We received a box load of lemons today picked by dawn’s early light this morning and still with some dew on them. Not that the dew really matters but it paints a nice picture doesn’t it . We shall be making limoncello with them tomorrow and using an old italian recipe. The lemons must be freshly picked and have no wax on. These are ours


You cut the rind only from the lemon , the white makes the limoncello bitter. You mix the rind with sugar, pure alcohol and water and put in an airtight container  and store in a quiet place ( the recipe actually says in literal translation no bumps nor much noise) for 6 days. Twice everyday you stir it with a wooden spoon and after 6 days strain and bottle. Day 7 after it has chilled all night in the fridge pour yourself your first well deserved glass. Personally I am more a grappa person but obviously you are in command of this recipe so the alcohol content is at your whim whereas the commercial stuff is about 22°.

We had our first taste of summer today as the wind moved to the South and warm African currents gently drifted over us. The temperature hit 24C and our verandah a heady 28C. My thoughts quickly started to drift to beach bed-chair music. There can be no finer pastime than lying prone on a bed-chair in the sunshine listening to music can there? Music like this which I would rate one of the great beach sunbathing tunes

During my working life I was convinced that at birth in Hillingdon General Hospital the nurse put the wrong name band on my wrist. I was made for lying in the sunshine and I knew that somewhere in the Caribbean on a luxury yacht there was a frustrated Rothchild heir saying “why can’t I work, why can’t I go to the office, I feel unfulfilled ” whereas there I sat knowing I was ideal for the luxury life.

Life in Italy is often full of little victories and when you are retired those little victories take on a bigger meaning.

I have been using this little cafe on odd occasions for sometime and had been charged €1.25 for a cappuccino . for that reason I tended to avoid it like the plague as the place opposite was €1 . However the expensive joint boasts a really nice sun trap of a sitting area and as per the above once the sun is out I am in it. However the other day I was walking towards the cheap hangout when I ran into my old electrician who is now in fact a restaurant owner . Come for coffee I think he said so I tagged along anyway . Now these friendly invitations are quite a problem as my Italian isn’t that great so one hopes for a large crowd of fellow imbibers that the host can quickly start talking to. One to one conversations with me must be like taking a four year old to the bar. You know lots of short questions and  very short answers from me. I was lucky that we  were greeted on arrival in the expensive bar by the local supermarket owner and the local ironmonger plus a few other hangers on and I could relax and enjoy a coffee and try to listen to the chat. The owner of the bar noticed me and I smiled  as I stood with “the Boys” in his cafe.

So today the big test. I took a couple of brit friends to the bar and sat in the glorious sunshine.  I went in and ordered tre cappucci just like a local using a long “pooh” and he delivered them to the table. The bill on leaving €3 dead. Victory was mine. A little jig and he has a new customer for the summer.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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