248 – Autumn Visitors and the 2017 Olive Harvest

Over the Autumn we have had a string of friends and family members come and visit us at Tre Cancelle which kept us busy. First we welcomed our friends: Clive and Marilyn who used to live in Gaeta. For several years Clive used to help Paul a great deal in the olive grove before their move back to the UK. They treated us to a lovely meal at a restaurant in Gaeta named the Masaniello.

P1470573a

Clive and Paul

p1470575a1.jpg

Marilyn

My cousins Cathy and Jeff from Australia came to stay for a a week and also Paul’s sister and her friend Linda. They also helped Paul to celebrate his birthday.

P1470641a

Cathy and Jeff

P1470645a

Annie and Paul

P1470644a

Annie, Paul, Cathy, Jeff and Linda

p1470650a.jpg

The Birthday Boy – Paul

p1470651a.jpg

A hand-drawn birthday card by Jeff of “San Paolo”

They also have us an amazing hand in clearing and preparing the olive groves for the harvest. Thank you all for you wonderful efforts !!!

No sooner had this party departed another arrived in the form of came our friend Kay and also friends Gerda and Adrian from South Africa who had recently got married.  The couple had been doing a 30 day whistle-stop tour of Europe visiting 5 countries, 22 towns and villages in Holland, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy.  And they still managed to fit in a few day’s visit to see us at Tre Cancelle. Amazing guys !!!

21740259_280002655848379_1149938280415484605_n

Adrian and Gerda from South Africa

We also welcomed two of Kay’s friends, Nicky and Simon. All had come to help with the olive harvest.  Our American friends from Minturno and  Nandi, Davide and their three children from Itri, Tomaso, Dante and Giada, also volutuneered to help for a couple of days which was fantastic to have some extra pairs of hands.

This year we had a decent crop much to Paul’s delight . Over a couple of weeks with our team of volunteer workers we managed to harvest 1000 kilos of olives which were turned into about 180 litres of November harvest extra virgin olive oil which was really good news. At the same time we also managed to prune some of the trees that were growing too far too tall.

23032407_10213947345694422_4426203086223309929_n

22853381_10213947342574344_7480190401303071642_n

22886059_10213947347134458_6501683322511787848_n

22885748_10213947343414365_3921145835261541741_n

22852910_10213947343654371_4501387537599614973_n

22885747_10213947369375014_2428730784219447362_n

23119901_10213947373375114_6630242821239425403_o

22815441_10213947370575044_3548259729337221186_n

22861479_10213947358654746_6846884253404717612_o

23130826_10213947369335013_8360400031789242681_n

22851671_10213947357494717_3740816436370875176_n

22851923_10213947368174984_8825823810545947421_n

22885775_10213947358494742_6927798805421563538_n

23000092_10213947356574694_2810170727132239512_o

22853074_10213947371575069_1317603851055320048_n

22852115_10213948751449565_556432140689898258_n

Our sincere thanks to all those who took part and helped to make it such fun. It was an outstanding team effort.

P1460718a

P1460716a

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

tctitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments Near Sperlonga’s Beaches and Historic Itri

Discover Beautiful South Lazio

 

Advertisements

242 – Aneurin’s April Visit to Italy

Back in the Spring of 2017 Aneurin, and his mum came to visit for a week. Every time we see our youngest grandson he seems to have grown another two inches.

P1410814arb

Aneurin in our garden at Tre Cancelle

Aneurin loves Italy, he talks about it all the time and has told his friends and teachers at school that this is where he comes from. It is so lovely that he has such a connection with his family roots. My mother, Tina, would have been so happy to see this. I hope she is watching over us from above. As some of you know she was born in Little Italy in London’s Clerkenwell, and her parents were of Italian heritage from the mountain town of Atina in the Val di Comino.

P1410831arb

P1410691aaa

Aneurin impressed by the size of strawberries in Italy

Aneurin loves being outdoors and likes to be kept busy. He was more than happy to get stuck in and help out with some gardening chores at Tre Cancelle.

P1410815arb

P1410817arb

P1410820arb

P1410821arb

One day during his stay we headed to Montecassino and visited the museum named the Museo Historiale di Cassino which commemorates the horrific Battle of Montecassino during World War II and the destruction of the beautiful monastery.

