Anne's Blog

Wild Mushrooms …and Then the Earth Shook…

Date: October 28, 2016 - categories: , , , - 5 Comments

…..or at least the central backbone of the Italian peninsula had a good shake-up on a recent late October evening. And coincidentally, both our Giulia and Peppa had cleaned wild woodland mushrooms just hours before our farmhouses trembled. Giulia had found a few on an an early evening hike and Peppa’s son, Giancarlo, had brought her a basketful.



No damage to our house and after the startling 9.18 p.m. 5. 9 tremor, a bit more vino and we all resumed our “olive oil celebration” dinner: four guests had joined in to fête our olio novello (“new olive oil”), just back from the mill.


Our “olive oil celebration dinner” – and after the shake-up, more vino!


Gary inspects Giulia’s wild mushrooms


“No thanks” to trying them, Gary tells Giulia with a grin…

Best way to savor the rich pungent flavor? By dipping a medley of fresh vegetables into a cup of olive oil splashed with wine vinegar, salt and pepper added, too: il pinzimonio:



….and on bruschetta, too, of course:


The morning after the quake, we headed to Peppa’s so that Pino could check hairline cracks in the walls of her bedroom, kitchen and along the floors. Peppa had slept next door in neighbor Serenella’s pre-fab (a remant of the 1997 earthquake) – and she won’t sleep in her house again until inspectors from Assisi’s Ufficio Tecnico give a full inspection.


A crack in the column of Peppa’s balcony


Pino with Serenella and Peppa checking out quake cracks in Peppa’s bedroom


Pino checks out the ceiling cracks as Peppa shows him cracks in her bedroom floor


Pino tries to cheer up worried Peppa as he calls the Ufficio Tecnico for her

On the wall of her bedroom hangs a family photo with a string of (plastic) red peppers dangling over photos of her sons as children. I’d brought it to Peppa from Naples knowing she had faith in that red chili pepper power against the maloccchio (“evil eye”). May those red peppers keep the malocchio away from her house, as well as away from her three sons…..


Wild mushrooms were spread out on the kitchen table: Peppa had been cleaning them when the house shook. She abandoned house and mushrooms.


Peppa left the mushrooms on the table, fleeing her house post-earthquake….

As we left, Peppa insisted on giving us some of the mushrooms. At home, I united them to Giulia’s in funghi trifolati (literally, “mushrooms with garlic and parsley”).




We’ll have funghi trifoliati for dinner tonight, the wild mushroom dish of the “day the earth shook”…..


Read about the milling of our olio novello, celebrated on “earthquake night”
Read about the olive harvest
Click here for more on mushroom-hunting – and funghi trifoliati
Read about Norcia – and earthquake damage
Read about Norcia..and a past visit to la norcineria
Read about pasta alla norcina
Read about nearby Castelluccio and the famous lentils
Read about Castelluccio majesty
Read about earthquake damage in Castelluccio
Read about the curious history of Preci (near Oct 30 2016 quake epicenter) – and earthquake damage
Read about the earthquake trauma  of missing cemetery visits on November 2nd
Click here to read about the August 24, 2016 earthquake damage in Umbria
Read about earthquake benefit dinners
Read more on the benefit dinners following the earthquake
Click here for news on our benefit dinner starring pasta all’amatriciana
Read about – and see – damage to Visso
Read about San Salvatore, near Norcia, lost: che tragedia
Peppa’s home had damage, too, though light damage
Read about Castelluccio di Norcia and lentils as quake solidarity
Read about Norcia’s norcinerie, needing a comeback


  • Angela Sopranzi says:

    Thank you for sharing this information about the recent quake. You have mentioned Peppa so many times that she feels like family. I hope the damage she has sustained will not be too overwhelming for her and her family.

  • Ginny Siggia says:

    YOW!! So glad you are safe and sound. What horrific damage, and so close by! But through it all, an excellent meal brings delight.

  • Ann E. Krapf says:

    Sounds like a great sauce with fresh olive oil, parsley and mushrooms. I hope everything is ok with Peppa and that we can meet her next time

  • Judy Bates says:

    From the beauty of mushrooms and vino with friends and family, to the rumbles of an earthquake, all in the same night. Italia! I’m sorry that Peppa had damage and hope it isn’t serious and that she is home again soon. So glad you are all safe. Loved your photos and colorful back story to it all – as always, it feels almost like a visit!

  • Judy Thomas says:

    To think I was in Peppa’s house exactly 2 weeks before this earthquake makes this so much more personal for me and breaks my heart for her. I’m so sorry she had damage but glad she is OK. It must be very hard for her. I’m so glad she has you and Pino to help in the aftermath! I hope it’s a speedy process.

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