Monday, January 18, 2010

A Country Life.....

I have the very good fortune to have one of my best friends living in Wingello, right in the middle of the Southern Highlands. Every month I take a few days off to meander down the Hume and stay overnight. Simona is from Abruzzo in Italy and I love the hospitality that greets me – a bed so cosy that it reminds me of staying at my Grandmas, beautiful food and the most relaxing atmosphere. I can’t get mobile phone reception (bliss!!!) and I fall asleep to the sound of wind in the trees.

Today I awoke to the most gorgeous sunny morning and happily sipped my coffee on the back porch soaking up the warmth. Much to my delight a neighbour came over with the two dozen eggs we ordered. They got my stamp of approval when I opened the tray to find they were still covered in dirt and the odd feather. This is what real eggs are and I grew up eating these at my Grandma’s farm. The yolks are so yellow it’s amazing and the taste so much more intense.

We then traipsed off to “Arcadia”, the local fruit and vegetable shop. I had commented to Simona that the rocket salad at dinner last night was like the true wild rocket that I rarely see in Sydney. So we went in search of this prized rocket at Arkadia. I only had $10 on me and I mentioned to Simona that I needed an ATM – she burst out laughing and said “Emm, you can’t possibly spend more than $10 at Arcadia!”

Vi, who runs this wonderful little shop, is there every day of the year except Christmas day. We pulled up to the shop, which is more like an open shed, to find a treasure trove of produce. Most of it is local and people either sell it to Vi or swap it for something else. I bought 2kg juicy carrots, a whole head of celery, a cos lettuce and a big bag of the gorgeous rocket – all for $5! Now, I know the produce is not organic but it is home grown, local and most people use seaweed fertiliser, not chemicals. I can’t even buy a bag of rocket that big for under $5 in Sydney!

So, a country life may be just the thing I need – it is certainly on the long term drawing board! Simona and I have visions of sharing vegetable harvests, making jams and enjoying nice long nights around the dinner table. Thanks again Vi!



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