Fried flowers > french fries

Hello, hello!  Today was a wonderful day.  Beautiful sunshine, power tools, paint thinner, wine tasting, and fried zucchini flowers.

Ok, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the paint thinner, but the power tool was really cool.  It was also really scary.  This morning’s tasks involved two sets of giant metal doors, one covered in paint and rust, and one covered in griminess from the metal-shop.  Michael was to strip down two metal doors using this crazy power-sanding tool.  See below.

That tool took a giant chunk out of a cement wall.

My job was to use paint thinner to clean the new set of doors covered in grime, and then paint them.  I spent the morning cleaning the doors and the afternoon painting them white.

When Pino returned later in the evening, he took one look at the hole in the wall (from a rogue power tool) and the newly painted white doors and laughed.  I was supposed to paint them orange.  Woopsies!  Too many paints in the paint box!  Looks like my morning tomorrow will involve a lot more painting than I had originally anticipated!

The day had started out with Pino, Michael, and myself heading to Ca’rossa after dropping off J and H for the next leg of their long adventure.  We helped move three empty vats for the new wine harvest with three unfriendly Romanians.  Apparently they are not fans of WWOOF volunteers because they fear we will take their jobs.  Really?  Me?  I stood by helplessly while everyone else pushed the vats onto a truck bed.  I pushed the first two, but it quickly became apparent that I was just making more noise than anything else.  So I guess if your job is only huffing and puffing, than you better watch out.  Otherwise, I think you’re safe ;).

Before I started on the cleaning and painting, Pino came back with two armfuls of zucchini flowers, and asked me to clean them.  His instructions, strict and precise as with most things involving food (anyone remember the beer and sprite?) were to blow in the center of the flowers to get out any pollen and/or bugs.  “We will have risotto tonight!” he said.  Zucchini flower risotto?  Can it be 8 already?!

These are some of the flowers I ‘cleaned’.  Halfway through, I was so lightheaded, I needed a break.  Tough work here on the farm!

So I cleaned the flowers, stuck them in the fridge, and tried to forget about them.

After much painting and sanding, we cleaned up and called it a day.  Pino came back from cutting up a giant oak tree and asked if we wanted to go see the grapes being pressed at Ca’rossa.  Obviously.

This is Michael looking into the vat where the new grapes went in, after being pulled off of the vine by some wild machine.

These are the oak barrels where all the tasty wine is.  Ca’rossa makes some of the best red wines: barolo, roero, nebbiolo, barbera.  Yum yum yum.  Here is the website for the vineyard, I suggest everyone check it out and read about Angelo.

He is so down-to-earth and friendly!  If you ever find yourselves in this area, visit their vineyard.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Now for the wine tasting pictures:

The tasting room.  You will notice several awards from Slow Food and Carlos Petrini throughout the tasting room.  Slow Food is everywhere here, I love it!

Pino and Michael sampling the grapes from the harvest today!

Michael tasting the half-wine/half grape juice.  It was so good.  Like liquefied grapes.

More wine.

Me, standing by the roero aging in the giant oak barrels.  Shortly after this picture I had some of the best roero wine, it was so so good!  I’ve never seen wine that purple before.

All in all we had all sorts of delicious wine and learned so many new things about winemaking.

The sugar from the wine we had only lasted us so long, however, and we had to quickly get home to start the flower risotto.  Pino instructed me to mix some 00 flour and two eggs together, adding milk once it’s consistent.  When he was satisfied with the consistency, he dipped a flower in it and dropped in a frying pan with hot oil.  FRIED FLOWERS.  Oh my.  So delicious.  He asked me to add parmesan cheese and salt to the batter as well.

Then we started the risotto: red onions, shredded carrots, short grain rice, all sauteed in a frying pan with oil.  We slowly added boiling water until it was cooked through, and then added a pat of butter and SO MUCH PARMESAN CHEESE.

I look like a wacko in this picture.  What’s going on with that nose?

Fried zucchini flowers.  So much better than french fries.  I may never eat french fries again!  Talk to me in a month, though, and we’ll see what tune I’m singing then 🙂

And finally, a picture representation of how I was feeling at the end of the meal:

Surprisingly, my hair has gotten much darker even though I work outside in the sun so much.

Buono notte!



5 thoughts on “Fried flowers > french fries

  1. It sounds like you are going to be real wine conasure spelling, tried to look it up in my dictionary and couldn’t find it, guess I am spelling it wrong. Hope you know what I mean. Marilyn was so happy when I gave her copies of your blog, she passed them around to some of her friends in the club. It turned out to be good weather after all. Rain on Friday only, then clear. Don’t work so hard you will get run down and sick. Enough of Grandma talk, have fun.

  2. ahhhh….sounds like you are having a wonderful time, even though you are working so hard! I’ve never seen zucchini flowers so big…nor fried, yes has to be much healthier than french fries! I think I’ll go have a glass of wine….I’m sure not half as good as what your having!! Enjoy Mike’s visit!!

  3. Zucchini flowers! I had made them once at school, they are delicious! I think they are kinda hard/maybe expensive to find state side? I may be wrong, I just remember it being a pain to actually get them in. I will begin research immediately.

    P.S. – Uber jealous of your wine surroundings. You look gorgeous though darling! 🙂

  4. Not only has your hair gotten darker… but something really has happened to your nose, and what’s with the whiskers!?!

    Love the new skills you’re acquiring, can’t wait to be the recipient of the wonderfully sounding fried zucchini flowers!

    xoxo Mom

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