Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trevi in the mist

This was Trevi earlier today sitting in a sea of mist. The valley has been completely covered for days now whilst here at Casa Margherita we have been basking in the winter sun.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's milling time

Back down the mill again today for a shift to get another pressing under my belt. Once you have pressed olives a few times the child like awe of the first time has long since dissipated but the stylistic elements of the various parts of the mill can be distracting. Italian made Italian style.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More praise for Cuoco the recipe book

About thirty recipes from antipasti to dolci are included in this volume, and the photographs are simply gorgeous; anyone interested in regional Italian cuisine, Umbrian cuisine, Umbrian culture, or even food photography would likely enjoy it." Bleeding Espresso blog

Available from for a snip at €10.00.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Adopt a gargoyle

The gargoyles on the facade of the Milan cathedral are available to be adopted for a mere €80,000.

With the government cuts to spending the restoration budgets for Italy's litany of historical buildings is under massive pressure. The Milan council has chosen this method to try and raise €25 million for essential restoration.

For rather less, in fact only €71.50, you can adopt an olive tree from Casa Margherita. which makes for a great Christmas gift. Find out more at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Porca miseria madonna mia

Whilst I am a fluent swearer in English I have thankfully not learn't any Italian swear words.

This was our car this morning after a night of torrential rain which has caused flooding in various parts of Umbria. The jeep was beached as the gullies caused by the rain were so deep.

I had unwisely left it there overnight having got stuck coming back from a social event - had you been drinking Sir - yes of course I had. Alcohol had no bearing on the matter as the L'Artista will vouch.

Anyway, a kind neighbour came down and dragged the jeep out with his tractor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Olio nuovo arriva

Lovely. Vibrant green and at this point unfiltered. None of your anaemic supermarket rubbish here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Windmills of my mind

One of the many advantages of picking olives is that you have plenty of time to think as the actual task is very easy. So your mind is able to wonder and you can ruminate on all things great and small. The banal, the personal, the rude, the crude. The big ones - love and death. As George W Bush fabulously said the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns.

Good job you cannot pick olives all the time............

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tough picking

Our dogs Winnie and Ugo love the olive harvest. They get to spend all day in the grove watching, guarding, getting in the way, biting the net, chasing birds and generally having a fantastic time.

Now its dark and having been fed they are tucked up in small balls trying to get to sleep while I play loud music. Povera loro!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Festa della castagna

Manciano is the name of the small village where Casa Margherita is located and this weekend has seen the second year of it's Festa della Castagna or chestnut festival.

We wandered up yesterday evening to have a glass of red and have a chat today with friends and neighbors.

Today back to picking in between the showers.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stagionato - I don't think so

Back to Assisi today to check out the festa they are having called Unto. There were numerous stalls with many offering tastings of this years new olive oil - olio nuovo. I am biased here but I thought most were rather lacking in taste as so rather disappointing. There was only one that had the big full flavor and deep green colour that is associated with new olive from this area.

I also noticed one stall holder offering olio stagionato which means seasoned or aged. It is normally used in the context of cheese, wine and meat. The oil on offer was last years olive oil and frankly was just old.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The sky at night

The sky last night in fact.

Today we have been picking olives and are now getting ready to go to the launch party of the
Novello d'Autore of Di Filippo for which Rachel has created six paintings to form the labels for the wine. These can be seen at