WWII_MOUT_CassinoApr44a

*

P1410808arb

P1410810

Aneurin at the Museo Historiale di Cassino

We also made a visit to the beautiful lake of Posta Fibreno in the Val di Comino – please take a look at our next post – 243 – The Lake of Posta Fibreno.

* public domain image

All other photos by me © Louise Shapcott

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

Near Sperlonga’s Beaches and Historic Itri in South Lazio

240 – Celebrating Thanksgiving in Italy

 Our American friends Pat and Melinda and Darcy and Gerry invited us to join them and have the experience  of our first traditional Thanksgiving. Also invited was Alberto who is Pat and Melinda’s English teacher. The venue was to be Pat and Melinda’s apartment in Minturno for the main course, then we were transferring to Darcy and Gerry’s in Gaeta for the dessert.

Melinda and Darcy were to share in the cooking duties. They had managed to purchase a fresh turkey, which is not so easy to find here in Italy.

The table was beautifully set and there were tempting little things to nibble on as a starter.

p1410330arb

p1410326arb

Melinda’s roasted walnuts prepared with rosemary, salt and a dash of paprika. The walnuts were harvested from our own trees at Tre Cancelle.

p1410327arb

Savory Taralli Napolitani with almonds.

p1410328arb

Pat with his big bird.

p1410331arb

15570934_10209565813837124_415258277_n

p1410336arb

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

p1410333arb

A very tasty green bean dish.

p1410334arb

Pearl onions in a creamy salad.

p1410335arb

A traditional Wardolf salad.

p1410332arb

What a wonderful spread. Buon appettito !!! Mangia !!!

p1410337arb

Pat, Melinda, Darcy, Gerry, Alberto and Annette.

p1410338arb

Gerry, Alberto, Annette and Sarah

p1410343arb

Pat, Gerry, Darcy, Melinda, Sarah, Annette, Alberto and Paul

p1410344arb

Gerry, Melinda, Darcy, Sarah, Annette, Alberto, Louise and Paul

At Gerry and Darcy’s in Gaeta we enjoyed Pumpkin pie and other traditional desserts.

Thank you so much for inviting us.

It was a wonderful experience and a joy to spend Thanksgiving with you.

Thank you once again.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#Thanksgiving #italy #turkey #PumpkinPie #Minturno #American #Friends

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

231 – The Highlights of Summer 2016

In July I flew back solo to the UK on a very special mission. I am not confident about flying on my own, but this time there was a strong incentive for me to do so. We had invited our grandson Aneurin to spend his summer holidays with us in Italy.

I was to stay in Wales for just under a week. My friend Ellen very kindly picked me up from the airport and it was lovely to spend some special time with her in Caldicot, where we used to live before moving to Italy.

I then visited family in Chepstow.  Vicki and Tommy took me out to see the Bristol Harbour Festival which was a fun day out.

p1390232a

p1390227a

p1390241a

p1390248a

p1390312a

p1390219a

p1390271a

p1390337a

I then moved on to Cardiff where I stayed with Emma, Aneurin’s mum, for a few days looking after Aneurin and I was also able to catch up with some friends.

On my return flight I was to have company, and very good company Aneurin was too. He loved the flight and after we waited for the majority of the passengers to disembark Aneurin went up to the captain as he wanted to know how planes manage to fly.  The Captain was so impressed by his enquiry that he invited Aneurin into the cockpit to sit in his seat so he could see all the controls.

Jpeg

p1390389a

p1390388a

We had a really busy summer with guests and our friends the White family from Northern Ireland staying with us. Aneurin enjoyed their company and playing with the girls in the pool.

p1390393a

p1390360a

p1390354a

p1390356a

p1390353a

Melinda in Minturno kindly organised a cookery lesson for Aneurin and Bethan to learn how to cook American pancakes. Aneurin especially liked the maple syrup.

p1390419a

p1390426a

p1390434a

p1390433arb

The stunning view from Pat and Melinda’s apartment.

Jpeg

A pizza evening up on Pat and Melinda’s roof terrace in Minturno.

