Spinach and ricotta for the "Schlutzkrapfen"
The concierge recently drove to Lana, which is only a few kilometres from the hotel and where, purely by chance, a farmers' market sells produce on the central street of the village.
When the concierge noticed fresh spinach, he did not hesitate for a moment and made his first purchase. He continued to the concierge's favorite dairy farm, cheese was already on the shopping list and all he needed for his personal favorite meal was ricotta cheese.
Arriving at the hotel, the concierge, wearing the typical Tyrolean blue apron, started to prepare the dough and the filling.
All that was missing now was sage and butter. Local butter and self-grown sage. Some chives and voilá.
"Schlutzkrapfen", dumplings, "Kaiserschmarren", apple strudel... What is your favorite dish? We are curious!
The other day, to stretch his legs (wearing a mask of course, if social distance could not be guaranteed, which was not the case), the concierge walked along the Adige river. Not along the cycle path, but along the riverbank.
Along the embankment the elderberry is in full bloom. At this sight, the various uses of elderberry immediately came to his mind. In his childhood it was a tradition to cut off a branch and make flutes and small pipes from it.
Grandmother always said that you should always bow twice to an elderberry plant. Elder is so healthy that it was also called the poor man's pharmacy.
What the concierge remembers most was the refreshing elderberry juice. A delight on hot summer days.
So, the small, white, star-shaped blossom wildly growing along the riverbank was plucked and used to make elderberry syrup.
And now that the lockdown has been lifted and the measures have been relaxed, we can open the bar again and serve our delicious homemade elderberry syrup.
Water, sugar, citric acid, elderberry, lemon, and organic oranges.
Tasty elderberry juice. Just in time for summer.
#Iorestoacasa continues and the concierge uses the time to clean the attic. Between a lot of wastepaper and objects that will go directly to the recycling centre, there are also some interesting things. A collection of notes, sketches, notebooks and books that should not be lost under any circumstances.
If we look through these books (since we have time for that right now), we discover that one of them is all about cheese. And in South Tyrol we have a large selection of cheese.
On these pages Mrs. Johanna from the Hotel Management School Kaiserhof in Merano lists all the different types of cheese:
1. low fat cheese
2. a quarter-fat cheese
3. semi-fat cheese
4. three-quarter-fat cheese
5. fatty cheese
6. full-fat cheese
Seventh cream cheese:
8. double cream cheese
And then explains how to serve it correctly:
1. the cheese must be taken out of the fridge in time
2.Select the cheese accordingly to menu and taste...
3. etc. etc.
But now comes the point our concierge is interested in.
Under garnishes, with which the cheese can be served, the following can be found:
pears or apples
So finally, we have an answer to the question what can be done with the remaining apples in our refrigerator: Apple chutney.
Now we just need a recipe. Maybe in one of these old books?
From an old cookbook from the hotel management school:
Wash and peel the apples and then cut them into small pieces.
Cut the onion into slices.
Put the sugar in the pot and caramelise it with wine and water.
Add apples and onion and bring to the boil with cinnamon, ground black pepper and chilli.
Then pour the mixture into glasses and let it cool down.
Do not forget to label the glasses, or otherwise you might confuse them with the breakfast jam!
The last box of apples of the 2019 season is gone. When the chutney is ready to be served with the cheese, the concierge will document it here on this blog.
As part of the #Iorestoacasa initiative, the concierge unfortunately can only take photographs in and around the currently empty hotel.
Unfortunately, without the opportunity to explore the wonderful places we have within a few kilometres of the hotel, we have no choice but to look around the archives and look at the photographs taken over the years during this period.
And so the concierge can watch the apple and cherry trees in blossom, or visit the lake of Kaltern and watch his brother-in-law riding his horses through the pastures and mountains of the area.
Meanwhile in our fridge, some apples still wait to be processed…
The apple is in the undisputed centre of our region. Everywhere you look, apples surround us. So of course, our fridge was full of them. And so, due to the lack of work that is currently going on, the concierge was forced to take on a new task. That of apple peeler.
