Friday, May 1, 2009

Arriving in Bovara and lunching with Ettore

Our agriturismo is in Bovara – bigger than Bald Creek but only just. It is called I Mandorli and our apartment is downhill. There’s a set of twenty steps and then six or seven more down before the four up to the apartment door. We have a lovely view of the grounds out our windows. We can hear the church nearby ring the hour, quarter hour and sometimes three quarter hour. Oddly, we seem to miss the half hour! Last night, it rang continuously for a few minutes but we didn’t bother to see if there was an emergency as we were feeling very lazy.

After we arrived and unpacked, we opened a bottle of wine, pulled out the cheese and salami and bread that our hosts had left us and feasted in the backyard. By the time we had polished off all the food and two bottles of wine, we simply went to bed. Lee is still working through his cold so he was first in but the rest of us followed not too far behind him.

Thursday morning, we lazed around the apartment until it was time to meet Jo-Ann a little ways down the road at Ettore’s farm – that’s Eh’ tore ay. We are the only Untourists in Umbria this two weeks so we had a mini-orientation as we already know about road signs, parking lots and using the right kind of fuel in the car. After Jo-Ann talked, Ettore showed us around the farm. It has been in his family for four generations, having started life as a convent. He grows spelt, olives, organic fruits and vegetables and tobacco – yes, we had a hard time believing that last one and were too polite to stop his lecture by telling him we already knew about curing tobacco. He also keeps chickens, sheep and four cows. Three of the cows are Chianina beef and one is a milk cow. He grows enough grapes to make wine for his family and his brother’s – both families live on the farm. His wife, Lorella, made us a wild asparagus omelet for part of our lunch. Ettore made bruschetta over the fireplace coals and used his own olive oil on it along with salt. That’s all real bruschetta is supposed to be. More than that is crostini. We finished the meal with a wonderful blackberry tart, all home grown right down to the flour and lemon.

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