November-December 2016

Near or Far: November-December 2016

by Megan Frank on November 14, 2016

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Location: Bovara, a village nestled in the olive groves on the slopes near Trevi, Italy.

Name: Sant’ Emiliano (that’s the name of this individual tree—it’s a thing, in Umbria)

Genus/species: Olea europaea

Common name: Olive tree

Age: 1,000 years (Or 700 years, or 1,700 years. Or something)

Submitted by: Reynolds Kelly

Reynolds says: Umbria in Autumn is as beautiful and peaceful a place as you will find anywhere in Europe. Lacking the high-wattage tourist appeal of nearby Tuscany, Umbria busies itself harvesting grapes (in August and September) and olives (in October), and having homey local festivals celebrating the local sausage, or local truffles—even the humble local celery.

Driving through a landscape filled with beautiful vineyards and cascading olive groves never gets old, but those olive trees themselves? They do. Umbria’s oldest olive tree, Sant’ Emiliano, is said to be 1,000 years old, and continues to produce a healthy crop of olives year after decade after century. It’s a little odd for a tree to have a name. Here in the Umbria Valley, Saint Emiliano was an Armenian monk who served as bishop in Trevi in the 4th century, during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. The legend goes that Emiliano was tied to an olive sapling and beheaded, and that sapling became the tree that bears his name. That’s a conventionally gruesome martyrdom story, and if it is to be believed it would make the tree about 1,700 years old. Other accounts place the tree at 1,000 years old (a suspiciously round number) or 700 years old. I couldn’t find any account of a core being taken to verify the stories, but my first-hand report is that this is one very old tree.

Surrounded by much younger siblings (or cousins, or great-great-grandtrees) it’s easy to see how much older is our friend Sant’ Emiliano than its brethren. Signposts help you find it among thousands of acres of trees, and a stone walkway and rustic fence provide a dignified setting for this eminent geezer of the groves. No matter how old the tree really is—and may it keep growing, that we should never learn—the peaceful setting in groves of trees that have turned out fine olive oil for centuries is a fitting monument to the modest industry that is Umbrian olive oil.

If you visit Umbria and our friend Sant’ Emiliano, do stop at the bottom of the hill at the local oil cooperative. If you have time, stay for lunch Umbrian style. If not, buy as many bottles of the cloudy green oil as you can carry. You’ll thank me.

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Arborvitae Stamped Gift Tags

by cathym on November 14, 2016

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MATERIALS
Pre-made blank gift tags, about 2 by 3 inches Ink pad in desired color; I used “pine”
Arborvitae cutting about 2–3 inches long
A few pieces of scrap paper
Piece of wax paper, slightly larger than arborvitae cutting
Fine tip marker in desired color

STEPS
1. Remove a few rows of foliage from bottom of arborvitae cutting to reveal stem.

2. Place cutting face up on scrap paper. Press finger on stem to hold cutting in place, then dab cutting with inkpad until fully coated.

3. Carefully lift cutting by stem, then place inked side down on clean area of scrap paper. Cover arborvitae with wax paper to keep fingers clean.

4. Use finger to hold wax paper and cutting in place. Use other hand to gently rub cutting from bottom to top to ensure ink is transferred to paper.

5. Remove wax paper and cutting to reveal result.

6. Practice steps 2 through 5 until you are happy with the outcome.

7. Once technique is mastered, stamp gift tags as desired.

8. When ink is dry, use fine tip marker to embellish design or simply write greeting on tag.

ADDITIONAL IDEAS
Use arborvitae to stamp designs on plain wrapping paper, gift bags or notecards.

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Upstate Pairing: November-December 2016

by Megan Frank on November 14, 2016

Brussel Sprout Carbonara with Fettuccini

Yield: 4 servings

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8 ounces of dry fettuccini 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb brussel sprouts, cleaned and chopped (but not too small)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ounces smoked bacon, chopped into small pieces 2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. When it reaches a medium high heat, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for a minute.

2. Add the sprouts, cook until they are browned and become a little softer (not too soft though, you don’t want them to be mushy, but to retain a little bite). Start cooking the pasta when the sprouts are nearly finished. Follow the instructions on the packet for timings.

3. When the sprouts are cooked, move them to the outside area of the pan and add the bacon to the center, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes, turning a couple of times.

4. When the bacon is cooked, mix it through the sprouts and add black pepper and a little salt. Careful with salt as the bacon and the parmesan will also add a salty flavor.

5. When the pasta is ready, bring your two pans close together on the stove. Then, with tongs, grab the pasta and drag is swiftly into the pan with the sprouts. By doing this you take in some of the pasta water. This water helps bind and create your sauce. You don’t need much, in this case probably about 2 tablespoons worth. This dragging technique should ensure that you have enough.

6. Turn the heat off under your sprouts and pasta. Add the egg (not directly on to the base of the pan but onto the pasta mixture) add the parmesan. Stir through quite quickly, this will create a creamy style sauce.

7. Check for seasoning, and serve immediately with some extra parmesan, if desired.

 

PAIR WITH
Fox Run Chardonnay Reserve 2013, Kaiser Vineyard.

 

ABOUT THE VINEYARD
Fox Run Vineyards overlooks one of the deepest parts of Seneca Lake, with fifty acres of vineyards producing a remarkable range of fine wines. The Fox Run Café features ingredients from their neighborhood farmers and producers. Also, an on-site garden is filled with vegetables that are featured on the menu.

The property that Fox Run currently encompasses was a dairy farm for more than a century. The first grapes were planted in 1984 and the Civil War-era dairy barn was converted to a modern wine-making facility in 1990. In 1996, farther up the slope a new facility was completed with state-of-the-art capabilities and view of Seneca Lake that is unrivaled. The original barn itself is used now for special events, winemaker dinners and our Food & Wine Experience. The tasting room was designed and built around the barn providing two tasting bars, café and market, and gift shop.

Spend time by having lunch in the café and taking a vineyard tour. Fox Run can ship to 30 states. You might even come across a bottle of Fox Run wine when you travel internationally, as it is available in almost ten different countries around the world.

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