Tagged food

The 2009 vintage is bottled in the nick of time

Maybe it was a good thing that a fallen tree took out the phone line. Boy, has the wind been whistling in recent days, and the temperature at dawn has suddenly dropped way below t-shirt and shorts tolerance.

Being without phone or internet took our eye off the wider world and meant we could focus on our real world. Like gathering almonds, bottling last year’s wine, picking up walnuts, pressing unripe grapes for juice, planting winter veg …. and proof reading the new book, Shaking The Tree (publication date December 1, more news anon).

Under the watchful eyes of professional enologists Jose and Sandra we think our 2009 vintage is our finest – fruity, balanced and without a hint of contamination. Not that is a big deal; 425 litres in all from our little vineyards, combined with that of friends and neighbours Marta and Benet.

Wine buffs will want to know it is a blend of 60 per cent carinyena and 40 per cent garanche. It means we have enough to share with visitors through the year and to use for the bottling of fruits – plus the barn is almost clear now for us to start picking and processing the grenache (garnaxta in Catalan) next week. We haven’t treated the grapes with either sulphur or copper sulphate, but it still looks like we have a significant amount of fruit that is free of problems. We will know for sure very soon.

A short post, but will be back online in next couple of days …. possibly with another of Maggie’s recipes. Pears in red wine maybe.

Please note, though, that another 700 litres of yummy olive oil has just been bottled and shipped to England, for delivery early in October. We are taking orders now, so get in touch. We can deliver to anywhere in mainland Britain.

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New customers for fresh olive oil

Awareness of the wonder of fresh olive oil is spreading …. and we have been feasting on fabulous pork pies and fudge.

Maggie’s appearance at the Gentleman’s Walk Farmers’ Market in Norwich a week ago was so enjoyable and rewarding, hence a big thank you to everyone who came to taste and buy our fresh olive oil.
Following her England visit, and as news of the website and our oil widens, the orders and new customers increase.
These include the The Hub Cafe and Gallery at 9 Netherconesford, King St, Norwich, and also Dolly’s Country Larder in King’s Parade, Cottingham, East Yorkshire.
Our shipments to the UK are increasing all the time, so see our online shop for details or, if you are a chef of deli owner, get in touch.
And the pies and fudge?
On the farmers’ market stall next to Maggie were Perfect Pies, the award winning Norfolk feasts made by Nell Montgomery and Sarah Pettegree of Bray’s Cottage, Hindolveston. Maggie even managed to get an intact pie back to Mother’s Garden, by way of apology for failing to organize a pork pie for Christmas breakfast. (My grandpa was from near Melton Mowbray and family traditions are to be devoured not sniffed at.) So I am a discerning connoisseur of pork pies and have to say, Nell and Sarah, it was, underlined, utterly magnificent.
Maggie also brought back some Fab Fudge, made by the market organisers Tracey Farrow and Jeff Betts. Cor and double cor.

The beauty of compost, pony muck and barter

Mother’s Garden April 26

Back to the Monday morning mad rush of school run and a very necessary few hours in the office, but the garden is calling us. The season has smiled, finally, after several grim, damp days, with the joyful medley of flowers, lushness and sun.
We were out on the land most of the weekend, tending plants and hives, and trying to rig up a watering system for the potatoes, sown on to a strip in the olive grove behind the farmhouse that we left fallow for two years and then enriched with seasoned pony muck last autumn. There are pipes going in all directions and I’ve rolled out a redundant and pleasing to the eye wine barrel  as a back-up water deposit, but the system  isn’t working – yet.
You can never have enough compost, so we have made another bin out of old pallets from the dump. It’s market day tomorrow and Maggie has been negotiating for us to collect green waste when the stall holders pack up, which we will mix with grass cuttings from friends with a ride-on mower.
We have a brush cutter for the tractor, but there is no way to keep the greenery for compost save raking which, though tempting, would crease us. Besides, there are too many others tasks. So we have spoken to our neighbour and are supplying some natural honey comb to combat his hay fever in sensible exchange for several sacks of grass clippings. Ah, the age-old bounty of barter.