di Donnafugata
We were lucky to be able to visit Castillo di Donnafugata as it is not always open but for us it was great as we recognised it from the TV series Commissario Montalbano as the Mafia boss' house.

Castillo di Donnafugata has several stories attributed to its history but as Donnafugata means "the woman who fled" I will probably will go with the story that Queen Blanche of Navarre was imprisoned there in the 15th Century and fled her husband, King Martin I of Sicily.

It is a bit ramshackled and particularly the garden which is a bit sad. What do they do with the entrance fee? They do farm the land around and make an artisan chesse in a shed alongside the entrance driveway. After our walkabout and bit if culture we sampled a local microbrewery beer; very light and very hoppy!

Scicli - a Baroque Town in the southeast of Sicily

01 January 2018 | Scicli
Scicli is difficult to pronounce but trying "sheek-ly" gets me a smile and a nod! It has a collection of interesting UNESCO listed Baroque buildings. It is of course a suitable film location for the Inspector Montalbano series.

Scicli is on two sides of the valley and it is interstate no to see the cave-dwellings on the slopes which were abandoned in the 50s as local housing. The whole place is lined with Baroque churches and palaces.

San Matteo stands rather sad and abandoned above the town between the valleys.

Prue and I visited and had some rather good street food in a house just off the main square.

Love Sicily Cooking

28 December 2017 | Modica
A good day out for foodies!

Love Sicily Cooking School

28 December 2017 | Modica
Prue, Tally and I went to Sicilian Street Food cookery school today. We went to Modica, taking the scenic route, we peeled off across country just before Ragusa and across a pretty deep fertile valley.

Katia our host, show us how to prepare three very traditional Sicilian dishes that would even be easy and possible on board Njord to impress our guests. We learnt about the old fashioned grains which make the Sicilian flours and how they differ from the north with less glutin so need eggs to make then elastic to the south where the flour is more elastic. Sicily was the "grain island" in Roman times and they still cultuvate the original grains rather than high volume modified modern day grains.

We made the pudding first to allow it time to set. Biancomangiare which is between a blancmange and panna cotta but with no gelatine so good for vegetarians and made with milk rather than cream. Our flavour was green lemon straight from Katia's grandma's garden picked that morning.

Next we were kneeding and rolling with a semolina flour making Scacci e Timasini. Scacci is a very thinly rolled out bread made with brewer's yeast but and is as thin as a thin pizza(!). We stopped rolling once we could see the wooden table through the dough. The filling was one day old ricotta (very important not to be fresh that day for this receipe), Italian sausage with fennel seeds and sprinkled with marjoram and then baked in a hot oven.

The next receipe was meatballs cake - Ruota di Polette. A very attractive dish with pork and beef minced meat.

All washed down with a light red from Noto - Planeta. We will go on a wine tasting visit soon.

A great day out - www.lovesicily.com
Vessel Name: Njord of London
Vessel Make/Model: Malo 39 Classic
Crew: Vic Farhi & Clare Harrison
About: Learnt to sail together and the first sailing experience was in Lanzarote in 2005. We then bought Mandarin, a Bavaria 39 and in June 2012 bought Njord, a Malo 39 from the Baltic.
Extra: As attributed to Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Njord of London's Photos - Main
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