IMG_20160812_201425aa.jpg

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

My cousins from London arrived to spend a week with us. It was so lovely to catch up with them as we all get on so well together.

p1390480a

p1390488a

Later in mid August Emma and Kay also came to visit.

There were fun days at the beach.

p1330008a

img_20160822_145913308a

14034912_10153879696813963_1668382492604031677_n

IMG_20160822_150245658.jpg

Nightime paddles.

p1390577a

Endless games of Ludo, Snakes and Ladders and Connect Four.

p1390437a

Jpeg

Cuddling of dogs.

Jpeg

Washing of dogs.

p1390801a

p1390804a

13823352_996169020497518_1147613152_n

Pizza of course.

p1390524a

p1390536a

and Gelato

p1390472a

p1390619a

p1390625a

Many meals “al fresco” with family and friends.

13920810_10208458217827916_4699890605529743479_n

Jpeg

 Celebrating Niamh’s A Level results.

Jpeg

Another wonderful meal at La Casareccia.

14021623_10208464642948540_7317007367565646858_n

14231832_10157470168080436_5877494119112093557_o

14310288_10157470168170436_9126244026049834700_o

An evening out with the girls.

p1390824a

14191948_10208582822342951_1044456399889240552_n

p1390832a

p1390443a

As you can see we all had a fantastic summer.

Thank you. Sending love and hugs to all xxx

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

230 – Paul’s Dad and Sister Annie Come and Visit

Paul’s sister decided to take early retirement last year from her job as Head Teacher at her school in Warrington.   She had started teaching at the school over 25 years ago and had progressively worked her way up. Anne was hoping to have more time to relax and unwind after the last stressful years of her job.  She also wanted to be able to spend some more time with Dad Shap in his later years. He still lives in Bristol, and Anne visits him whenever possible.

It was also lovely that she could organise a trip for her and Dad to visit us in Itri, since in the past he has loved to come, but at the age of 87 really finds travelling on his own too much these days. It was lovely for him to be able to catch up with us at Tre Cancelle and meet up with some of our Italian friends who he has come to know well over the years.

dscn0146

Paul and Dad Shap – photo by Anne Bright

During their visit we had a very pleasant lunch at a little restaurant by the beach called the Miramare, the weather being beautiful at this time of year, sunny but not overbearingly hot as it can be for northern Europeans during the summer.

dscn0147

Dad, Paul and Louise – photo my Anne Bright

dscn0149

Dad, Anne and Louise – photo by Anne Bright

Also during their visit we chose to go to one of our favourite eateries – “La Casareccia” in the nearby little town of Campodimele. You may well have read some of my previous posts about this wonderful little gem of a Taverna.

Here we organised to met up with our friends Pat and Melinda and their visitors Bobby, PJ and Luke from the USA, also Pat and David, also from the US – who like Pat and Melinda, have recently purchased a property in Minturno, and finally Karen and Stewart from Nottingham who have a holiday home in Sperlonga.  We were celebrating Melinda’s birthday and Dad and Anne’s visit.

127a

Stewart, Pat, PJ, Luke, Bobby, Paul, Anne and Dad

139a

Melinda and Stewart

141a

PJ and Luke

142a

Bobby and Anne

Once again we were not to be disappointed by the wonderful spread prepared by Maria the c0-owner and cook of the Casareccia. Plate after plate came our way of truly delectable food.

132a

133a

134a

149a

157a

Maria, David and Pat

147a

Stewart and Karen

145a

Happy Birthday Melinda !!!

160a

159a

Very seductive pose Ms Melinda !

Here are some photos of a previous visit to “La Casareccia”.

p1370306a

Pat and David, Melinda and Pat

p1370309a

Paul, Pat, David and Melinda

p1370311a

Pat, his brother Mike and sister-in-law Jeanne

p1370325a

Pat and David

p1370313a

p1370312a

p1370314a

p1370315a

Highly Recommended !!!

Please note that during the winter months La Casareccia is only open at weekends.

