Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"Patriuccia! Patri-uuuuuu-ccia! Sono io! " [It’s me!] sang a woman’s voice over the intercom earlier this evening. [ Sicilians are fond of the – uccio / a suffix as as term of affection. ] It was, of course, Lucia, who had arrived bearing yet another anguria and a squash. Squashes are symbols of good luck in Italy and I think the reason is that in days gone by, no part of the vegetable was wasted, so if you had grown a particularly large pumpkin, for instance, you were deemed lucky. It is no accident that Cinderella’s coach metamorphosed from a pumpkin. “You can either cook this or keep it for a while for good luck”, she informed me. Decisions, decisions!

Rosa had arrived giggling a couple of hours before that and when I asked her why, she told me that when her bus was on its way up the via Sacro Cuore, the driver, having spotted one of the 50% sconti [discount] notices in a shop window, brought the vehicle to a stop with a tremendous screech of brakes, ran into the shop, bought something , then ran out again and continued to transport his applauding public to their destination.

There are, indeed, many sales and, business being as bad here as elsewhere in the world, they were allowed to start a week early. I picked these beauties up last week for a total cost of 15€ :

Italians are, I read, booking more holidays abroad than they did last year and this is being taken by government as an upturn in the economic situation. I don’t think that business owners would agree.

Meanwhile, down at the market, the traders continue to try to persuade everybody to buy Italian. This I did last Thursday and here I am on Rosa’s balcony dressed in my market finery:

I also rummaged through the piles of remnants on the ground and found this – ideal for covering my pots of preserves.

These two traders were particularly keen to be photographed:

Lunch at Rosa's on Saturday consisted of: pasta with a special, sweet tomato sauce, merluzzo [cod] for the others and chicken for me, salad, potatoes and good bread. I took along the tray of ice creams. You can buy these in most of the pasticcerie and they are coated with a layer of icing so that they don't melt on the tray:

It's not easy making tomato sauce in the heat but Rosa and I managed to process another 10 kg of tomatoes yesterday:

As for the condominio, I’m not sure how much water we’ve got but we have light! After three months of pitch darkness in the lift, the ascensorista finally arrived to change a lamp! [I couldn't have reached it but I don't know why no one else did it.] “That was quite quick, then”, said a private student of mine in all seriousness. The water service is still “sospeso” as I write and the office is not answering its phone.

The pazienza of the Modicani is also being sorely tested by my favourite place, the Post Office, which has decided to close in the afternoons from this week until the end of July. We expect this to happen during August but no one was prepared for it in July!

I’ll close with the “ice cream of the week”. The Altro Posto has done it again!


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Where do I begin WL...I am reading in laughter, :-)

Rosa's story brought me to tears of laughter I can just imagine it, and even though I don;t know this lady..I can hear her explaining it.. :-)

I love the bag and sandals, they are just for me too, love the colours.

Lunch at Rosa's is so yummy, oh what more can I say, and the ices mmmmm

I cannot believe your Poste is closing in the afternoons, oh yes you need pazienza..and just read about the light, and the water..but you wouldn't change it , would you :-)

Oh yes the Altro Posto has done it again...I have typed this so fast in excitement, love this post, can just feel it..I hope I haven't missed anything out..take care x x

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you so much, Anne. You are so loyal and you do cheer me up. Itis good to know you enjoyed the post so much. You'd really like Rosa. I couldn't believe it when the post office was shut this afternoon. People kept coming up the street and gazing at the "Chiuso" notice in disbelief. The only thing I'd change here is the water system! Glad you've had a better day xx

CherryPie said...

You look very glamorous on the balcony :-)

What is the drink in the last picture? It looks very interesting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Cherie. The drink is called ACE [pronounced achay] and is a mixture of orange, lemon and carrot juice. It's very cooling and good for you!

CherryPie said...

It sounds very refreshing

Unknown said...

How are you, my friend?I think the food was delicious.Ice crean...I love...
I confes, I don't understand everythink you write because my english is so poor.I think is important to read all even though you understand less.

Minnie said...

Welshcakes - buongiorno! - a terrific post: full of life, observations, hilarious anecdotes, excellent pix and demonstrating the power of humour (and a fab outfit) to rise above mundane irritations & problems.
You look lovely in your finery - hooray for colour! And the food looks delicious.
I shall have to try that drink; it must be very refreshing (we're all muttering miserably about the heat, here: spoilt or what?!).
Bisous, P

Rowena said...

Ha! Only in Italy (the bus driver and the sconti). When my husband lived in Torino, he remembered a day when he was stuck in traffic with a lot of horns blaring. To his surprise (or perhaps not), the standstill traffic wasn't due to the morning rush, but because a city bus a few cars ahead had stopped curbside (not at a bus stop!), to go into a bar for a coffee!

So squashes are good luck eh? Well then I count myself very fortunate, because there are 3 doing quite well in the garden. Next year I'll be sure to plant more than two types of pumpkin!

Whispering Walls said...

Here's a squash salad recipe for you - chop the squash into small pieces and roast in some olive oil in a hot oven for 40 minutes. Roast an olive oil smeared Romano pepper in it for 20 mins. Peel and de-seed the roasted pepper and chop into pieces. Allow all to cool. Mix with a tin of butter beans (or pre-cooked butter beans), some chopped coriander, some rocket. Add any dressing that you like et voila!

jams o donnell said...

So much good food and bargains.We have a market in Romgord for over 600 years. Sadly it's a bit of a dismal experience

James Higham said...

Who's that slender lass in the fourth picture down?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi again, Cherie. Yes, it's very refreshing and cooling. Hi, Kinha. I'm fine, thank you and I think your English is very good. Love to you.Hi, Phidelm and thank you. Glad ypu like my finery and the food! "Ace" is my favourite soft drink, apart from fresh red orange juice, here. We're all groaning about the heat here, too! Hi, Rowena. Love the coffee story! Don't take any chances - plant loads of pumpkins! Oh, fabulous, WW. That's just the kind of recipe I like and I'll be trying it tomorrow! Thank you. Hi, jams. I didn't realise that the market there was so old. No idea, James!

jmb said...

A slice of your life, hugely interesting and entertaining to boot.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Many thanks, jmb.

sally in norfolk said...

love those shoes and that bag :-) would mind some of that tomato sauce either

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Those ice creams look delicious.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Sally. Tomato sauce coming over! Hi, Moggs. They truly are delicious as all the bars make their own.


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