Back to our trip to Puglia.
It was the first day of the New Year and we had just visited Santo Spirito and Giovinazzo. Now it was time for lunch with M's family again. This time his older brother E, his wife F, as well as V's mother joined us.
We again had lots to eat. I don't know how his mother does it. We were just there till way past midnight the night before and the very next day she had managed to prepare another huge feast for over ten people.
We started eating around 2.30pm. D commented that he'd never eaten lunch that late. Not that we were hungry... we were still full from last night's meal. There was a fresh cheese selection, olives and smoked salmon to start. Then homemade oriecchiete pasta with the tomato sauce of the famous Pugliese braciole or meat roll dish. First we had the pasta with the sauce that the meat rolls are cooked in, then the meat rolls themselves are served. If you recall, we had it once in Milan prepared by V herself. Now this was her future mother-in-law's version.
This was a dish made with years and years of experience and tradition. It seemed like every family has their own 'trade secret'... that little tweak to the recipe or an addition of a special ingredient to make theirs better. It was delicious of course!
Then we had some sausages made from veal from a local macelleria or butcher. These were cooked on a grill right in the camino or fireplace in the corner of their kitchen.
They were really really good. And that's coming from me who's not a huge fan of sausages in general.
For dessert, there was a cake, sort of the local version of the St Honore, and this traditional dessert which I absolutely cannot remember the name of. Anyone? Basically it is a pastry topped with a warm sugary syrup. And of course, another bottle of spumante was opened to toast the New Year.
By the time we finished all that, it was almost 6pm. The 'kids' decided to go for a walk and get coffee at a neighborhood bar. We got a walking tour of their lovely town, Palo del Colle. I was impressed with the many beautiful churches and historical buildings in this relatively unknown town of 20k inhabitants.
When we got back, the family dog, Laika, was there to greet us. Isn't she the sweetest thing?
I really enjoyed the warm welcome and hospitality of M's family and the peek into the local life. Thank you so much and we hope to be back for a visit soon!