31 July 2012



My mother would be so pleased and would love to have read the article.

Here's my Letter to Athens News:

"Bravo on that fluent and informative piece by Evdokia Mpras ('Ionian delicacies back for another helping', Food, 27 July 2012).
I wish my late mother Lady Holmes were alive to celebrate this re-introduction of Prospero's Kitchen. She died peacefully last 14 January, still vigorous at 91.

One point of correction: by the early 90s, when Christopher Lavranos hosted that lunch, my mother had been living here for 20 years and hardly 'an English woman vacationing in Corfu' - or how could she have invited Diana Farr Louis to meet her 'experienced cook, Soula'?
Speaking of whom, I dropped some copies round for translation by Soula's multi-lingual family. She was delighted.

The story behind Soula's culinary triumphs is amusing: she originally came to help with cleaning and household chores.

"But no cooking!"
One day my mother - herself expert in the kitchen - was preparing a dish from a recipe passed on by some village crone.

"What are you making there?" demanded Soula suspiciously.
"Who told you to do it that way?

Huh! What does she know about cooking?
Stand aside!"

No word was said but from that day on Soula added mouth-watering local dishes to her duties.

We kept a store of 'Prospero's Kitchen' to give to guests and, if Soula was present, they were duly inscribed.
One busy Epiphane, when the local papas came up to bless the house, my mother displayed a copy open at 'Soula's Roast Chicken'. It was duly brought to the cleric's attention who smiled benignly and congratulated his celebrated parishioner.

"Oh poh poh!" scolded Soula, clucking and preening as she backed into the limelight,
"Who put that there? So embarrassing!"

  • An excellent piece
  • Wonderful news of the book's third incarnation
  • Nice little tribute to my remarkable mother."

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