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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

A big thanks to everyone!

A few of the children squashing the grapes into the container.

So many people came to help us with the harvest this year we just couldn`t believe it, again we are so grateful and send a big thank you to everybody for all your hard work.

But let’s start from the beginning : On Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm buckets , gloves and scissors were out ready for action. Slowly people started to arrive and the vineyard was filled with workers . 6 children and 16 grown-ups all  ready to do their job. I could hear people chatting in each row, there were those who were here for the first time introducing themselves and those who were meeting up again for the first time since last year ,and of course the children laughing and joking  , it was great! By 6pm more than half of the grapes in the vineyard had been collected .

So then it was time for everyone to have a quick  refreshing  wash ready for the party to start with cocktails and dinner. From the kitchen straight to the big wooden table under the porch we  served a few starters, followed by Risotto with red grapes, Parmigiana and Lasagna  … ..a few bottles of Prosecco to wash the dinner  down and some good local wine ….. the evening was fantastic. There were people from the UK, Switzerland, America, Rome and local  friends, and of course my family all happy and enjoying the evening in these beautiful  green Umbrian hills. 

 The next day I was up relatively early and after a DOUBLE espresso  went to pick up the rest of the people who had offered to come and help us collect the last  of grapes. Amazingly on Sunday with adults and children we had 30 people helping. After a breakfast with bread and homemade jam at 10am they were all outside the house ready to start the second day of the harvest. What can I say.. almost one bunch of grapes per person, in fact there were more people then grapes ! So at 12am the harvest was over.  My poor brother Riccardo and Nick  looked exhausted after two days of carrying buckets full of grapes , but finally the container behind the tractor was full and all the pickers came back to the house ready for  lunch.

In the meantime on Sunday morning I had been busy in the kitchen cooking making sure that we had enough food for everyone . My friend Estelle helped by peeling a mountain of  potatoes and my brother Pierpaolo offered to take care of the BBQ.

Lunch was served: 5 appetizers, rigatoni pasta cooked with tomatoes and aubergine sauce , sausages gently cooked for 3 hours in  grape juice , a big leg of pork slowly cooked for 5 hours in the oven with herbs ( Nick’s recipe), roast  potatoes, bruschette with Evo oil salt and garlic and lovely chicken thighs  cooked on the BBQ (by Pierpaolo) … … … … … a real treat!

sausage in grape juice

 Of course we had a few moments of panic, especially when we realized that we didn`t have enough forks, plates and glasses for everyone (30 guests)! But luckily in the end , in a corner of the kitchen I found a stack of plates and paper cups, what a relief!. Unfortunately a few people still had to use a spoon to eat their meal but they didn`t seem to mind.

At the end of the evening, after everyone had gone home , Nick and I collapsed  completely exhausted but very happy. We no longer had the strength to speak or raise a glass, so the next day after a good night’s sleep we decided to give ourselves a nice treat, a day of relaxation at the Thermal baths!

So once again we would just like to say a big big thank you to everyone for all your hard work and how we are looking forward to seeing you and anyone else wants to join us for the next event: the olive harvest in a month. Ciao 

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