Life at Castello di Montegiove

Porchetta di Franco

Castello di Montegiove, porchetta

In Montegiove we have our own porchettaro -Franco, he is famous all over Umbria because of his high quality porchetta. He travels around to markets and special events and sells the porchetta in delicious panini. This spring he bought a fantastic new porchetta van and it is just super cute.

To make the porchetta he gets up in the middle of the night to prepare the boneless pork, stuff it with all kind of wild herbs, rosemary, wild fennel etc. and roast it for hours and hours in his traditionally wood oven, the roasting time is around 8 hours.

Porchetta is on the list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance.

Buon Appetito!

 

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.

 

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!

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!

Cooking · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Veal scallops with asparagus

Easy and quick recipe, you can also use chicken or turkey, instead of veal scallops.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 Veal scallops

Asparagus 1 big bunch

1 glass of white wine

2 dl cream

Olive oil

Butter

Flour

Salt

Pepper

Clean the asparagus and cook them in salted water for about 5 minutes, don’t let them overcook. Drain and put them aside.

Heat up a pan and add the olive oil and butter.

On a plate stir together flour with salt and pepper, dip the scallops into the flour mix.

Cook the scallops until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving plate and keep them warm while you make the sauce.

Add the white wine to the hot pan and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, add the cream and let it heat up until it is reduced. Meanwhile cut the asparaguses into smaller pieces and add them to the pan with the simmering sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the warm sauce with the asparaguses over the veal scallops and serve.

Buon Appetito!