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Italian Country Breakfasts and Reflecting on Gratefulness

During my stay at the beautiful Italian country farmhouse, Casa Scaparone in Alba, Italy, I looked forward to breakfast every single day.

Not once did we have packaged cereal or dry pastries, instead everything was homemade and served with endless cups of just-made strong Italian coffee.

My first morning I had simple brown cake with home-canned peaches and fresh, creamy goat cheese made on the farm.


The second morning I had toast made from fresh, crusty bread and spread with soft goat cheese and homemade fig preserves.

How I loved those quiet mornings in the cavernous yet cozy farmhouse dining room. We usually rose before any of the other guests, so we often had the place to ourselves.

Such times are made for dreaming not talking, and my friend Margo and I sat in companionable silence, sipping and munching our way through meandering thoughts about life, relationships, goals, and whatever else entered our heads.


I had a lot to think about.

Eight weeks before I had sold or given away nearly everything I owned, packed what I could fit into two suitcases and a carry-on, and moved to Europe to start my life over.

Until the moment I got on that plane carrying me to Amsterdam, I was scared silly. I had been raised in a world where women were to submit, obey, and follow, not make their own decisions and definitely not move to the other side of the world. But somewhere I found the courage to listen to my own heart and pay heed to that “still small voice” that never, ever leads you astray.

I was gulping back tears as I walked by myself through that airport in Vancouver, Canada, leaving behind everything familiar and known. But the moment I sat my bottom down in that plane seat my fears slipped away and I was filled with so much joy and excitement I could hardly contain myself. Every fiber of my being was shouting YOU GO GIRL!!!

And I did. 🙂

Those three months I spent in Europe are precious to me. The beauty and friendships of the Netherlands, Italy, Prague, Germany, Malta and England were balm for my rattled soul and crumpled body. I had arrived a bit of a wreck, reeling from the stress of a stalker and having to go into hiding, the ravages of an illness that nearly killed me, losing my job, spraining my ankle, losing some close family relationships, etc, etc. Yep, I was in dire need of some healing.

So those mornings in Italy during my last weeks in Europe make me smile to this day. They were moments of peace, safety, reflection, and deep gratefulness for all I’d overcome and all I had experienced and everything I had to look forward to.


I’ve been recreating those mornings on my own goat farm in Australia.

I brew strong Italian espresso, toast olive sourdough bread, and add a bit of Danish salami or lovely brown eggs fried in butter until their edges are crispy and salty.

Then I sit quietly at my sun-drenched kitchen table and think through my life, my week, my day, pondering and dreaming and giving thanks.

Today I’m grateful for a new puppy – Frejya – who joined our family last night, for a garden that is flourishing in spite of two rampages by animals, and for the arrival of Spring and the hope it always brings.

What are three things you’re grateful for today?

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Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - I’m the slowest commenter. 🙂 But my three things are: 1. Palm trees. Sometimes I forget to notice them but they are kind of a symbol for me of making my dreams come true. 2. Brisk fall weather and a new waxed canvas jacket in which to enjoy it. 3. Being able to learn new things every day. Whether it’s from talking to people, reading, listening to the radio, walking around, or just experimenting. It helps me so much to feel like I’m not stagnating in one place. 🙂

Also, you are inspiring me to focus on breakfast again. I do actually cook breakfast every day, but lately it’s been a sleepy, sloppy, half-hearted endeavor, which happens after Joel has already left for work. A nice breakfast is such a civilized luxury.

SpicieFoodie - Hi Krista,
This post and the newest one are just beautiful and so inspirational. I don’t personally know you but I am so proud of you. Proud that you have been able to move on and find a peacefulness in your heart and mind. We all go through rough patches in our lives and the hardest thing is letting go and moving forward. Thank you for writing this. Hugs:)! ~Nancy

Celebrating A Year of Recovery in Australia and A Giveaway » Rambling Tart - […] I was scared boarding the plane to move to Europe, (click here for story) I was absolutely petrified moving to […]

Krista - Oh @katyabroad:disqus I’m so glad I did too! Otherwise I never would’ve met you and that would’ve been a tragedy. 🙂 xo

Krista - Thank you, dear @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus I am so grateful for the work they did in my life. 🙂

katyabroad - I am SO glad you got on that plane, and so grateful that you are my friend 🙂

Joanne (eats well with others) - I’m so happy that you have all these wonderful memories to rebuild your spirit…and this delicious food to fuel you!

Krista - Thank you so much, @TuulaR:disqus 🙂 I’m so grateful for strength to be real, even when it’s scary. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you have such a happy welcoming committee in your Dad, @twitter-178266953:disqus 🙂 That makes me smile. 🙂

Krista - It feels good to me too, Ayngelina. It’s amazing how the direction comes as the heart is freed. 🙂

Krista - It is very hard but so worth it, Andrea. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for writing, Ted. 🙂 I really appreciate your words.

