Garden and Nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

The Tree Wall in the Courtyard

 

 

The evergreen oak trees (Quercus Ilex) in the courtyard were planted in the beginning of 1900 when Lorenzo’s grandfather was born. On these old black and white family photo from 1906, he is standing with his mother in the garden and you can see the young trees in the background. Today more than 100 years later, the tree tops reaches the lover part of the roof.

Before the castle was converted from fortress into country home, there was a wall all the way around the courtyard, but to let light in and to make the garden more open and welcoming the wall was taken down and the trees was planted also as windbreak for the tramontana.

We just love finding old photos and uncover the history of the castle. It is fascinating to think about the Misciattelli generations that lived here before us.

 

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Rose Petal Jam

 

 

The roses are blooming at Castello di Montegiove right now and spreads strong perfumed scent all over the garden and park.

This jam actually manage to capture the perfume and colour of the roses, and when you open a jar during a rainy day it is just like summer again.

200 g Rose Petals (dark pink and strong perfumed)

Sugar 600 g

9 dl water

Lemon juice from one lemon (3 Tbsp. spoons)

4-5 Tbsp. Fruit Pectin powder (or as much you need to get the consistence your prefer)

Preparation

1.  Place water and roses in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  Add 400 g sugar and stir well.

3.  Add lemon juice, stir well and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Mix the rest of the sugar with the pectin powder and stir into the saucepan. Cook for another 20 minutes.

5. Fill the jam into clean sterilized jars, tighten the lit and let them cool completely upside down.

Delicious on a piece of toast, dribbled over icecream or stired into plain yogurt.

Bon Appetito!

 

 

Cooking · Garden and Nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Elderflower Cordial

May is the Elderflower season in Montegiove and it is the first sign of spring turning into summer.

When the beautiful flower is blooming, it looks just like a ballet tulle skirt, ready to be worn by an Elderflower Fairy.

The Elderflower Cordial is one of the most refreshing drinks for the summer.

 

20 Heads of Elderflower (preferable without bugs)

Sugar 1 kg

3 Organic lemons (Juice from two and one lemon in slices)

1 l boiling water
Preparation:

1. Shake the heads of the elderflowers well, picking off any bugs.

2. Place the elderflowers, sugar, lemon juice and lemon slices in a large bowl.

3. Add the boiling water and stir.

4. Leave in a cold place to infuse for 2-3 days stirring occasionally.

5. Strain through clean fine muslin cloth into a clean bowl.

6. Fill the cordial into clean sterilized bottles. Store in a cool dark place or freeze in plastic containers to keep for longer.

 

Drink cold or hot diluted with water, -also delicious combined with lemon juice in a sorbet.

 

Cin Cin!

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Salad with Pear and Arugula salad

Castello di Montegiove Pear Salad

The combination of the Arugula, the crispy pear and the salty Grana cheese is just amazing. Use it as a starter or as side dish for chicken or veal.

 

Serves 4

60 g of young Arugula salad (not too bitter)

1 large crispy Pear

60 g Flakes of Grana Padano cheese

50 g Walnuts

50 g Dried Cranberries or Raisins

Drizzle of Aceto Balsamico

 

Wash and dry the Arugula and place it on a serving plate. Peal the pear and slice it in very thin slices. You can leave the skin on the pear if you like the texture. Place the pear on top of the Arugula together with the Grana cheese.

Sprinkle walnuts and cranberries over the salad and just before serving drizzle the Aceto Balsamico on the top.

Buon appetito!

Garden and Nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Upupa Bird

Castello di Montegiove, Upupa 1

 

This little fellow woke us up one rainy morning; he was sitting outside on the window bars insisting on rehearsing his oop-oop-oop over an over again. Very charming to start with but after a while it got a little monotonous and we got up to find out what it was all about.

It felt very special to witness this pretty bird singing and we managed to make a blurry photo through the window glass.

In Italy the Upupa is also known as the butterfly bird. When it fly it looks like a giant butterfly as the wings are half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats. It is also called the Legionary Bird because of its distinctive “crown” of feathers on the top of the head that it can open like a fan.

It is a colourful and very pretty bird known back to ancient Egypt and it is one of the fascinating animals that live in the forest around Castello di Montegiove.

 

 

Garden and Nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Stairways to Heaven.

 

 

 

We have finally started the construction of a stairway down to the swimming pool, after many years with a miserable and very challenging steep footpath to the pool area.

It is our own construction team that is building everything with local stones from the fields below the castle. All stones are placed like a never-ending jigsaw puzzle and it is  amazing to follow the meticulous work, it seems like an endless stone snake has started its track from the top of the hill and down.

Now we are just waiting for warm summer days to come!