Today began with the most beautiful sunrise – almost Hotel California album cover colour hues, for those that remember.
It was an absolute joy to be doing M’s 6am airport drop off as it made me enjoy more hours of this wonderful day – something I’ve been too guilty of missing in the past. We joked at the traffic issues on the way – three cars, one truck and an enthusiastic cyclist.
The vineyard was already buzzing when I got back. Grape thinning was today’s activity as we race towards harvest. Although I find it heart-breaking to see our beautiful babies ( pinot noir grapes) being discarded , I understand the reason behind it is to develop the quality of those left to grow. That’s so important for the integrity of the pinot noir we produce. Note to self : learn to make Verjuice *
It’s netting day tomorrow so my first task today was to buy 25,000 biodegradable net ties. I had clear instructions and let’s face it , how difficult could it be? As it happens , very. Who knew there were so many styles, types and qualities. I do now. PGG Wrightson is another world . I know I’ve changed when I catch myself admiring the new Swanndri fleeces and commenting on how comfortable and durable they will be ……so sad…!
Today’s bounty included finding uses for the forest of rhubarb – crumble, jam and fruit paste for cheese match – not sure about the last one but it’s worth a try.
My other challenge at the moment is what to do with our laden 100+ year old pear tree. It has never been harvested in the past – lucky cattle enjoyed the feed! What I’ve learned is that pears don’t ripen on the tree. If they are ripe on picking they will be soft and mushy and not at their best. You pick when giving slightly at the neck and then refrigerate for quite a few weeks and then at room temperature. However one slight limitation is that my fridge is a normal size and by my calculations will probably chill only about 30 of the hundreds on the tree so I’m putting my best bartering skills to the test and doing some swops with friendly local folk. One friend who is incredibly handy, is going to make pear cider (yum!) and another will swop for locally caught venison ( again, yum!). I’m currently on the look out for milk ( goats/ jersey for cheese making ), limes ( for Margaritas ) tomatoes ( because we seem to eat our body weight in them each week) so if you’re keen to swop, get in touch 🙂
Just some of the beauties from the pear tree – thanks to Mum and Dad for providing the perspective on its size 🙂
Great recipe. I’ll try and share the results !