A previous post about La Casareccia

Trattoria La Casareccia in Campodimele

The Casareccia reviewed on TripAdvisor

Bar Trattoria La Casareccia
Stazione di servizio Repsol, 04020 Campodimele, Italy
Tel:  07715980207

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#LaCasareccia #campodimele #italy #Traditional  #typical #ItalianFood #restaurant #trattoria #SouthLazio

Read more about Campodimele The Village of Longevity here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

229 – Florisa’s Garden

My wonderful Italian friend Florisa is always busy, whether it be cooking, cleaning, working, harvesting olives or helping people, friends and family. She has such a very kind and generous nature.

However the thing that she loves the most is her garden. She really does have green fingers, or as they call it here in Italy “pollice verdi” which curiously translates as “green thumbs”. She really does knows how to make her garden grow. It is a delight to wander through it.

This will be just a photo blog, as I believe the pictures will speak for themselves.

125a

095a

041a

100a

038a

053a

109a

081a

060a

031a

083a

030a

054a

064a

023a

043a

056a

033a

089a

105a

073a

120a

101a

092a

074a

028a

016a

017a

Isn’t it just amazing !!!

Florisa with some of her home grown strawberries.

Grazie Carissima  Florisa xxx

012a

All  photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#garden #gardening #italy #italian #recipes #italian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

tctitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga / Itri, South Lazio, Italy

 

 

219 – Part 2. Visiting Family in the Chepstow Area / Louise and Melinda’s Wales Holiday

I was so longing to see my family. Our eldest two grandchildren live in Chepstow. Jamie is now 14 and Tommy will be 13 in July. Vicky kindly invited us to Easter Sunday lunch, where we also met up with my sons, our third grandson Aneurin who is 5, and Vicki’s mum Marilyn.

469a

017a.jpg

Jamie and Bob

Jpeg

Jamie and Jack

DSC08560a

*

485a

Melinda, Louise, Tommy and Bob

476a

Tommy and Bob

468a

Aneurin

472a

Louise, Marilyn, Melinda

One day that week I took grandsons Jamie and Tommy for a day out at “Go Ape” – a high rope and wire adventure course located in Lydney, in the Forest of Dean.

365a

Here are the boys getting togged up with safety harnesses.

333a

335a

Unfortunately this day the weather was far from kind and the apparatus was really slippery due to the rain. Yet the boys were determined to give it a go. As they scaled the heights Vicki and I watched and cheered them on from below.

353a

349a

348a

354a

377a

366a

368a

Good fun was had by all. Well done boys !!! You are both amazing !!! I would never have had the courage to have tried it for myself.

We also had a family get-together in Trellech Grange, where my aunty Vera and Uncle David were staying at the sweet little cottage of a longstanding friend of theirs, Anne.

186a

189a

201a

Anne’s lovely little dog.

The following day we all met up again – this time at the pub next to Anne’s cottage – The Fountain Inn.

DSC08780a

*

209a

208a

Here’s Melinda – propping up the bar whilst sampling another local beer !!!

210a

On this occasion our family group was augmented by the addition of my cousin Jackie, her husband Nick and their 6 year old son Max.

224a

219a212a

211a

DSC08803a

*

229a

226a

231a

DSC08804a

*

223a

*

A few days later we organised for Aunty Vera, Uncle David and Anne to come and visit us at our cottage. We had prepared afternoon tea for us all. Very British !!!

426a

418a

422a

420a

423a

419a

431a

DSC09263a

*

DSC09262a

432a

433a

DSC09265a

DSC09264a

The cottage was a perfect setting.

* photos by Melinda Abbott

All other photos by me © Louise Shapcott

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

tctitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga / Itri, South Lazio, Italy

 

 

 

208 – Alison, Shannon and Niamh’s Summer Break at Tre Cancelle – Part 2

Recently we have had the pleasure of getting to know a lovely Italian family who live in Italy, although Santo originates from Sicily. They have a large family with two grown up sons, Ivano and Jordan, three daughters, two of them are in their teens, Miriam and Sharon, and then there is the piccolina  Ysabel who is just 5.

We thought it would be a good opportunity for Shannon and Niamh to meet Anna, Santo and their girls.  Shannon had studied Italian for a couple of years when she was at school, so has some knowledge of the language, although perhaps a little rusty.

