One thing about going home (to Italy)
late Summer/early Fall,
is that you get the best of both seasons.
Late Summer means almond harvest...
early Fall means figs...fresh figs...lots of them.
Among the majority of olive trees,
our very own Olive Garden,
we happen to have a dozen of almond trees
and close to two dozens of fig trees.
|fresh figs and local cheese|
One day we spent harvesting the almonds.
All done by hand,
that's how we roll.
Nets on the ground,
long sticks to literally beat the almonds down,
and it doesn't hurt to have an adventurous spirit to climb trees.
(that would be me...
After the almonds are gathered,
we sit under a pine tree and get the softer outer shell off.
We then use hammers and rocks to get the almonds out of the hard shell.
Again, we are talking about hours of labor of love.
But it's fun.
It's a family thing.
Young and old,
we all get together and work and talk and laugh and eat the cracked almonds.
It's a win win.
So we get to bring some of this deliciousness back with us.
Everything at the farm is grown without any use of chemicals nor pesticides.
We still harvested by hand.
Just like our ancestors did.
Modern technology might make life easier,
but not better.
There is pride in knowing we can accomplish things with hard work.
Labor of love at it's finest.
For the children, it teaches them that hard work does not kill you,
and for the older ones (myself included),
it teaches us the importance of family time.
Those are things that money can't buy.
And here is a super easy and delicious recipe I posted last year.
|Chocolate Covered Almonds (here)|
This is a typical dessert from Southern Italy.
I make it for parties around the holidays,
and this is always the first thing to go.
Can't beat roasted almonds and dark chocolate.