MY HUSBAND'S BROTHER "Nardo" and his wife, and all their very badly behaved children, live on the island of Pantelleria, south of Sicily (very near to Africa).
How he came to live there is a story you must not ask me to tell. He was in his young years the family's peccora nera, or as that writer of "The Whirling Girl" might say in her idiom, the "black sheep".
But he is a man who makes everyone laugh. (Unlike his wife, whose face would break if she tried to smile.) And every year when he comes, he brings a large basket of melons and another basket of Passito, the sweet wine of the region, a wine made out of dried grapes, which has a very ancient history going back to the time of myth.
(This is another story you must not ask me to tell: how a young goddess made a plot against Apollo with the help of this sweet drink....)
With the melons that Nardo brings -- and the Passito wine -- we make every year the simple dolce for our grape-gathering feast.
BUT IF you can not get Passito in your country, or other sweet Moscato wines, then it will be very good with the wine that the beautiful Signora Chiara tells me is called "Port".
To prepare the melons, simply cut them in half, several hours before you want to serve, take out the seeds, and pour in a nice amount of sweet dessert wine or Port.
If you do not have pan forte you can dip biscotti into the wine and this will also be very good.
PERHAPS you will think these are not very many dishes for what in your country you would call a "feast'. I must tell you that in our Tuscan family in this zona we are not "whoopsie" with food. We eat everything with care and attention (and of course if Nardo is there, then with much laughter) taking a long time with each course. And each course is plentiful.