Friday, 20 April 2018
Lunch in the Lemon Grove
An after-Easter luncheon amongst the lemon trees.
We were invited by one of K's many cousins to join them, friends and family for a barbeque to finish off the meat not cooked at Easter. What a wonderful invitation. All I had to was put a bottle of wine in a bag as a present, dress casually for the Sunday afternoon get together on the terrace and turn up.
Cousin M owns a large white house in the old river bed. The house is surrounded by lemon and olive trees planted many, many years ago by his father. Years ago we used to go and help them pick the lemons and crate them for market. A very scratchy job but there were always loads of volunteers. Now the lemons remain on the trees till they drop. There is no longer money to be made from lemons. Those that can be sold must be pip-less, big, round, a bright yellow, no blemishes or runts are wanted.
This year the trees are drooping with large lemons but still there is no market. We often take a bag or two but our own trees are loaded this year and so are our neighbours trees. We just received a bag full of huge juicy lemons from Fani next door. I have baskets and bowls of them scattered around the lounge. It is time to juice them and make bottles of juice to freeze and make lemonade during the summer.
The patio is paved with marble, there is a covered built in BBQ, outdoor sink and gas oven. The table, a large slab of marble, is shaded by yet another spreading tree, this one a carob. Shade is most important in this sun-seared country. First find your tree and then build around it.
For us this is elegant living. Long stemmed wine glasses, a real bread basket, red napkins .... and a plastic tablecloth but bright and cheery
The two grill chefs discuss the size of the steaks
We are protected from the road and the stares of strangers by a wide strip of lemon and olive trees. The green and yellow of the trees and their fruit are a refreshing background
This cat is blind but follows the smell obviously and was rewarded with a pile of meaty bones. He grabbed them one by one and was off into the forest above. If he banged into something on the way he just sidestepped and continued on
This one came a bit closer but didn't stay long. He spent most of the afternoon running off intruders bold enough to invade his territory
Dessert, a plate of lemon slices eaten with salt, for those that wanted to refresh the palate. I went for a bowl of icecream and fresh strawberries!