Monday, 25 April 2011


It was hot, it was sunny, it was happy and beautiful... Italy before Easter! The shops were displaying chocolate eggs and all kinds of Springtime goodies. And I was there... soaking up the sun, the beauty and feeling the embrace of my mother land.

The gardens were celebrating Spring: lemon and orange trees everywhere!

In my sister's garden, a tiny little lemon tree, with one single blossom brought back memories of weddings past, when I was a tiny little girl and brides had orange or lemon blossom in their bouquet. And I saw myself at the wedding of my cousin and Olga, his beautiful blond bride. I was the bridesmaid and as we walked down the aisle I could smell the blossom and the Lily of the Valley in Olga's bouquet.

I have memories of my aunt's house, after the wedding. As we walked up the steps which led to the house, musicians played violins and, wherever you went, round the house, you were followed by violin players. It felt like being in a movie, or in one of those old Victorian poems, which smell of ferns, aspidistra and damasks. In one of the rooms, some of the older guests sat, in a circle, whilst "rosolio" (I'm sure it must have been limoncello) was being served.

Lemons everywhere, In Italy, and oranges... beautiful orange trees laden with fruit. What a feast for the eyes and for the mind!

When we left Puglia we went across to Campania. My little lemon tree wasn't much to write home about, so... all by myself, I went out one sunny afternoon, to explore and find... things! I found almonds, I found wild rosemary and lots of beautiful lemon trees! 

Almonds growing on a tree

Wild rosemary

So, I picked the five lemons I needed to make my Mamma's limoncello. And here is the recipe:

Rosa's very good limoncello


5 lemons
500 mls Polish Spirit or Vodka
400 gr sugar
500 mls water

This is very easy. First of all peel your five lemons, making sure you avoid all the pith (the white, furry stuff behind the skin.) Next, put the lemon peel in a bottle, with the Spirit. Leave to infuse for 48 hours.

Two days later...

Bring 500 mls of water to the boil. Turn off , add the sugar and stir until melted. When the water is cold, add the spirit which by now will be bright yellow and very lemony. Stir and place in a nice bottle.

Limoncello is actually good served cold. We enjoyed it at the end of our Easter dinner, with a slice of my homemade Pizza di Ricotta (Pastiera- our Easter cake) It was really yummy!
This is my Pastiera, the Italian Easter ricotta cheese cake

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