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sicily-picking olives 9 copy

I am just back from California where I was hoping to go to the olive harvest but I never got the time. A few weeks earlier I was in Lebanon and I had intended to do the same down south but I was there too early. Thank goodness I went to Sicily in between, and in time for the olive harvest at Mary Taylor Simeti‘s beautiful farm near Palermo, Bosco Falconeria. Believe it or not it was my first ever olive harvest despite having grown up in Lebanon and Syria, both lands of the olive. Mary reckoned that the reason must have been that I was at school during olive harvest. She may well be right — we only went to Rechmaya where my uncle had his olive groves in the summer.

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bresaola copy

I have a wonderful Italian friend who always brings me delicious offerings when he returns from his travels. Sopressata from his wife’s village in the north of Italy or delicious salame from Milan but this last week, he came to dinner bearing the most wonderful slab of bresaola from Switzerland — in fact bresaola is from Italy’s Valtellina Valley while beyond the border it is called carne secca dei grigioni (grison’s dry meat). Anyhow, today I brought out one of my best knives to cut myself a few slices for lunch.

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