On the kitchen table today… a friend’s home-grown lemons and mandarins on one of Nanna Francesca’s 1950s dinner plates. So lovely when someone brings you fruit and flowers they’ve grown in their garden. To me they’re the perfect gifts. (And the fresh, crisp lemon scent currently in the kitchen is divine!) 🍋
I have to say, we ate off these dinner plates at Nanna Francesca and Nonno Anni’s for decades and it’s incredible how small they are compared to plates these days. That said, I think there were often second, (and even third!), helpings at times. 👀😄 But as is the case when an Italian Nonna has been doing the cooking – no one ever goes hungry!
Hope you have a lovely day. Zoe xx
The shortest day of the year and the garden’s winter light seems crisper, a dryness to the cool air. As I get older, I realise more and more my gardening is taking on aspects of the Nonnos and Nonnas among us, as if by osmosis… checking each day, touching the plant leaves, saving seeds, happiness at seeing healthy worms in the freshly turned over soil. Perhaps one day I’ll even start planting by the moon like many Italian gardeners do, instead of plonking plants in and hoping for the best.
Mandarins and rosemary are reigning in the vegie patch at present. I’m soon to pick my first mandarin for the season and each day keenly check their growing blush of orange. Meanwhile, the rosemary is like a forest and as well as using it in cooking, I’m starting to put rosemary wands in flower vases and love their scent when I touch them while going past.
There’s an Italian saying… where rosemary bushes grow large and bloom, the woman rules the house. I’m not sure about that, although it might make Roger laugh, I’m sure! But I do love how it makes me think of Nanna Francesca’s rosemary shrub and how my Mum grew it too. They were both strong yet gentle as needed be, forte e gentile, and if those qualities rule a house, then so be it. Happy winter solstice! Zoe xx