Just like in the old days. The concierges recommended apple compote is the original recipe of Burgl form Völlan. In former times there were no refrigerators or freezers. It was necessary to preserve the apples as well as possible just in ordinary glass jars. So that the apples stayed good all year long.
So, here is how you do it:
Wash the apples well and cut them into eighths, do not forget to remove the stalk and core.
Fill the preserving jars, which you have previously washed with very hot water. When the jars are full, add water, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
At this point, preheat the oven to 150, place the jars on a high baking tray filled with water, also called "bain-marie“, and let it bake for 10 minutes.
After this time, you can take the jars out of the oven and let them cool down with the lid down so that they are sealed naturally.
Once cold, it is time to enjoy a perfect apple compote. Perfect for your and our breakfast buffet.
There is still one box of apples remaining in our fridge.
I wonder what the concierge will come up with tomorrow?
Under the sign of Covid-19, Easter 2020 will remain in our memories for many years to come.
The lowered barrier, which protects our customers' parked cars at night, will not go up during the day;
Guests, looking to celebrate Easter with lunch, or celebrating on Easter Monday, hoping to taste this years Terlan asparagus, won’t come;
Nor will white wine Sunday happen, when we were very busy painting eggs and being cheerful in celebrating Easter together, of course, as is tradition, with a good glass of white wine ...
And after lunch the gallery owner Mr. Willy invites us to his art gallery to see the paintings of Lydia Mair - Schwembacher, who missed out on the gallery opening this year and who is missing out on all the passionate visitors.
To make sure that you are not denied the experience that is her art, and to offer you a moment of distraction in these times, we have set up a virtual gallery, which we invite you to visit.
Apple jam is the answer.
Answer to our question what we should do with all our remaining apples.
Here’s the recipe:
Wash your apples, cut them into quarters, remove the stills and seeds
Cook over low heat, adding a good drop of cider (ours is from a local producer in a neighbouring village), for about twenty minutes until soft.
Pass the apples through a strainer, weigh the mash and add about half its weight of gelatine sugar.
Boil everything for another ten minutes.
In the meanwhile, the preserving jars must be sterilized with boiling water.
Finally, fill your sterilized jars with the apple jam, after which they just need to cool down.
As soon as room temperature is reached, the jam is ready for our/your breakfast buffet.
In his youth, the concierge has learned as a kitchen assistant. He would never have thought that this knowledge could still be useful after all these years.
In the face of #Iorestoacasa, or #stayathome, the concierge had the opportunity to take his "old" camera, a Canon EOS 400D, out of the closet and deliver these quick shots to you. Even though the camera is heavy, and the memory card has the size and weight of the latest generation of mobile phones, the photos are still impressive.
Don't worry. These pictures won’t be the last ones you see from here.
Apples, apples, apples. Apples everywhere. Speaking of apples: Since there are no guests around these days, the apples, which are usually given as small presents, have to be processed.
What do you do with apples? Strudel? No, the apples have to be eaten immediately. Apple fritters? No, they're only really delicious when they're hot. Apple juice? No, our neighbour’s been making apple juice for quite some time now and better than we will ever be at it.
What to do with so many apples?
The concierge, as any good citizen should, follows the rules and stays at home during this pandemic. The perfect opportunity to restore order in the drawers of the reception and to get rid of the old mobile phones that were used in daily work. For example, to book theatre tickets for the Teatro stabile, or to order flowers for the anniversary of newlyweds, and, again, to plan the holiday of demanding guests.
Next Thursday, all these mobile phones will be taken to the recycling centre to make room in the concierge's drawer. I wonder if the mobile phones will help another concierge in their next life?
During this time of #Iorestoacasa, or “I’m staying home” the concierge is forced to take a break from his guests. Instead, the takes care of the garden during the absence of the public.
Since late autumn we have been pursuing the goal of getting our kitchen herbs through the winter. And you know what? Operation Winter Chives was a full success!
