Friday, 19 February 2010

Spring Is Here?

Just when everyone is fed up with the cold, right on cue the weather changes. And what a change – it was as if someone had flicked a switch!

Woke up to15ºC sunshine, a far cry from the freezing temperatures earlier in the week. By midday the first batch of migrating geese flew over in ‘V’ formations, the last rows in the vineyard had been pruned, the damaged posts and wires all replaced and now the tying down can begin.

Tying down or ‘attach le baguette’ refers to bending the new fruiting cane left by careful selection down and tying it to the bottom wire. Sounds easy? Not quite! All the canes must be tied down before mid March for two reasons: firstly, as time goes on, the cane lignifies and become brittle therefore very easy to snap. Secondly before bud burst, as the tiny new buds are so fragile, the slightest movement will knock them off and the result is simply no grapes this year!

The tying is made using flexible stretchy string that will allow some movement so the cane, vine, wires will all move freely with the wind.

I must have been in France too long as whilst I am eating lunch and I am also looking forward to dinner tonight! This evening I am going to cook up a storm, making dishes based around my precious black truffles that I bought last weekend in the Midi.

My truffles have been locked in and air tight container along with 6 organic eggs all week, the reason being is that the pungent odour of the truffle unbelievably infuses the eggs through the shell, giving you truffle eggs and transforming a simple scrambled eggs or omelette – perfect for breakfast tomorrow!

The dishes I will be making tonight are also very simple. My Primi is a classic from Norcia in Central Italy called ‘Spaghettini Alla Nursina’ – fresh spaghetti with garlic, anchovies, garlic and black truffles. For secondi ‘Fettuccine Al tartufo’ fresh fettuccine with butter, parmesan and fresh truffle shavings and if my memory serves me well I have a cracker of a Chianti Classico in my cellar to match it!

Bon appétit et bon weekend!



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