Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nocino, wheat, blessings

27 Giugno
As I was weedeating this morning, finishing up the lawn work I initiated yesterday, I thought about the blessings we must celebrate here at Nascondiglio di Bacco. We have had 14 months, which with few exceptions, have been wonderful for growing our vines which now are over 2 meters tall. The same for our grass which I planted by throwing out seed by hand this spring and which is starting to look like a real yard. Despite neighbors getting some devastating hail recently, we have been unscathed. We live in a beautiful area and all our guests are wonderful people, many of whom, like Kim and Melanie are repeat customers. We seem to be bucking the bad economy with more reservations this year compared to 2008 (maybe because the Marche is cheaper than the more famous neighbors like Umbria and Tuscany). Now, if we can just get George Clooney to buy a villa at Porto Recanati, we will be set.
I took a combination of recipes for Nocino and started my new infusion. You pick walnuts on the festival of St. John the Baptist or the 24th of June, cut them in quarters and marinade them in pure alcohol, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves with lemon zest. You leave this mixture outside in the sun for 40 days, shaking it every day and adding sugar water as needed to keep the walnuts covered. You say a few incantations now and then to keep the magic going and bottle it on the autumn solstice. Then you drink it a year later, although I can't imagine it improves with aging. I should have about a liter when it is all finished.
I was trying to get our vineyard treated again before the latest rain, but fell about an hour short when the lightning, thunder and rain arrived. I now have a sprayer half full of my mixture and won't be able to re-enter the vineyard for a week at least and that is if it doesn't rain again. Luckily, we don't have any fungal diseases yet despite all this moisture.
Raffaele has returned to his home province after being underwhelmed by Ibiza and Barcelona. He did like Fontanera island, however. He got some good beach time in and appears tanned and rested.
I had a nice visit from my old partner's son, Joe Roh and found out why I don't stay out all night at discos anymore. We explored the surrounding little towns, ate great food and then attended the grand opening of a beach disco,, where I swear, all the girls looked to be for hire. They were very beautiful, but between them and the bouncers who looked like they belonged to one of the southern organizations here in Italy (if you know what I mean) I think I can say: been there, done that. We headed back to Nascondiglio di Bacco, arriving when the sun started to peak above the horizon. I made the coffee and hot water for the guest's breakfast, made up their tables and caught 2 hours of sleep. Non basta!
Joe then caught an overnight train for Paris, after having previously visited Prague and Venice. He will then start a month of university study at King's College in London. That is the life!

I took some pictures of a wheat field up the road from us and some pix back at our vineyard and B&B, then the Nocino.

1 comment:

Juanita said...

OK, Dwight, I'm glad you explained that walnut concoction you're making. The picture looks like some kind of formaldehyde/body parts experiment gone wrong.