Grape Tart Recipe

“Schiacciata con l’Uva” is the most typical cake you will find in mamas’ hoven, bakeries and patisserie in September/October in Florence and surroundings. You cannot imagine how easy is to prepare a grape tart: the only difficulty is to have wine grape but a freezer can help.  On harvest day Filippo prefers to leave on the plant the bunches that are not ripe enough so I can go 1-2 weeks after the harvest and pick them. Grape Tart is such a delicious dessert also for winter season as you can serve it warm. I pick the grape as much as I can and then I freeze then in ricycled pasta plastic bag. They are very useful because they are usually transparent and you can recognise immediately that there is grape inside and they are enviromentally friendly because it is a good way to give a longer life to a product. Now let’s start!

Ingredients: 350 g of bread/pizza pasta, a bunch of wine grape, oil, rosmary, and a spoon of sugar cane (it is a secret…!)

For bread/pizza pasta: 250g flour, 100ml water, 1 tea spoons of salt, yeast, 1 table spoon of olive oil

 

 

Put olive oil in the pie tray and distribute with a finger also on the side. Then prepare the pasta in a round shape and put on the pie tray. Add grapes.

 

 

Add rosmary and cover the berries at the rim. Scatter sugar cane with a spoon like a rain. Put in hoven (180°) until the juice bubbles and bread is golden.

BUON APPETITO!

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Now Solar Energy at Ancora!

In September 2010 Ancora del Chianti  got the permission for solar panel from the Preserving Landscape Commission of the Ministry of Culture in Rome. They had to give the approval for super technological solar panels on the roof of our (empty) granary. They are meant to produce electric energy from the the sun with no CO2 emissions for selfcomsumption and distribute in the Italian energy net what in excess. We have been waiting 10 month and actually the most of it for this year has gone…but never is too late when you believe in renewable energies and substainable tourism!

By end September the panel was already on the roof and we only had to wait for the Italian Company for Electric Energy (ENEL) to check and connect our little plant (3 KW) to the Italian net. Giulio and Marcello, the technicians, arrived on 18th October with their white van full of coloured wires, boxes and helmets: what an exhitement for the kids!

They were friendly and professional and shared with us the emotion of the first connection and set up. We were really nervous as you never know until the end if everything is ok, expecially when different people do the previous job. After several checkings we could connect and enregister on the Italian Electric Net. What an emotion to have the Inverter feed back to our enquiries! We now producing electric energy from the sun with no CO2 emission.

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Back to School

On Wednesday 15 September, our kids are back in school after a long summer break.

This is the message you will find at the front door when I have to go to pick up our kids at the school bus. It will not be long as they arrive at the beginning of the main road, about 10 min walking. Not a big deal!

The kids are so enthusiastic to come back to school after a long almost 2 months and half holiday. It is a very important moment: Spartaco is beginning primary school and Cesare is beginning the kindergarten. All that means new school friends and new teachers for both of them. Everybody is so exhited for the new things to come.

This summer they have been very busy. They helped a lot at Ancora del Chianti: the eldest has decided he will be a waiter when grown up after his practise at breakfast with guests. The youngest is still too shy for that. What they enjoyed most has been helping Filippo in preparing the firewood for the cold season.

Summertime is the best moment for collecting, chopping, and preparing it. They prepared a big stock: it will be enough for our wood-fired heating for the whole winter! They enjoyed to carry and to move it with a small yellow hand-cart with proper working gloves. So cute and so helpful!

Iris Triumph

This year a miracle happened at Ancora del Chianti.

At last, we had our irises flowered and we could see their colour after a crested porcupine ate the roots a few years ago in one winter night.

Irises are a very slow growing flowers. They are very easy to multiply (just plant a piece of broken root) but they will grow as a proper plant in about 3 years and a full group of flowers in about 3-5 years depending on the variety.

Usually friends give us. Most of the time what friends give us is a mix of roots and it is hard to tell what colour exactly they are. This is why I was so curious to discover…..and when the plants were ready for flowers the crested porcupine ate (and mixed) them so……other 3 more years before we could admire the irises!!

But this year no porcupine in winter time: irises had their long and strong stalk late May and in mid- June they started to flower. It is impressive to see the gentle development of the flower afterwards. The flower has a very geometrical and rigid shape in contrast with the end of the petals that are are so delicate and smooth that the wind can move the terminal part. And last but not least the smell is amazing…..expecially for the white ones.

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Swallos are born

Baby swallows are born at Ancora del Chianti and flying now!!

They sing everytime we open the door under the arch because they think their parents are back with food. They open the mouth sometimes as well but unfortunately we do not have any food for the them and we can only look at them with joy and affection.  They have learnto to fly now and it is nice to see the whole family engaged in early evening  low flying in front of our house….tried to take pictures but…..they are too to fast!

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