Wednesday 12 May 2010

Old lady leaning out of window!

At 90 years of age, a nice woman from Tuscany, her black eyes perring out from under a shock of white hair covered by a headscarf and a permanent prankster smile creasing her ruddy cheeks, has the energy of a woman half her age. On this afternoon, she points to her collection of crochets in a little wicker basket by the fireplace. On the wall is a photograph of Lucia in her younger days, smiling happily.
Dinner is beef escalopes, she simmered the meat in a delicate wine sauce with just a trace of tomatoes, mushrooms and wild parsley. The table was heavy with other treats- a fresh salad, warm bread, olives stored from the last harvest, cheese, and local wine served from a plastic bottle. Entere someone's house in a small Tuscan village and you will be offered food and drinks- not to politely refuse, but to thoroughly enjoy! It quite often happens that regardless of the time of the day or evening you may be presented a tray of typical and local sweets, along with coffe or wine or home made limoncello, the classic Italian lemom liquor that packs a powerful punch.
Lucia has always eaten healthy food all her life. I ask her about her ritual of siesta, but she shakes her head- I don't sleep much she says. She has work to do- knitting and making meals for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lucia lives in a small exquisite Tuscan village, delightfully romantic where the time seems to have stopped. The people here she said, are very old! They have long life expectancy she repeated proudly leaning out of window!

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