Anna, Santo and their daughters popped in to see us one afternoon so that they could meet the Shannon, Alison and Niamh. Anna speaks English fairly well, and Miriam and Sharon are also keen students and would like to develop their language skills.

P1310415a

Niamh, Alison, Shannon, Anna, Santo Miriam, Ysabel, Aneurin and Max

Anna invited us to their home in Itri for “afternoon tea” which was lovely.  Anna then said she would like to teach us how to make pasta and so we organised a date, time and the venue, which was to be Tre Cancelle.  Sadly Alison wasn’t going to be able to take part in this, as her two week holiday had just about come to and end and before long she was winging her way back home.

On the designated afternoon Santo, Anna and the girls arrived and Anna was keen to get started.  Sharon and Miriam started to prepare the meatballs and the tomato sugo, in which they were to be cooked.

P1310542a

P1310550a

P1310554a

To make the pasta Anna used 2 kilos of Italian 00 type flour, also known as farina di grano tenero, and 12 eggs.

(I would just like to point out that this made a huge quantity, so perhaps it would be better to at least halve the quantity). 

I thought Anna would use an electric mixer to blend the pasta mixture, but no !!! Anna stated that it was better to get your hands in there, so as to be able to feel the consistency of the dough.

P1310534a

P1310535a

At first it became a sticky mess !!!

P1310538a

However, as they continued working the dough by kneading and stretching the mixture it gradually began to come together and eventually  form a smooth soft ball.

P1310544a

Then this was left to rest for a little while.  Anna had brought along her manually operated pasta machine.  I have one too, however I must admit it sits right at the back of one of my kitchen cupboards, and to my shame I have only used it once.

The dough was then divided up into small lumps.

Little Ysabel wanted to help too.

P1310549a

P1310566a

The rollers of the pasta machine had been set to the thickest setting. One by one the lumps of pasta dough were coaxed into the machine’s roller mechanism.  Then as the handle was turned it began to churn out strips of pasta.

P1310556a

This was just the first rolling.

P1310565a

P1310577a

The strips were then laid out on a clean surface to dry for a few minutes.

P1310567a

The pasta roller mechanism was then adjusted to a slightly thinner setting and the pasta strips were once again fed into the machine, which duly churned out slightly longer and thinner strips of pasta.

Once again the pasta had to be laid out on a clean surface to dry for a few minutes. We were running out of space in our kitchen !!!

The roller was adjusted once more and the pasta rolled out.

P1310586a

P1310563a

P1310583a

Now ….  Was the pasta thin enough? 

No, Anna thought it needed one more rolling !!!

“Che pazienza !!!”

P1310573a

Finally the sheets of pasta were of the right thickness.  So the next step was to feed the strips through a different set of rollers which had a cutting attachment that had been adjusted to make tagliatelle.

P1310610aP1310609a

P1310604a

Brava Anna !!!

P1310621a

P1310618a

Mamma Mia !!!  Pasta Galore !!! Tante tagliatelle !!!

P1310620a

The tagliatelle were left to dry out a little. We had made such a large quantity that we bagged some up to put in the freezer.

P1310624a

A huge saucepan was put on the gas hob and filled with water.  A little salt was added. Once the water was bubbling the tagliatelle were added a little at a time.  This freshly made pasta only needed a few minutes to cook and then the pasta was drained in a colander.

The meatballs were removed from the rich tomato sugo.

P1310625a

 The sauce was added to the drained tagliatelle

and the pasta tossed so that all of it was evenly coated. 

P1310626a

The meatballs and a little extra sugo were served on top with of course

a generous sprinkling of parmeggiano.

P1310628a

Buon Appetito !!! Mangia !!!

We all ate “al fresco” out on the terrace.

Buonissimo !!!

P1310629a

Niamh, Shannon and Anna

P1310631a

Miriam, Sharon,

Niamh, Shannon and Anna

P1310634a

Miriam, Santo, Sharon,

Niamh, Shannon and Anna

Thank you to Anna, Santo and their girls for sharing this fun packed afternoon and evening with us. 

It was such a wonderful experience for us all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11737950_10205921878138730_4094599174478865529_n

11659317_10205921877578716_6550087745440236652_n

Sisters !!!

