Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Sorrento Bridal Bouquet (don't know if this post will work! TESTING!)





Last Thursday, I went to a large market in a nearby city. I went to buy flowers for my garden and... to see if the old man who sold bunches of fresh Chilli peppers was still there! He has one of those old little  Vespa trucks which farmers used, to take their produce to market, in the olden days. He still has one.

The old man was there. As usual, his truck was laden with loads of goodies: little bunches of the freshest, hottest Chilli peppers, gralic, dried in hot Southern sun, origano, picked in the mountains, and  Amalfi lemons... a rainbow of smells and colours!




I wanted to "kidnap" everything, but I contained myself and bought garlic and three bunches of Chillies "Sono molto, molto piccanti!" "They are very hot" The man said to me (why did he think I was buying them?) I said:"Si, lo so... sono anche bellissimi!" "Yes, I know. They are gorgeous, too!" I replied. The man was so pleased I displayed so much enthusiasm, he said:" Did you know that in the city of Sorrento young brides carry Chilli peppers with flowers in their wedding bouquet?" I was kind of surprised and really delighted. "What a charming idea!" "And..." he carried on: "Churches and reception venues are often decorated with arches made using flowers, Chillies and... garlic! It's supposed to bring you luck!" Wow! Why didn't they tell Liz Taylor? Now I knew why she had to marry SEVEN times! She couldn't possibly have had garlic or Chilli peppers in her bridal bouquets!

Anyway! I got carried away and bought two pots of chilli peppers from a gardening stall, to add to my "collection" because they were very colourful, and some cacti.


 My chilli pots!

My garlic and cacti

I got in the car and drove home. The countryside was so beautiful. The ancient walls, with their crowns of cacti, were laden with sweet fruits. I felt happy to be there.
Once home, I got out of the car and opened the gate. A soft breeze brought the sweet honey laced scent of the oleander. I closed my eyes and let the scent take over my mind...




"I know!" I thought "I will make my own Sorrento bridal bouquet!" I picked some grape vine stems, fig leaves, oleander blossom, added my chilli peppers and... voilà!




 MY BOUQUET!


The scent of the oleander reminded me of another posy: my cousin's bouquet of gardenias, roses and orange blossom... a wedding "past" when Anna was a little four year old blond bridesmaid, in a white tutù. So... it would appear, Monsieur Baudelaire, that your "correspondance" thing was spot on. You were so right, and so were you, Marcel (Proust)... it is possible to make "A Storm in a Cup of Tea"... only one ingredient needed: a smell! A buon intenditor, poche parole!





Well... here comes the bride, all dressed in white and... she carries chilli peppers! Buona Fortuna!

17 comments:

  1. Hello Anna

    You were flirting with the Chili Man and it paid off as you got some hot, caliente chilies for your bouquet.

    I could sense and I share in your joy of shopping when the freshest produce is offered.

    What are you going to make with that delcious garlic.

    Wishing you continued joy
    Helen x

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  2. Helen... The Chili man was a nice old man who knew how to count Euros! No Nacho...more like Compo out of Last of the Summer Wine, if you ever got to see that on BBC!

    Yes, I love buying vegetables, in Italy, which I am not normally able to buy, such as dandelions, which I love, broccoli di rape (cime di rape, to me!) and massive bunches of green Swiss Chard!

    Helen, I will use the garlic as a base for some dishes. We treat it as a flavouring, not a main ingredient. Believe me, I could never chew a large piece of garlic (cooked or raw) but I like dishes where garlic forms part of the base (most Italian dishes are built on a base of hot olive oil and garlic or onions. We don't really use herbs that much, aither, especially origano which could spoil many a dish!)

    Anyway... you made me smile! Maybe I should introduce you to the Chili Man. He works "All'aperto", too!

    You're so nice, Helen!

    CIAO

    ANNA
    x

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  3. Hello Anna,
    I can almost imagine I was there with you in the sunshine, with the bright colours and scents! I do wish I was, I love market shopping, for me it is the perfect way to spend a morning. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a baby about eating hot chilis, but they do look so pretty in your bouquet. May you continue to have a happy holiday, it's lovely to read your blog again. Jane x

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  4. It worked, lovely post, it sounds like you are managing to relax and let all the beauty around you calm you a little.