Stay home and
A winter hike only a few steps away from Vilpian. Eppan.
A walk to the Gleif chapel. We park the car in the village, a path leads directly from the centre of St. Michael/Eppan. The path leads us through apple trees and vineyards, still in hibernation, just waiting to bloom in spring. The easy ascent, along the well-kept Way of the Cross, takes about two hours.
Arrived at the Greif Chapel the view is breathtaking. When conditions are favourable, you can see the mountains over Merano, the Dolomites and Lake Kaltern and its surrounding hills.
Christmas dinner. A sweet tadition, the perfect occasion to reunite the whole family.
For an evening the concierge was able to take a break from all clients and focused solely on his family.
Merry Christmas to everyone. And maybe he is able to do the same thing on New Year's?
Recently the Hoteliers' Association organised a conference.
The speakers talked about inns as the centre of daily life.
Very interesting was the speech of Fr. Hermann-Josef Zoche (Fr. Augustino), theologian, philosopher and business consultant.
Afterwards it was the turn of the president of the hotelier’s association, Manfred Pinzger.
And finally, after all the speeches, a wine tasting of the passionately produced wines of 224 winemakers began.
At the end of the evening we remembered the excellent wines we tasted, but I am not sure if I remember the president's speech!
Was it important?
The Rittner Christmas markets… or at least that was the plan.
A visit to the Bozen Christmas Market and a short walk through the arcades. Then to Ritten by cable car to see the breath-taking landscape of the Dolomites. And finally, the Christmas market of Klobenstein.
After arriving in Klobenstein we desperately searched for the stalls and… Oh no!
The market was closed and won’t open before next weekend!
Lunch at the Gloriette Guesthouse. Stylish ambience with an excellent menu. We chose a bruschetta with Culatello ham, a curry apple soup with prawns and then braised octopus with olives and saddle of veal with mashed potatoes.
And for dessert, a chocolate tartlet with gingerbread.
When our stomach was full, the Rittner cable car brought us back to the summit, where we waited a few steps further at the new train station to take the bus home, where the concierge entertained his guests by telling them about a wonderful day at great heights.
Moral of the story: No calorie counting during Christmas.
These days the christkindl is very busy to make kid eyes sparkle with joy.
The concierge went to visit the most beautiful nativity scenes of the sourrounding area and came to a conclusion: the prettiest nativity scenes can be found in the romantic streets of Eppan and the parish church of St. Pauls.
It is the new attraction of the Bolzano Christmas market.
In the tourist destinations of South Tyrol, the Christmas markets have opened, where artisan craftsmen sell handmade decorations.
The gastronomic stands offer the renowned Speck and the typical Schüttelbrot, as well as jams produced by farmers in their traditional farmsteads in the most picturesque valleys.
This year’s highlight in Bolzano is the Ferris wheel. It might not be as tall as the ones in other European cities, but it offers an impressive view of Bolzano by night. The lights of the Christmas market and the illuminated city make adults and especially children dream.
After seeing the Bolzano market yesterday. Curiosity brought the concierge to Merano. What the Ferris wheel is for Bolzano, the skating rink is for Merano. The ice rink is both something for experienced skaters and aspiring ones. Maybe one of them might become the next Caroline Kostner?
There is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing and equipment ...
So, our concierge went on a nice walk well equipped against rain and snow.
Bride Tamara is accompanied by her father Bernhard and the mayor of Terlano, Klaus Runer, to say the most important “yes” of her life.
She is running a bit late, before the yes, she reflects on her choices with a nice cup of coffee.
The roof of the cabriolet is only opened slightly as to not freeze the bride to death. At last, autumn arrived in Terlano as well.
The weeding photos afterwards are shot at the Vilpiano waterfall and the wedding dinner with over 100 guests is held by a colleague near our hotel.
Compliments to the driver for his well taken care of Lady.
We wish the bride and groom a happy and long life, and for grandfather Bernhard, lots of grandkids.