We were not able to celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner for local butchers make the birds available only after December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Nevertheless several interesting things happened in this last week of November .
Here is a quick rundown.....
Conference at the Prefecture of Viterbo with archeologist Francesca Ceci
|Prof. Stephen Steingraber, Francesca Ceci, Lt.Col. Luigi Grassi|
|Conference at the Prefecture, Viterbo|
On Friday evening a large group of Air Force NCO Academy students with Lt.Col. Luigi Grassi followed the interesting conference on the Viterbo area’s rock hewn necropolis.
Winter is the best time to make outings to the numerous Etruscan sites that surround Vetralla, Viterbo and Blera. For information and dates for excursions check the website of Archeotuscia. www.archeotuscia.it
Discoveries in the Duomo
While preparing the new tourist guide for the town of Vetralla’s Pro Loco (a volunteer position!) I came upon this terracotta sculpture which had been hidden under a side altar for at least a century.
It depicts a very effiminate Adeodato, one of the town’s early patron saints before St. Ippolito was given this title. The blonde wig, dagger, clothing and sandals shows he was a Roman martyr.
Another special discovery was this marble ciborium dating from the Renaissance period. It needs a good cleaning and the door, which was probably of silver, is missing but at least it is still in place. A precious altar cloth (paliotto) seems to be missing.
Medlar (nespolo) Tree with Ripe Fruit
This single fruit tree set among our 80 olive trees, is a rarity today but they were often depicted in medieval frescoes and Renaissance tapestries.
The fruit is almost ripe and they have an ancient, unusual taste.
Have any of you ever tasted them?
|our single medlar tree|
Olive Marmelade –Marmellata d’olive
A few well laden olive trees were spared from the recent harvest and this week the big, black fruits were gathered by hand and made into marmellata d’olive.
It is a very time consuming task for the olive pits must be removed one by one- by hand.
Hours of cooking and canning follow. The resulting marmelade will be used in several traditional Vetralla meat dishes during the year.
|Fulvio picking the best olives for marmelade|
|the best, biggest olives are used to make this marmelade|
Looking for the recipe ? It can be found on p. 84 (next to the photo of Milena picking olives) in Fulvio Ferri's recipe book “Olio e Ricordi in Cucina” available only at the Anglo American bookshop in Rome, Libri di Natura in Vetralla or better yet, directly from the author with an inscription and free postage to Italian addresses.
Visit this page to find out more and make your order in time for Christmas. DEc. http://www.elegantetruria.com/fulviorecipes.htm
Where to find Mary Jane next week
Tuesday, Nov. 29 San Silvestro Church, Rome 3 p.m. book signing. 4:30 p.m Santa Susanna Church, Rome with books for the Christmas raffle.
Saturday, Dec. 3 Loyola University Rome Campus, for Democrats Abroad meeting
Monday, Dec. 5 Università della Tuscia,Viterbo USAC Study Abroad Program-meeting with Creative Writing group.