The contadini have been making grappa for millenia. After the annual grape harvest and wine pressing each fall, a mulch of grape skins and seeds is left behind. It's this mulch that is distilled once again to extract highly potent alcohol. The result is good ol' firewater, what the Italians call a digestivo, a perfect capper on a fitfull meal. Last night, Luca, Xtina and I finished off an old bottle of grappa from Trentino that I've been serving after meals for months. At the bottom we found this spindly creature, a root plant called Ruta.
I'm debating what I should do with the Ruta. Fish it out and add to a nice autumn stew? Dry it out and smoke it? Hang it upside down over my doorway to ward off my pesky neighbors? Press it and frame it? What would you do with a crunchy piece of flora that's been part of so many good evenings? Throw it out, is what Xtina would say. Help me convince her that the Ruta is now family. What should I do?