zaterdag 25 januari 2014

Vendemmia at Monteolivo

As I promised last week, I picked my grapes today. I am a bit superstitious about planning activities like this. One year, I planned to have my grapes harvest on Sunday. That Saturday, an invasion of birds had the same plans and left me nothing to pick. I now know where Hitchcock got his trauma.

This year I didn´t have to worry about birds, because Pio had decided that there would be no vendemmia without him. So hit hid among the leaves and attacked my hands every now and then. Until he hit the scissors, hurt himself and finally left.

It took me over an hour even though I only have two vines, but they did very well, I have about 10 kg. of grapes. They are slightly sweet and not very big, so I think I will use them to make juice and jelly from them.

I would love to make my own wine, but two problems occur. I don´t know if 10 kg. is enough and I have no idea how to do it. But since I will leave for Umbria in a month and I have many friends that know everything about it, maybe next year.

I owe you the jelly recipe. I always make an apple-grape jelly, because the apple contains a little more pectine so the jelly will be better:
500 ml. grape juice
1 apple, cut into small pieces, cooked in a little water for about 15 minutes
jelly sugar

Sterilize two 250 ml. jars by putting them in a 200° oven for 15 minutes, then put them upside down on a very clean towel.
Put the cooked apple pieces and the grape juice in a pan, add the right amout of jelly sugar – follow the directions on the package – an make it boil. Let boil for one minute. Then divide the apple among the two jars, fill them with the jelly and close the jars carefully. Put them upside down for five minutes.

Another very nice thing you can do with your vines, if you have to prune them anyway, is use the leaves to fill them with goat chees. The best is to use the leaves in spring, when they are young, but you can´t always get what you want..
It´s a nice sidedish to a feta salad or just as a starter.

grape leaves
100 gr. of chevre or another soft goat cheese
1 tomato, chopped very small
1 glove of garlic
(or, simple version as always, buy a ready-made herb cheese)
Preheat the oven to 180°C Take the biggest leaves you can find. Put them in a sieve and pour boiling water over them. The set them carefully on the counter.
Mix the cheese with pressed garlic and the tomato pieces. Put a spoonfull on the leaves, roll them and close them carefully using a toothpick.
Put the rolls in a slightly oiled baking dish and leave them inthe oven for 5 – 10 minutes, till the cheese begins to melt.  

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