Italian Autumn

The seasons are passing quickly and with Christmas around the corner autumn as already flown by and it’s now already late to be posting about our fall adventures. However because I’ve been so incredibly busy with work, and life in general, the blog has been on hold and so better late than never will have to do. 

Luca and I totally fell for the TV show Bake Off Italia. Every Friday night we would plan to be at home at 9 pm so we could catch the latest episode of Bake Off waiting to be inspired to try something new in the kitchen. Luca took on a whole new interest in baking and is starting to become my competition. So we attempted eclairs, bagels, and for Luca’s birthday he wanted a play on the rainbow cake so I made a 5 layer pistachio cake.

       
Autumn is also the time for Vin Santo. Luca’s dad has been making his own vin santo in the cellar of the house he grew up in for at least 30 years now. Vin santo is a  sweet wine usually drunk after dinner or with dessert. Antonio, Luca’s dad, used to go to a vineyard, collect the grapes, hang them in the cellar to dry and then press them and put them in the casks to ferment for around 5 years. Now he buys the grapes but still does most of the process by himself. 
This year was a bottling year so we went helped him fill up the 2009 batch which is particularly good! 
We took turns holding the bottles and watching for when they were full being careful not to lose any of the precious limited vin santo! We were able to get about 40 bottles. 
Afterwards on the drive home we stopped to take some pictures. Autumn in Tuscany is one of the most beautiful sites to see! 

At the end of the summer, during early autumn is when baby turtles hatch from their eggs. Luca’s mom already has 5 turtles in her garden and this year 10 baby turtles joined the family. If they continue at this rate they’re going to need a bigger garden! They are so incredibly cute and tiny, they can all fit in the palms of your hand. Unfortunately not all of them survive and it doesn’t help that our dog, Macchia, likes turtles quite a bit so she’s their biggest predator. 
We also started using our fireplace for the first time now that the weather has gotten cooler. We’ve had three fires since September and hopefully many more will be made through out the winter. 
We hosted our second Thanksgiving. It’s the largest dinner party we’ve had in our new home. There were 15 of us total and it was a nice cozy fit. We ordered an 8 kilo turkey and there was way more food than we could all finish. 
We got Macchia spayed in November. In Italy most people actually don’t fix their dogs but because Macchia is a rescue dog, we had to sign a paper saying that would so as to prevent further puppies being abandoned. Since her operation she has become evern more cuddly. She has always been an affectionate dog but now it’s almost a daily occurrence that she will come cuddle up with us on the couch. 
Now that I’m in the midst of the Christmas holidays I’m so glad to be back in the States for a while and I’m soaking up the holiday joy filled atmosphere with family and friends. I look forward to sharing our winter musings soon!