When nonna visits….orecchiette

IMG_8567La nonna di Giulia is visiting – she has made various guest appearances on this blog – making pasta, meatballs, sending parcels and now she is making a guest appearance in our kitchen. When I got up this morning there were trays of  Orecchiette drying in the living room – for the neighbours and for us, nonna said “oh, I’ll get up tomorrow and make some more, so you have enough to distribute”…She flew up with a big suitcase – bringing dried fava beens and cima di rape, kgs of semolina flour and a yeasted dough in a plastic bag, homemade taralli made in various ways, and full of energy to demonstrate to me how to make them. I love taralli dolci.  Apparently her husband wasn’t allowed to bring his aftershave, because, nonna said it would put the luggage over the weight restrictions. And so now, at the moment, early in the morning, when I and many others are still asleep nonna is in the kitchen making things. Fortunately, there is enough food in the house to keep her busy, not sure what I’d do otherwise, as she maintains she cannot get up later than 5.30 – and what do I want her to do in bed anyway – the day is made to do stuff in…..This afternoon after she’d made lunch, and she sat in the living room sewing intricate designs on a tablecloth she brought with her, to ensure she wouldn’t get bored, I brought her a dress that needs altering, she did it in 10 minutes. As an act of kindness I will now hand her all my other clothes that need altering,  she is a world class seamstress, she bores easily if she has nothing to do,  and although I feel mildly guilty, it is very helpful and she really enjoys doing stuff for us. So distancing myself from how I would usually treat my guests – they come, I spoil them, I am learning to enjoy this new type of southern Italian visit 🙂



14 thoughts on “When nonna visits….orecchiette

  1. Wow – lucky you! I love to watch when people make dishes like that, and even more acting as the ‘quality control’ manager afterwards 😉

    • Nonna thought you were hilarious, she had tears in her eyes as I told her what you had written! She subsequently told me of the time 50 years ago when she smuggled 8 bottles of homemade limoncello across the swiss border hidden beneath tomatoes and peperoncini (when the border guard, an Italian far from home) expressed interest in the stuff in the back of her car, she made him a gift of a bushel of homegrown chilis – I said you BRIBED a border guard? she said no no, I just gave him a present……..you just have to love the Italians..

    • she has more energy than 13 two year olds! – in the meantime she has made preserves and more pasta and pruned all my plants with an unsentimental hand, which I am sure is the best way, as the last time an unsentimental gardener pruned my roses they blossomed better too

    • she is indeed a fabulous guest, as is her husband, wise and selfless they fit right into the household – they are loving, kind and generous of spirit, bringing with them an age where being an individualist was not always a good thing – makes them wonderfully relaxing to be around as they have no agenda other that to spend time with us – i feel very fortunate to know them and have them here

  2. In the past, I have made many pastas straight from scratch!! Orechiette is also fun to make!! xxx
    You are a very lucky person to have a such lovely cool nonna!! ooh yes!! 🙂

  3. What a fun post Poli!! Your Nonna sounds like my grandma Rose who was Swiss. Always up early, baking and sewing and gardening. The pasta is so beautiful– I’d want to save it in a jar in the kitchen to admire instead of eating it!

    • she is a treasure – a woman who worked very hard and is a testimony to the fact that neither money nor possessions make you happy but being rooted in your environment with good friends and the ability to not compare yourself to others plus a large helping of patience does bring contentedness – I am impressed by her mostly 🙂

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