The day I asked my friend Anita to come with me to Sardinia for a short visit I did not realise that that trip would have meant so much for both of us. For me it meant that my beautiful country with its food, its history, its traditions and its way of living would have been such a source of inspiration. For my friend it meant that the way of eating and enjoying food would have changed for good for her and her family.
Here is how she experienced Sardinia:
The first word that sprung to my mind as we drove up the winding road through the green mountains and along the coastline of turquoise waters: PARADISE!!
The beautiful blue sky and temperature of 26 degrees at the end of the summer, 2 and a half hours flight from home, I instantly felt relaxed.
Sitting with Lara and her Mum Gina in the garden, drinking -Yes you’ve guessed it, coffee, very traditional when passing time with friends and family, they would pop by and have a good chat and a strong cup of coffee.
Surrounded by olive trees, cactus plants and fresh herbs, I was excited to experience the real Sardinia. What better way than to stay with my friend Lara and her Mum at their B&B Le Colline di Morimenta and live and eat as they do.
Whilst we relaxed Gina busied herself in the kitchen preparing lunch -here she is the Queen and the Boss of her kitchen. Sat around the table together we enjoyed goat stew, pasta in sauce and fried aubergines in breadcrumbs. I could instantly taste the freshness and the quality of the food.
We were also joined by Lara’s friend Thomas and his two children from Germany, who also have a passion for fresh healthy food and he has come to experience the Mediterranean diet and get some great ideas to share.
Later we dropped in on neighbours who welcomed us all into their home offering coffee, cakes, lots of conversations and laughter.
For our evening meal we all joined in preparing a lovely banquet of fresh prawns, aubergines, salad, pasta and lots of water and a few glasses of local wine. Even though I felt I’d eaten so much it was all very healthy and no need to snack in between meals. I am starting to realise why they have such a healthy diet and the highest level of centenarians.
Today we all came together in the kitchen to make ravioli, one of their favourite dishes. It was absolutely delicious, all freshly made and another opportunity to chat and laugh together.
After lunch we headed to the beach. As I walked around the corner I was greeted by pure white sand and crystal clear aqua sea. It was absolutely stunning! Families would often go down to the beach and bring lunch, fresh fruit, pasta dishes and plenty of water.
After breakfast I joined Lara and Gina on their trip to the local supermarket for ingredients for today’s lunch and dinner. Straight away I noticed the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, all the colours and the quality was amazing, the meat and fish were so varied and so much choice. There seemed to be so many aisles of fresh produce and one aisle of treats. If only our supermarkets were like this I think there would not be so many people eating the wrong foods.
Lunch was pork steak and salad. I got to sample some ‘mortadella’ and gorgonzola which Lara says is her favourite food when she comes home. I tried fennel for the first time also, sliced and drizzled with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt. I didn’t know fennel was so good for your digestive system. I’ve always walked past this vegetable not really knowing what to do with it. You can also add to soups and stews.
Mediterranean food, lots of water, sun, family around the table taking time to talk to each other is such a good life recipe we should all be able to enjoy!
My time here is Sardinia is something I have thoroughly enjoyed and have gained some knowledge of how to cook fresh healthy dishes that are simple to prepare. Taking time to sit at the dinner table and talk to each about the days events without gadgets taking centerstage.
I hope to bring some of my experience to my family, unfortunately I cannot bring home the sun but if I can feed my family some heathy wholesome food with a touch of Italy they would feel the sun shining through.