Saturday, February 14, 2009


"I am glad I was not born before tea." - The Rev. Sydney Smith

Linda, Chiara and Gino organised a lovely birthday tea for me today and Gina, Carlo, Irma and Venetia came too. Here you see a very Sicilian table set for a very British tea:

Yes, those are Digestive Biscuits you see there. We can get them here and that is fortunate, as if you put half a packet in a plastic bag and bash them enthusiastically with a rolling pin, the crumbs make a fine base for a semifreddo. Served as they are, they surprisingly go down rather well with the Sicilians, once you have explained that although they have the word "Digestive" written on them, they are not consumed because they help your digestion!

There were ham sandwiches, scones, Sicilian honey and British jam, followed by this wonderful lemon curd birthday cake, made by the indefatigable Chiara. The cake decoration of fresh flowers is a very Sicilian touch and here she has used winter jasmine:

One symbolic candle is very tactful when a girl reaches un certain âge, wouldn't you agree?

Gina had brought along these irresistible Sicilian handmade chocs and I can tell you that the strawberry-shaped ones on the left were particularly divine:

All Italians think the British are strange because of the habit of drinking tea with milk, but at this birthday gathering we discovered the true reason why Gina had been unable to get used to it; she'd thought the milk had to be hot! This reminded me of the time I sent a Christmas pudding to another friend here. This friend, an English teacher, hadn't bothered to read the instructions on the pack and proudly served this "unique English dessert" cold and raw to his family on Christmas Day. It was unique, all right! Anyway, this evening Gina had a cup of tea with cold milk and decided it wasn't so bad. [I'm a tea with lemon lady myself.]

The tea and the company were gifts aplenty, but I also received these from my kind and thoughtful friends:

This necklace from Rosa and family - exactly the type of jewellery I like.

These pretties for the balcony from Linda and family.

Beautiful flowers from Gina and family.

And, of course, the outfit from Irma that I mentioned last week.

I am, indeed, blessed and this afternoon I saw a sight I haven't witnessed in four winters. Yes, it snowed! Only for about ten minutes and it turned into rain before it hit the ground, but it was definitely snow. And on this cold night, as I cuddle up to my beautiful, warm doggie, I'll be telling her that there is no one I'd rather spend my birthday or Valentine's night with in "all the widey, woofie world".


Unknown said...

What a fabulous day! Happy Birthday again :-)

CherryPie said...

Ooh Lemon cake and snow! What more could a girl want ;-)

It sounds like you had a wonderful day :-) xx

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks again, Gary. I did enjoy the day. Hi, Cherie. What more, indeed? I'll always remember that it snowed in Sicily on my birthday! x

jmb said...

How lovely. A perfect day for you Welshcakes. But snow in Sicily? I just cannot imagine this.

Cat said...

Belated happy birthday! looks fantastic!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

So pleased you had a wonderful day.

My first thoughts when I saw birthday tea, was How very British it looks, it thru me a bit..looked odd if I can say that, but now I get it quaint :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday beautiful lady!...

for some reason I had it down for the I have enjoyed your adventures for the year... and Simi is looking damn fine :)

flutterby said...

Happy birthday Welshcakes! And many happy returns of the day. Remember, you aren't getting older you are getting better.

BTW, my philosophy is that once you reach a certain age, you can start subtracting a year each birthdday instead of adding one.

Rowena said...

Happy Birthday Welshcakes!

Trubes said...

Happy Birthday Welshcakes, glad you had such a lovely day.
Chloe has a blanket just like Simi's.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. Neither could the Sicilians! Thanks, cb. Many thanks, Anne. Well, it's one of our more civilised customs and I'm all for exporting it! Thanks, A'Jay. Simi is pleased you think she looks damn fine! Oh, Flutterby, you have the kind of philosophy I like! Many thanks, Rowena. Thanks, Trubes. Only the best for our girls, eh? x

sally in norfolk said...

Happy belated birthday.. and what a great day you had too x

Betty said...

What a nice birthday. I'm surprised to hear it snowed. The only snow I ever saw was on top of Mt. Etna. Happy Belated Birthday!

Ardent said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday. The birthday cake and chocolates were very enticing. :)

I absolutely love your new hair style too.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Sally. Thanks, Betty. Everyone is still talking about our little bit of snow! Many thanks, Ardent. You are all very kind.

Liz Hinds said...

Oh I missed your birthday! How did I do that?! I'm sorry but it sounds like you had a wonderful day. What very good friends you have.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It's perfectly all right, Liz. I did have a good day and I do have great friends here. Thanks for your good wishes.


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