IF YOU LIKE APEROL SPRITZ THEN YOU WILL LOVE CAPPELLETTI SPRITZ

Last night at Short and Main we had the best dinner of oven roasted Cape Cod Sea Scallops, warm farm fresh winter veggies, and the always superb Louis Prima pizza. Bethany, our friendly and knowledgeable bartender, asked if I would like to try Cappelletti instead of Aperol. I did try and absolutely LOVED it!!!

I found Cappelletti to be dryer and more richly flavorful than Aperol. Aperitivo Capelletti and Aperol are both red bitter liqueurs (aperitivos). Some red bitter liqueurs are spirit based and some are wine based. Cappelletti is categorized as gentian root infused aromatized wine. It’s difficult to find a list of ingredients because the recipes are closely guarded family secrets. Essentailly Cappelletti is made of wine, bitter gentian root, carmine (cochineal), alpine herbs, and spices. Carmine is obtained from grinding beetle shells into a fine powder and is what gives Cappelletti its distinct ruby red color. Carmine has been used for centuries to color food, clothing, cosmetics, and paint pigment.

Cappelletti may be the oldest classic red bitter liqueur in production. “The producer, which goes by the full name Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, was first established in 1909. For most of their first century they were located in the historic Piazza Fiera in the center of Trento. Today they are located 20 km south of Trento in Aldeno, surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards. As the name would suggest, the firm was and is still today focused on products from traditional herbs, roots and flowers. They achieved fame in the region for their productions of amari and aperitivi, including the classic red bitter Aperitivo Cappelletti. All production is done in house by the fourth generation of the family, Luigi and Maddalena.”

Next time you are at Short and Main, say hi to Bethany and try a Cappelletti Spritz. You won’t be disappointed

Short and Main is located at the corner of Short Street and Main Street at 36 Main Street, Gloucester. During the winter months, they are open from Wednesday through Sunday.

HOW TO GROW BUTTERFLY AMARYLLIS

The blossoms of the Butterfly Amaryllis are considerably more delicate and petite when compared to the blossoms of most Amaryllis cultivars so this year I grouped three bulbs to a pot for extra beauty. I think my plan was successful 🙂

The Butterfly Amaryllis (Hippeastrum papilio), has to be one of the most stunning of all bulbs to force indoors. Not only that, but unlike other species of Hippeastrum, which need to go dormant, you can grow papilio all year round. The plants will grow larger and produce more blossoms with each passing year!

Hippeastrum papilio is a member of Amaryllidaceae and is native to the tropical forest of the Atlantic Coast of southern Brazil. It is endangered in its natural range but is increasingly propagated among gardeners.

The following is excerpted from a book that I both wrote and illustrated titled Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden, which was published by David Godine.

How to Grow Amaryllis ~ Excerpt from Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! 

Living in New England the year round, with our tiresomely long winter stretching miles before us, followed by a typically late and fugitive spring, we can become easily wrapped in those winter-blues. Fortunately for garden-makers, our thoughts give way to winter scapes of bare limbs and berries, Gold Finches and Cardinals, and plant catalogues to peruse. If you love to paint, and photograph, and write about flowers as do I, winter is a splendid time of year for both as there is hardly any time devoted to the garden during colder months.

Coaxing winter blooms is yet another way to circumvent those late winter doldrums. Most of us are familiar with the ease in which amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs will bloom indoors. Placed in a pot with enough soil to come to the halfway point of the bulb, and set on a warm radiator, in several week’s time one will be cheered by the sight of a spring-green, pointed-tipped flower stalk poking through the inner layers of the plump brown bulbs. The emerging stalks provide a welcome promise with their warm-hued blossoms, a striking contrast against the cool light of winter.

Perhaps the popularity of the amaryllis is due both to their ease in cultivation and also for their ability to dazzle with colors of sizzling orange, clear reds and apple blossom pink. My aunt has a friend whose family has successfully cultivated the same bulb for decades. For continued success with an amaryllis, place the pot in the garden as soon as the weather is steadily warm. Allow the plant to grow through the summer, watering and fertilizing regularly. In the late summer or early fall and before the first frost, separate the bulb from the soil and store the bulb, on its side, in a cool dry spot—an unheated basement for example. The bulb should feel firm and fat again, not at all mushy. After a six-week rest, the amaryllis bulb is ready to re-pot and begin its blooming cycle again. Excerpt from Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! ~ Coaxing Winter Blooms

Click here to read more about Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities.

MORE SNAPSHOTS OF THE BEAUTIFUL SHORT-EARED OWL, SNOWY OWL, TENDERCROP FARM, AND IPSWICH CLAMBAKE

Charlotte and I had a wonderful adventure morning checking on the owls at Plum Island. We observed several Harrier Hawks flying low over the marsh grass hunting for prey, a Short-eared Owl perched on a craggy tree, and a Snowy parked for the morning far out in the dunes. We played on the beach and she had a blast zooming up and down the boardwalk at lot no. 2.

Tiny white wedge in the distance

We next stopped at the refuge headquarters to play in the marsh boat that is part of the exhibit about the Great Salt Marsh. She brought along her own stuffed Snowy to join on the boat ride.

Next destination was a visit to see the farm friends at Tendercrop Farm. Currently in residence are a turkey, ginormous steer, pony, chickens, ducks, llama, and the sweetest miniature goat who is just wonderful with toddlers.

I purchased the best steaks we have ever had, Tendercrop’s own grass fed rib-eye, made even more magnificent cooked to perfection by Alex, with a beautiful red wine demi-glace.

Everything at Tendercrop Farm is always amazingly delicious. They have the freshest and best selection of fruits and vegetables during the winter months, bar none.

Great bunches of freshly cut pussy willows are for sale at Tendercrop

Last stop was lunch at the Ipswich Clambake. The owners and staff are just the most friendly. The clam chowder at the Clambake is perfection. Charlotte and I shared a mini super fresh fried clam appetizer and that, along with the chowder, made the best sort of lunch to top off our fun adventure morning.

Tendercrop Farm is located at 108 High Road, 1A, in Newbury.

Ipswich Clambake is located at 196 High Street, 1A, in Ipswich.

DON’T MISS THE LOBSTER TRAP TREE AND CAPE ANN ART HAVEN FAMILY FUN BIG BUOY PARTY!

THE BIG BUOY PARTY NIGHT IS ART HAVEN’S BIGGEST FUNDRAISING EVENT. COME ON DOWN TO CRUISEPORT FOR DELICIOUS REFRESHMENTS, ARTS AND CRAFTS ACTIVITIES, LIVE MUSIC, AND MORE!

WHEN: JANUARY 24TH FROM 5PM TO 8PM

WHERE: CRUISEPORT, GLOUCESTER

Only 20.00 PER FAMILY, and that includes refreshments, crafts, and your child’s buoy!