Summer begins in the month of June. The temperature rises. The days become longer and sunnier. The balconies, and the gardens are bright with the lively colours of the flowers. The fields are tinged with gold by the ears of the already mature corn which is ready for reaping. June is therefore a bounteous month in the rural world. There are many kinds of fruit ready to be picked: peaches, strawberries, cherries etc.
Our parents and grandparents love to tell stories of bygone days when the farmers could be seen wending their way into the country singing songs of joy to lessen the pain and the toil of the work.
According to an ancient tradition in Spezzano on June 24, St. John’s day, an unusual baptism rite was performed. Young girls made and dressed a rag doll wrapped in swaddling bands and then went to church to enact the baptism of the doll. Through this rite the girls became pseudo godmothers and for the rest of their lives were linked by a strong bond. In fact, still today in all the Arbëreshë towns as well as in many other towns of Calabria St. Giovanni is synonomous with godfather.
French beans in vinegar
Ingredients: 2 kg of French beans, parsley or bay leaves, oil, vinegar.
Wash and clean the French beans. Place in a saucepan with vinegar and water and boil for a couple of minutes. Drain and dry on a cloth. Put in glass jars and cover with oil, parsley or bay leaves, and chopped garlic. Seal tightly.
Ingredients: capers, oil, vinegar, a pinch of salt, a clove of garlic
Remove the thorns from the capers. Put them in boiling water to soften them. Then soak in water to eliminate the typical bitter taste. Soak again in fresh water. Change the water frequently. Squeeze the buds to remove excess water and season with oil, vinegar and finely chopped garlic and a pinch of salt.