Some of the other things that Shannon, Niamh and Alison achieived / enjoyed during their stay here at Tre Cancelle included:

Helping Paul to re-build a dry stone wall, helping to prepare the apartments for guests, helping me (Louise) with some jewellery making,  a trip to the beach at Sant’Agostino, wandering around the local markets of Gaeta and Fondi, sunbathing and cooling off in the swimming pool, and of course sampling ice-cream.

11692515_10205921879938775_5319081390787637569_n

11737950_10205921880098779_1161306324908057740_n

The girls are real animal lovers and have numerous pets at home.

They also helped out with the horses

which were proving to be ardent escapologists.

11202438_10205921869218507_3089264630318223000_n

Paul has been feeding a stray cat for several months now, a big white fluffy thing and just recently, during the girls’ stay, two more cats have turned up here, The girls have named them “Starla” and “Chester” and we’ve also caught a fleeting glance of a little kitten.

10984497_10205921889899024_3040137667179419470_n

Shannon and Niamh also helped to bath the dogs, and generally spoiled them by giving them lots of treats, fuss and attention ……

11215103_10205921867538465_872233674731012898_n

11707850_10205921867738470_8026546082916033813_n

11009155_10205921882258833_5866575048163673515_n

….. especially Max.

11695339_10205921881738820_3749474451392861531_n

11267240_10205921879338760_6497430777656819221_n

1908117_10205921893139105_7698810449580529037_n

Sorry Paul, I just had to sneak this picture in !!!

11665598_10205921862538340_3268067388348047846_n

Just to say “Thank You” girls for all your help,

your great company and for sharing with us your fun and laughter !!!

Niamh is to return to Tre Cancelle

soon with her parents and other sisters Caitlin and Bethan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Soon after getting back to the UK,

Shannon and Alison attended their graduation ceremony

and they are both about to start their new jobs.

11214178_10205921939660268_9185938310414522215_n

Well done girls and good luck with your future careers !!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitle

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri in South Lazio

207 – Alison, Shannon and Niamh’s Summer Break at Tre Cancelle – Part 1

In June we welcomed Shannon, Niamh and Alison to Tre Cancelle.  This was not to be their first visit, especially for Shannon and Niamh who have stayed with us many many times now, in fact we are practically like family.  The three girls had just completed their exams, Shannon and Alison had just taken their finals at university and Naimh her ‘A’ Levels. They now had some well deserved time off and we hoping to relax a little and unwind from the stresses and strains of the last new months. Shannon and Niamh, who are sisters, were to stay for a month with us, and Alison for 2 weeks. They very kindly volunteered to help with a few jobs around Tre Cancelle during their time with us.

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

The grass and weeds in the olive groves had grown almost waist high, and if left like this would become a definite fire risk during the hot and dry summer months.  Since his heart problems Paul does not have the energy to strim all the grounds, so Pietro had recently brought back some of his horses to graze under the olive trees and at the same time do a little natural fertilization !!!  This time there were 6 mares, and old Pino came back just for a few days.  Alison is a lover of horses so she was in her element.

K11140289_10152958286528963_6332926457000073786_n

K11401084_10152958286533963_7322812817626780873_n

P1310335a

11011074_10205781429787609_7222902569032864711_n

The girls’ visit coincided with Kay and Elsie being here for a few days. Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales.

Here is Kay relaxing in the pool.

P11392984_10205437987724051_8928969055203865168_n

We were all invited to have lunch with our American friends, Pat and Melinda, at their apartment in the characteristic Medieval town of Minturno.  Their property has a beautiful sun terrace with a magnificent panorama of the Campania coastline and plains.

K11406917_10152964164443963_2760081782623201497_n

K11407051_10152964164438963_3989124872777331241_n

Elsie and Kay

Sh11406117_10205698347230597_3334579945427463274_oP

Sh1504247_10205698348110619_3210580915884135090_oP

The following day Shannon and Alison were on tenterhooks as the results of their final exams were due to be published imminently.  Suddenly we heard high pitched screaming and screeching !!! The girls were elated !!! Both Shannon and Alison had obtained first class honour degrees. 

We decided to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly to congratulate them both on their wonderful achievements.

