Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farmhouse

This is a partial view of the farmhouse in San Ferdinando di Puglia where my husband spent his childhood summers. He climbed trees, rode his bicycles, tortured lizards and played with a multitude of cousins, but also was expected to do his share of chores.

One chore he remembers fondly was the cleaning of the almonds. This is a job that has several steps to it. First you have to gather the almonds from the trees. Then you have to remove their furry green outer covering. Next, you have to crack the hard shell that contains the fruit. Finally, you have to remove the hard shell and seperate the shells from the almonds.

The children were paid something equivalent to 10 cents per kilo of clean almonds. The job was done sitting together around a large table with the nuts in their shells in the center. Each child tried to accumulate the largest possible pile of clean almonds, to earn more money at the end of the day. The fun was in trying to distract the others and steal a few of their clean almonds while they weren't looking!

9 comments:

Tanya said...

Probably a major chore when he was a child but sounds like he has fond memories of it now!

Happy New Year!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

what a great old farmhouse. and such precious memories...it's wonderful that the current owners were gracious and let your family tour the property and walk down memory lane.

Hilda said...

Chores are more fun when you can do them with company :)

Happy New Year, Saretta! Wishing you and your family happiness, peace, health and prosperity in 2009.

John said...

tous mes voeux de bonheur, de joie, de santé et de paix à vos proches et vous même !

Saretta said...

Happy New Year to all of you, too!

JM said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ann said...

Happy New Year!

USelaine said...

What a wonderful story! My family lived in a small house for about a year that had a couple of almond trees in front. We never did anything with the nuts, but I remember all the layers you describe. I recently learned that almonds are so closely related to peaches, that some varieties can cross pollinate! I love their early blossoms too.

Happy New Year, Saretta, and thank you for all your kind visits!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

it looks just like what we'd expectof a grand old farmhouse in italy - it's not hard ot imagine hte grandeur of the past with a building like this one