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  5. Hello, Lindy! Nature and beauty always work their magic. I believe that sometimes life brings sadness, so we can appreciate what is good. I am trying to do things my mum used to do in Summer: I made sundried tomatoes, for the first time, though I don't like them, just for the pleasure of doing things she enjoyed doing and, today, I made "biscotti tagliati" Cantuccini, with almonds, like she used to make. I want a bit of her to somehow still be "alive." When I was holding her hands, a couple of weeks ago, I said:" You could do so many things with your hands..." poor sweet thing... it's so sad.


    Buon pomeriggio, Lindy and thanks.

    ANNA

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  6. Jane,

    It's good to hear from you. Yes, I am trying to chill and let life take over my thoughts and my mind. We are sorrounded by so much beauty, here, I sometimes find it hard to believe it's for real. But it is. And I love it. I love every leaf, plant, lizard, butterfly and the people of this little town and the cats.

    Yes, you would love it! And the sunset! So much beauty! So much sky! Can't get over it. I am so proud to have been born in this Land (and we beat Spain at football, last night!)

    Good hearing from you, Jane... I hope you enjoyed your break in the BEAUTIFUL West Country.

    Ciao

    ANNA

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  7. Ciao Anna!
    Please, be careful with oleander coz it's poisonous!
    I love your bouquet, last Christmas I gave my hairdresser a bunch of white amaryllis and Chilli peppers, so effective!
    Enjoy your Italian break, you lucky thing!
    x

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  8. What a wonderful bouquet, never thought using chilies that way, but they don't grow here like there:)

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  9. Michela, I know about about oleander... the white, milky stuff that comes out of the stems can irritate your skin (but doesn't mine!)
    I promise I won't eat oleander blossom and that I will wash my hands after "handling" the "offending" plant. Thanks for the advice-

    Good to hear from you. Just got back from a buffalo farm... lovely outing! lots of pics!

    ANNA

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  10. Hello, Henrietta! Let me just say how much I enjoy your photography... really beautiful!

    I am sure that, though you may not be able to grow chillies, in your country, you must have a lot of good things we can't get in other parts of Europe.

    CIAO

    ANNA

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  11. I love this post! What a charming bouquet you made in the spirit of days gone by...simply lovely! Many thanks for visiting me and for your kind comments. When we went on holiday we went to Southern Ireland, in 2 different areas, Sligo in the West and Wicklow, south of Dublin. However Northern Ireland has lovely scenery too.If you do get to visit you must look me up, I would love to meet you. With love Linda x

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  12. Hi Linda! I wasn't able to look at my blog for a couple of days and i just saw your comment.

    I would love to visit Northern Ireland. I can see from your photos and other images I have seen, that it's a lovely place. Not to mention the friendly people!

    I would like to meet you, too! Who knows... maybe one day! I will carry on reading your blog, which is one I enjoy very much! It really is charming, Linda!

    x
    ANNA

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  13. Anna, thankyou for visiting me. I am glad you enjoyed the funny photos. I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I have just seen your lovely comments above and I am very touched, thankyou. I hope that you are feeling well and copeing alright with your grief. It is a very difficult thing to lose your mother, and you have good days and bad days. You have been left a wonderful legacy by your mother, with your cooking skills, and you have many happy memories. I am sending you a big hug Anna, keep well. love Linda x

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  14. beautiful colors in these images

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  15. Hi Anna, many thanks for visiting me. Welcome back to the U.K. I really love all the berries and rosehips too at this time, and it's wonderful that roses are still flowering too. Have a great weekend, love Linda x

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  16. Hi Linda... yes, she left us, covered in a sea of red roses... her room still has her scent...

    Thanks, Linda, you are very kind.

    ANNA

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  17. Grazie Lino, per il complimento. Amo tanto la fotografia. Visitero` il tuo blog piu` tardi.

    Ciao

    ANNA

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