Patience Gray,Saga and Lemons

We topped 30C ( 87F) today, I would love to say that is normal but it certainly isn’t. We have warm African Sahara winds blowing this way for a few days so the temperature is more August than April. Still enjoy it while it is here though the tilers toiling in the garden were less than amused.

I stopped on my walk this morning at the trullo of an Amercian friend. He was sitting out under his wisteria covered awning drinking expresso. I sat and joined him. He grinds his own coffee using an antique hand grinder he found in the Taranto flea market ( held every Sunday ) and then makes the coffee using an amazing 50 year old coffee maker that is the bottom half of a percolator with a small flat surface on the top on which  to place an expresso coffee cup. The coffee percolates up through a small bent pipe and flows into the cup. As we sat on the already hot but shaded terrace I told him that this morning I had answered a question on Fodors forum where the questioner had asked what six key things should she and her family see on their 6 day tour of Puglia this June. She thought Lecce, Matera, Alberobello, Otranto, but what else should she do. Nothing we both said in unison. In fact do less and experience more. Puglia my friend said ( he has lived here for 15 years ) is not about that kind of tourism. You do sightseeing in the North but you come here to experience a different tourism. Puglia is about the people and their ability to live from the land. It is about a real lack of ambition to own things, family, good food fresh from the surrounding area, friends and wine is what they value and continue to do today.  If you haven’t read Patience Gray’s book Honey from a Weed you should, it gives you just that feel of what is important and it sure as hell isn’t about sitting in a car racing from one baroque centro storico to another. She would be turning in her grave at the thought of people doing anything other than gathering wild chicory, wild asparagus, wild fennel, wild rosemary etc . Here’s the asparagus I collected today on my walk.

Wild Asparagi



Still each to his own I know and we continued to sit and chat for almost an hour about things of absolutely no importance.

The IMU house tax saga continues apace. Our new leader has announce that he has halted the June payment, no refund for last year, no cancelation of the tax just no payment in June, not what the populus were expecting. He has also suspended the VAT ( IVA) raise of 1% and will move to reform the Porcellum  which is system by which the party that wins the most votes gets a hugely disproportionate number of MP’s in the House that bears no relation to the size of the win . This was especially true this time when PD defeated PDL by just 0.4% and yet were given a large majority. Now clearly this is going to be turkeys voting for Christmas as he also intends cutting the number of MPs as well and doing away with the Provisional Governments. Our Leader was however on the 06.30 flight to Berlin this morning  summoned by Frau Merkel to explain the budget to her and as she says for her to also wish him congratulations in forming a government. No doubt she will be offering a few pointers to him as she did to Mario Monti.

We received another large box of lemons on Saturday and have started on more Lemoncello. The one we made to the local Puglian recipe is like firewater and  burns your lips as you drink it. So we are adding more water to the mix this time.

Three years of living in Bombay means that I cannot do without a curry fix once a week and so we have used more lemons instead of the limes called for to make some Lemon Chutney from an Indian Recipe given to us by our cook out there . It is mind blowing and after eating it the Lemoncello tastes  innocuous


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.
This entry was posted in Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Food, Puglia Guide, Puglia Lifestyle, Puglia Living, Puglia Travel Information and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s