Monday, October 01, 2007

Famiglia Testa "Vendemmia"

The morning rain shower passed and gave us a beautiful clear day to enjoy this year’s vendemmia at Carmelo’s home, Antonello’s godfather.

Our baskets, made for us by an old man, were put to the test.

Mario, Carmelo and Rita’s son, worked hard this morning…

New and old friends sharing conversations while picking the grapes.

This is where it all happens. The grapes are passed through the lavic stone window, and dropped into the grinder that not only crushes the grapes, but also sorts out the stems; similar to ours, but a larger scale. It is here where the fermentation takes place, transforming the must into a fine wine.

When the work was done, we all sat to a feast. There were grilled sausages, grilled peppers, caponata, salami, cheeses, olives, wine, and bread to enjoy each and every bite.

An end to this perfect day was something very special. In our town, the best pastry shop closed a few months ago. People still ach for the delicacies that “Cali” created, and above all Antonello. As it so happens, Cali is Carmelo’s godfather, so imagine the look on Antonello and my face when they unwrapped our favorite fresh ricotta cake made especially from Cali! He still makes the best!!

On the right sits Natale,a good friend of ours, that Antonello worked with on the ship. His mother just happens to be a talent in the kitchen. A connoisseur of traditional Sicilian recipes, and a woman I am very much looking forward to meeting. We have invitations to Natale’s home to sample some of his mothers cooking and one thing that stands out in my mind are the eggplant recipes. I plan to bring my camera and write everything down…
Finally, on the left sits the protagonist of the day, Carmelo. A man filled with jokes, and here fashions a dignified deflated ball on his head, thanks to his son. We thank you and Rita again for this yearly tradition and being a part of it with you. (After all, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here in Sicily, and I certainly would not have met my love…)

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