Sunday, September 5, 2010

Setting up for a day of painting
Today was a great day! I arranged for Claud Davis and David Gross to join me at the vineyard to spend the day painting. We set up our easels under the tent that was up for the harvest event on Sunday, and spent the day talking to Somerset Ridge Winery visitors and painting. We had decided to each paint a winery/grape painting, just to keep with the theme of the day. When I saw Claud"s and David's paintings, I decided to do a landscape of the creek that I love and wanders through Somerset, Wea Creek. When you have painters such as Mr. Davis and Mr. Gross, you try to avoid painting something that people will compare to theirs! I'm no dummy!
Anyway, we were there from 11:00am to 5:00pm and it was a day rich with fun, laughter, great conversation and some pretty spectacular painting! Claud and I each unveiled our most recently finished paintings; his "Yvonne's Forest", a glorious large painting of a field of vibrant deep pink Asters, and my "Ponte Vecchio", which is hardly a secret by now!
left to right: me, Claud Davis and David Gross
As you can tell by the photos, we concentrated on painting....... some of the time. We loved chatting with the people and saw some old friends.
Claud finished his painting of the grapes just as the winery was closing. I will photograph it tomorrow and post it soon. You won't believe it!

Tuscan Grape Bread and a painting, Apples and Pears, by Vicki Johnston
Before we left the vineyard, we picked several pounds of Norton grapes. I just baked a Tuscan Grape Bread to share at the vineyard tomorrow. It is two layers of bread dough with a layer of wine grapes (seeds and all!) and walnuts baked in the middle. There are more grapes on top, sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with honey and baked to a golden brown.
Here is Judy Francini's recipe. If you can't find wine grapes, I would not substitute table grapes. Try fresh blueberries instead.

Schiacciata con l’Uva Tuscan Grape bread

1/4 cup olive oil
1 rosemary branch
2 lbs red wine grapes, Concord grapes or blueberries
1 lb flour
1 cake fresh yeast
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Heat rosemary branch in olive oil. Remove rosemary.
• Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water.
• Place flour in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture. Stir to mix. Add the rosemary-scented oil and 4 Tbs. sugar.
• Knead dough until smooth.
• Place in greased bowl.
• Cover and let rise until doubled.
• Divide dough in half. Roll out into a thin rectangle.
• Place on greased cookie sheet.
• Top with 1/2 of the grapes.
• Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with oil.
• Cover with other half of dough, rolled out as before. Seal edges by folding bottom edge over top.
• Press down on dough to crush grapes.
• Cover top with remaining grapes.
• Crush these too, to release juices.
• Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with honey.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden. Baste, if possible, with any juices.

Read more from Judy, straight from Tuscany:

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