Balls of Fire

It seems the tropical thunderstorms are to return to this top plateau around Martina Franca and already today the storm clouds gather. The forecast is for storms till Monday. I remember having to learn a poem which is also a song at my Prep School by Rudyard Kipling called Mandalay whose chorus verse had tropical thunder. I still know it today

Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay;
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay,
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

Well it is coming across the hills from Taranto here. The breezy north wind has also curtailed evening drinks on the new patio. Regulars will know I hunted down and bought tall table

a tall table but it is as yet almost unused for sunset drinks. The drink in question is a Gin and Tonic but with rose petals and cucumber. It is hugely refreshing and has an almost Pimms flavour to it

Gin,Rose Petals,Cucumber

for those of you elsewhere with heatwaves it is well worth plucking a few roses for.

Of course one way to stay warm in the evenings outside is to light the wood burning stove and cook. This I did last night for a meal to thank my early morning hornet killer. I didn’t dare tell him that quite a few must have been out partying in M.F. as the following day they tried to set up another base camp in the next window. I performed the deadly deed on that occasion.

I cooked what are called bombette down here which are slivers of pork or veal rolled into a ball with cheese and then wrapped in bacon. They are available all year in the butchers and vary by area and butcher. They are also a major part of the butchers shop restaurants that abound around Cisternino where you order in the shop and then go next door to the restaurant and you choice is cooked and served to you.  I alway buy ours from the Pollo D’Oro a butchers shop in Martina Franca when cooking at home. They are the best I have tried as are their chicken wings hence the name of the shop Chicken of Gold.

So having fired up the wood and reduced it to red hot embers I started to cook . I was also trying to chat in Italian to Pasquale and we were engaged in a lively conversation about opening a butcher shop type restaurant in London and how we would make our fortunes. He and I sitting at the small bar playing mine hosts while Rosa cooked and Geraldine served. The wood burning stove area is a place of dreams let me tell you, maybe not for an Italian, but certainly for a British male.

I don’t know how the bombette rolled out of the grill cage nor why we failed to notice them but when I came to turn them the chicken wings were there the sausages were there but half the bombette were in the flames.  Not only that they were on fire and beyond rescue.

I burst into song startling Pasquale especially as he had no idea what I was singing. It was only later with Rosa translating as I played the music on the stereo, no one wanted me to sing it, that it became clear to him

So long before The Who started breaking their stuff up Jerry Lee Lewis was doing in his equipment on stage. Loved the film which this clip comes from though it is Jerry Lee singing on the soundtrack.


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 Driving in Italy, Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Beaches, Puglia Cooking, Puglia Food, Puglia Guide, Puglia Lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Balls of Fire

  1. David says:

    I’m sure I’ve heard that poem recited by Jennifer patterson of two fat ladies cookery programme fame ,continue to find your blog hugely entertaining and informative,if you accept requests something on puglian archaeology and wine would be appreciated.Looking forward to being in Puglia by September and checking out some places you’ve mentioned.

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