Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Just as, in Britain, Christmas Day is the quietest day of the year outdoors, in Italy Ferragosto [the 15th August holiday] is the quietest day, at least in cities. I don't think it is very quiet down by the sea, though!

Today I was lucky enough to be invited to a leisurely lunch with friends under the shade of a magnificent mulbrry tree. Here is the menu:

pasta with sea-food

oven-baked onion
dressed, grilled red peppers
cold, pressed meats with carrots and dressed rucola [rocket]
new potatoes with olive oil and parsley
salad of lettuce, apples and Trapani melon

various fruit, including figs from one of the friend's garden
apple parfait with Calvados [made by your culinary blogger!]

Allow me a little sentimentality in writing this post: back in 1984, during a very difficult period of my life in which I had no money to go on holiday or anything, I had taken to entering consumer competitions in a big way. [All you had to do was write a catchy slogan!] I won several and the best was one with a prize of a fortnight's holiday for two on the Ligurian coast of Italy, with spending money. "Who are you taking with you?" asked my Mum. "You, of course", I replied. My Mum belonged to that [probably last] generation of Brits who had never been abroad. But she saw in Italy what I did during those two weeks and, twenty-two years ago tonight, we watched the fireworks of Ferragosto in Alassio. Right up to a few weeks before her death - from a horrible illness resembling cruel, heartless Alzheimer's, Mum remembered that holiday in Italy and watching, with me, the fireworks lit from the boats in the Bay of Alassio.

So buon Ferragosto, tutti! [Happy 15th August, everybody!]
And buon Ferragosto, mamma, ovunque sei. [And happy 15th August, Mum, wherever you are.]


beethoven writes said...

that pasta looks great.

Maria said...

It looks delicioooooous! Is it me or is the pasta yellower? Must be me! What holiday is it? Be well! ~M

Maria said...

That looks deliciooooooous! Is it me or is the pasta a bit yellower there? Must be me I am sure! Be well always. ~M

Maria said...

Sorry about all the comments... lol I just realized you approve them first before you publish! lol I thought I did something wrong... Sorry again. Be well! ~M

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You are right. The pasta is yellow. I think it must have been cooked with saffron. Ferragosto is Assumption Day. Best wishes.

Ballpoint Wren said...

That is a lovely memory of you and your mom. Bittersweet. You were meant to win that contest.


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