Tuesday 8 October 2019

Harvests ...

Back a week already and I can't believe I have exchanged a sunny Italian autumn for the usual seasonal Scottish wind and rain. Just over a week ago we were esconced in a Tuscan agriturismo and enjoying the fruits of the vineyard, otherwise known as a glass or two of wine! Today it is a big bowl of lentil soup with some garlic bread. The garlic bread is to remind me of the tastes of Italy, as if I will ever forget ...

Seasonal weather aside, autumn is the time for considering all that was planted in the spring and cared for over the summer ...
or like my Italian adventures, over many summers ...

Here we are, caught on camera, enjoying a "gelato" on the island of Elba!

This was a flying visit (ok, we took the ferry) to reconnect with the people I met some years ago when attending the ABC Elba Italian school. It was wonderful to meet up briefly with Cristina and Manuela and introduce our son Kenneth and his partner Natalie to what I consider to be the perfect way to learn Italian ... outdoors, under a tree, a stone's throw from the pool and a short walk from the town of Porto Azzurro and a favourite icecream!

Now getting ready to book in for next year ... well, I did promise.

Reaping the rewards of learning Italian, is our annual holiday in Italy. Although I still think of it as researching for my book!  Travelling to a now familiar country, learning about its traditions and its people and growing friendships with those welcoming people is as akin to any harvest I have known.

It is interesting to consider that at this time of year we still think of harvests, although very few of us grow produce, plough fields or help gather in the corn ...

However we all do still plant, nurture, weed and harvest. Our time is invested in what we consider to be important/worth growing. For some of us it is wealth, others it is property while others it is friends and family or perhaps it is all of the above ... whatever it is, it all takes time, accummulated time is needed for any harvest to show.
cin cin
The above photo is our last evening in Castagneta Carducci. Here we are enjoying a "rose" evening together, having invested many visits to this particular Enoteca over a period of three weeks.

This year we were fortunate to be able to revisit the vineyard we stayed on last September, especially as this year we had nearly three weeks staying in and around the region and had the company of Kenneth and Natalie for one of the weeks. We also managed to extend our knowledge of the region by visiting unfamiliar places as well as our tried and trusted venues. Each one a delight especially when experiencing the wine tasting.

The best of the best

A wonderful example of this was a wine tasting at the agriturismo chiappini, where we were staying.

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to help with the harvest, but we certainly enjoyed what previous years crops had produced. It is good to remember that it isn't just one year or even 6 months that is needed but sometimes it is many years before you can reap the benefits ... and of course that isn't just with wine.

The bottle in the picture is an award winning wine from the Chiappini cellar. A wonderful taste of the exquisite wines from the Bolgheri region. Definitely one to savour.

We were recommended to have a glass with either an "aged" cheese or a good steak. Or curled up in front of a warm fire.

Could be perfect for today then as I curl up in front of the fire remembering that it takes planting, nuturing, weeding before the harvesting of whatever it is we are growing.

Growing a family is one of the most precious harvests we can have ...  here are the cream of my crop.
Two of the best of the best ...

p.s. I found out what October means to me ... soups!