Krista - Thank you, Hila. I feel the same way when I read your posts, something gets to my heart and I can’t put it into words. I just know it’s good. 🙂

TuulaR - Yes, I agree with all of the comments, really terrific post Krista. You have a way of capturing the beauty in life and so glad to hear you’ve been able to recreate those breakfasts you treasured so much in Italy. You do have a lot to be grateful for and I admire your courage to speak about it!

Vannessa Vinos - Fabulous post Krista and GORGEOUS images.
Today I am grateful for unconditional love, family (in particular seeing how happy my Dad is since we returned to the UK) and wonderful food.
Have a lovely weekend Sweets xx

Ayngelina - Such a quiet and comforting post. I love the turn this blog is heading in.

Andrea and John - Good for you for following your heart despite the conditioning around you! It’s always good to break free…

Ted Thompson - Your posts, photos and sense of adventure are an encouragement to appreciate life to its fullest. Thanks for listening to the “still small voice”!!

Hila - I’m sort of speechless, as I often seem to be after reading your posts – I want to respond eloquently, but it’s hard to put into word what posts such as this one make me feel, and how much I appreciate honesty when I read it.

Krista - Lauryl, you always, always inspire me with your courage and strength and the beauty that you create. 🙂 Thanks for being the sort of person who always reminds me that THIS IS WORTH IT. 🙂

lauryl - Oh Krista, I am so glad that you found the strength to be a woman who creates her own destiny! Some days I am still in awe of the life I get to lead, and it’s always incredible to look back, at the hard hard decisions that were very costly at the time, and to know that they were 100% RIGHT. Today I am grateful to be back home in my favorite city, for the beautiful autumn weather, and for the most delicious salmon lunch I just ate! 😉 xoxo

Krista - I am too, dear @kitchen_butterfly:disqus 🙂 We are very, very fortunate women and I’m so glad I get to know you in this life. 🙂 Much love to you! XO

Krista - The Rusty Wagon is the best place for brekky!! 🙂 The Privacy Screen cracks me up and makes me cheer. Love you so much, dear @google-37854c7777b9b21d0ae36d3aa8184779:disqus 🙂

Krista - Just hearing the word “changement” makes me smile, dearest @google-2a9dde44113d4c20ffe43b4a6977074a:disqus 🙂 I can’t wait to go adventuring with you again. 🙂

Kitchen Butterfly - I am glad that you , I have lots to be grateful for. For the still small voice, for baking and writing, and for my family. Lots of love.

Marie Sutherland - 1. The Rusty Wagon 2. Privacy Screen. 3. Knitting (of course) And because I’m a rebel I can’t just list 3…4.-I’m grateful beyond words that you’re safe and happy.

Margo Millure - I loved this morning at Casa Scaparone. And it was indeed a time of big change for you… oh dear heavens, I need to do a better job getting ready for the “changement” – even if it means putting a little more homemade into my breakfast. Love this.

Krista - Oh Val, I am so thrilled that you’re heading out in THREE DAYS!!! It makes me so happy to picture you over there eating, exploring, drinking, and spending time with amazing people. Wishing you an absolutely fantastic time. XO I’m so glad you have such loving people in your life. 🙂

bellini - This a very touching post Krista. You have definitely become a strong oman in body, heart and soul. I am thankful for the caring people around me, for the unconditional love of my family and the fact that I have worked hard all year to head on an adventure to Italy in 3 days..by myself I might add. But a 4th thing to be grateful about is the support of the blogging community and bloggers with heart like you.

Krista - Thank you very much, @4242dcc701bad13d39e5b034c7c3cfc4:disqus I’m so glad that following your dreams in Turkey has been such a good thing for you too. 🙂 I love that you were adopted by a cat. 🙂

Turkey's For Life - A beautifully written story – so brave of you to follow your dream and take off like that. We’re grateful for our life in Turkey – and the street kitten that adopted us – he’s now turning into a huge cat! 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for writing, Christy @christywoodrow:disqus Your words mean a great deal to me. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @thefisherlady:disqus xo I’m so grateful for your kindness. 🙂

Ordinary Traveler - So beautifully written, Krista. Thank you for sharing this. I’m always intrigued by people who go through tough times and choose to overcome and learn from it. You are an inspiration.

thefisherlady - grateful for this walk with you Rambling Tart…

Krista - Thank you so much, dear El. 🙂 The breakfasts were simple and so delicious. 🙂

El - Lovely post. Glad to hear all is well.The breakfasts look wonderful.

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