San Giovanni Day


This year, Adrienne, Linda Chaix, Kathy Wymore, and Sandi Guarello came over to help make nocino. I thought I took several time-lapse pictures but … apparently I didn’t. Darn! We had breakfast, made nocino and tasted three previous “vintages”. Adrienne’s face was probably the funniest – I don’t think she liked nocino very much.

San Giovanni Day 2018

In the early afternoon, I gathered green walnuts at Justin’s.

As custom requires, about 30 green walnuts gathered by a barefoot (non-) virgin.
Then I drove a bit north of Truckee to Old Greenwood.
Maria was waiting to welcome me!
This weekend,Tim and Maria also invited Mike & Renee and Joy & Jim:
Making nocino. Thank you Mike for chopping the green walnuts into quarters:
Then we taste-tested the 2016 and 2017 vintages:The consensus was the 1-year-old was better, sweeter.
Maria and Renee:
And then a game of pool (smile/hugs: there’s Maria in the background fluffing my pillow):
Every year is different. Thank you, Tim & Maria, for inviting me to OG and making this San Giovanni Day very special.

San Giovanni Day

This is THE day to make nocino at Justin’s.We started with breakfast.In (limited) keeping with ancient nocino tradition, this year five (not) barefoot (not) virgins gathered the green walnuts: Phyl, Maria, Val L, and Val S.We chopped, zested, and measured all the ingredients, then added a bottle of 100 proof vodka.We ended by tasting the 2016 batch of nocino.Fun! For the next 40 days, I will “agitate” the nocino jar once/day. One online source of information described it this way, “the soaking liquid will first turn sinister green then the tea-brown of bayou swamp water, [and eventually] black as cowboy coffee.”

San Giovanni Day

Today is San Giovanni day, also known as the holy feast day of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – and it falls right after the summer solstice. Tradition has it that today is also the day to harvest walnuts for┬ánocino, a delicious coffee-brown walnut liqueur. All the ingredients were assembledDSC01894along with good friends. The ancient Nocino tradition holds that green walnuts need to be gathered by barefoot virgins. We got the barefoot part right, anyway.DSC01902Checking out Justin’s lush and perfect lawn. Phyl, “I sink in up to my ankle!”DSC0190330 walnuts, washed and dried.DSC01905Cut in half. Not easy, I needed a big chef’s knife. The walnuts are picked now, just before the hard shell begins to form.DSC01906The final product will now sit in a sunny place for 40 days and will be shaken once/day. According to what I’ve read, the liquid will first turn “sinister green” then “the tea-brown of bayou swamp water,” and finally “black as cowboy coffee”. DSC01910We visited the pigs.DSC01909A good time was had by all. The first annual E Nicolaus San Giovanni Day was a huge success!DSC01911