It’s Nonno Anni’s birthday in a few days so there was once a time when all the family would be getting together this weekend at my grandparents’ house. Several tables would be pushed together, Nanna Francesca would cook huge bowls of pasta and either polpette or cotolette, and of course there’d be cake, champagne and maybe Franjelico, or Sambuca with a coffee bean lit on top.
Although Nonno Anni has been gone some while now, I still miss him terribly but I’m so grateful for the times we had and so on October 21st will raise a glass, or a polpette, to Annibale (Joe) who continues to inspire me. xxx
(For the record, that air-conditioner behind Nonno Anni in this photo is the one I wrote about that Nanna Francesca refused to let me turn on even on the hottest days because it created a ‘cold draught’!!) 😊
Buon compleanno, Nonno, con amore sempre. Tante cose belle. Zoë xx
This is one of the first photographs I chose that I hoped would make the cover of Mezza Italiana (it’s on the back). Taken in the 1960s, it was dinner for my uncle’s birthday and one of the rare times the family got to eat together since one of my grandparents were usually doing a shift at their milk bar.
I love how the young, fair-haired friend (second from left) looks happy to be at the dinner table eating spaghetti among three generations of an Italian family (reminds me a bit of how Roger was when he first came to eat at my grandparents’ house). And of course that is my Dad in the front right corner, being his usual larrikin self!
Swiss Italian, Aquilino Tinetti originally built this stone farmhouse at Shepherds Flat in central Victoria circa 1860. He and his wife Maria had thirteen children and the 100 acres were run as a dairy farm for the next 120 years.
In the 1980s, Carol White purchased the property, restored the historic stone buildings and planted lavender and it is now called Lavandula.
It is a beautiful place to visit and as part of research for the next book especially interesting for me to see the original 19th century farmhouse set up including a great cellar below a very steep, internal staircase, and also some friends in the kitchen garden…