Sh11427216_10205705383566501_9121043607349343555_n

Shannon and Alison’s visit also coincided with the arrival of our grandson Aneurin, his Mum Emma and another of our good friends, Michäel.

We all decided to celebrate being together by going for a meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Campodimele. Pat and Melinda have nicknamed it as the “Gas Station”. They decided to tag along with us too.  I have written about the “Casareccia” restaurant before,  Maria’s food there is simply divine !!!

P1310426a

P1310428a

P1310435a

P1310469a

P1310429a

P1310449arb

P1310450arb

P1310451arb

P1310453arb

P1310454arb

P1310455arb

P1310456a

P1310457arb

P1310459a

Alison, Shannon and Niamh were inspired to do some cooking of their own.  Our amareno cherry trees had a bountiful crop this year.  The girls and Aneurin helped to de-stone them.

P1310502a

P1310503a

Some were to be used to make jam. Some were bagged ready to go into the freezer and some were set aside to make a bottle or two of cherry liqueur (see more about making liqueurs below).

Al988574_828798397211410_289149763300020283_n

This was the girls’ first attempt at jam making.

10422477_10205756327280062_5522513624034542940_n

10408942_10205756329320113_1870430044623722984_n

11406953_10205754026382541_4698342754245871590_n

They also had a go at making some lemon marmalade.

Al59765_829225323835384_4207770157409618989_n

They baked a cake or two …..

11709561_10205921876498689_1327156717127876913_n

….. and then tried their hand at making scones to go with the jam.

11053175_10205921875378661_8950922296427660687_n

The scones came out of the oven more like biscuits.  Shannon named them the “Scones of Death” !!!  Paul still devoured them anyway and lived to tell the tale !!!

11144079_10205921875498664_1708918634952740092_n

Now moving on to Making Liqueurs. 

Melinda was keen to have a try at making some home-made liqueurs, and she started using some of our amarena cherries, and some white mulberries that had been gifted to us by Frank. I had never seen white mulberries before. Shannon was more than happy to assist Melinda.

The cherries were washed and then dropped one by one into a large wine bottle. When each of the bottles were approximately two thirds full neat alcohol was added until it covered all the fruit. The fruit in the alcohol then has to be left to steep for between 30 or 40 days.  Ideally you need to shake the bottles from time to time.

After this period the mixture must then be strained and filtered to remove the fruit from the liquor.  Next between 300 and 500 grams of sugar  is slowly dissolved in a pan containing a litre of warm water to make a clear syrup, Then this must be left to cool thoroughly.  The infused alcohol is then diluted with the sugar syrup using about the same amount of syrup to alcohol, however some people may elect to add a little less if they want the liqueur to pack a real punch.

Melinda and Shannon carried out the same procedure with the mulberries.

Next – Walnut Liqueur

This liqueur is traditionally made on the feast day of St John the Baptist which falls on the 24th June. So we took 24 green immature walnuts from our tree. These then needed to be cut into quarters and placed into a larger bottle with a wider neck, such a demi-john or kilner jar.  A cinnamon stick, a vanilia pod and 5 cloves were then added and enough alcohol to cover the fruit, and were then set aside to steep as above.

11695848_10205921882418837_2691989567857950448_n

Next – Cedrino Liqueur

In our garden with have a cedrino or lemon verbena bush, the leaves when crushed between one’s fingers give off a wonderful lemon aroma.   We gathered 120 cedrino leaves and dropped them into a large wine bottle.

11062043_10205921885258908_5163842903075029657_n

11053192_10205921885458913_4906888457019164088_n

We then added the rinds of 4 lemons and topped the bottle up with a litre of alcohol and left it to steep.

11224009_10205921886738945_220006842837722820_n

P1310421a

Let’s wait and see how all the liqueurs come out !!!

Melinda can’t wait !!!

photos except where indicated are © me, Louise Shapcott, Shannon White and Melinda Abbott

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last year Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales:

182 – Kay and Elsie’s 2014 Mega Road Trip To Italy

A previous post about the Casareccia Restaurant:

177 – Ristorante La Casareccia In Campodimele

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TCTitleTre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri in South Lazio