Tuesday I had a cooking class in a small Italian kitchen. We arrive and we meet this delightfully smiley man named Enzo, who happens to be a Michelin star chef! Wow! We proceed to make panini bread, a roasted and stuffed rooster, pici with a ragu sauce and riccerietti. This is all traditional Sienese food - and it was probably the best meal I have ever eaten! It was simply wonderful! After we cooked with Enzo and his su-chef Francesca, we were seated in his restaurant and served like we were royalty. A yummy bottle of chianti accompanied the meal and the other 2 ladies and I chatted for hours as we stuffed ourselves until we were uncomfortable. One of the ladies didn't speak English so I spoke Italian to her and the other lady didn't speak much Italian, so I was basically the translator - a bad one but I did my best. :) The walk home was delightful in the crisp autumn air as I revelled in the delicious food I had eaten an the massive amount of Italian I have learned in almost two months here. I was so happy.
Wednesday I had a wine tasting. One of the ladies from Tuesdays cooking class joined me. We went to the Cantina di Brunello - so very exciting! We got a tour of the small store and the building dates back to the time of the Etrucians, and it used to be a house built into the hill - it kinda reminded me of a hobbit hole! :) After the tour, we learn all about wine, in Italian. I am happy that most of the stuff the sommelier talked about I had learned from te wine school. He did teach us about the legs and the alcohol content which was interesting. We sampled 2 bottles, a Vino Nobile di Montelpulchano and a Brunello di Montelchino. Both were lovely but the Brunello was my fav. The poor sommelier was sick and so he couldn't taste the wine - it tasted terrible apparently. So, because of this, he let Lynn and I each have a bottle that we opened. Lynn then turned to me and said that I could have them both as she won't drink a whole bottle. She gave me the Brunello which was 33€ and the Nobile 14€ - thanks Lynn for the good night! I then called my friends and told them to meet at the Campo for some good wine and a visit! 2 am we finally got home, 4 bottles down and filled with laughter and good memories!
Thursday was the last day of the mini culinary course and we found ourselves in an industrial kitchen making cingheali, tortella, ragu, gnocchi in mushroom sause and cantucci. The chef was not as good, but. Had some great tips on making pasta and we learned about wild boar and how to cook it. After we completed our roles, we went to his restaurant and had a delightful meal - the gnocchi con fungi salsa was lovely, but I just don't like gnocchi or mushrooms so I passed on that dish. I think it was because of this that I wasn't nearly as full during the walk home. My head was so drained tho, from having to speak Italian every day and evening this week. I am so happy with how much I know - my dreams are starting to integrate Italian into them! The walk home was highlighted by the fact that they are putting up Christmas lights and it makes me giggy for it to come. All I want for Christmas is a new beginning and I sure am getting it! :)
Friday was a relaxing day. With all the Americans on a field trip, we got put into a different class for a day. We took it on stride and laughed our way through future tense which we haven't learned yet... Next week I am promised! After class, Doro and I had a quiet lunch and decided that our exciting night will be lasagne, a movie and early to bed.
After a delicious afternoon nap, I used some of my new found skills and made lasagne - which turned out to be the best lasagne I have ever made! Mmmmm! After a close game of rummy (which is our after dinner tradition) we popped in the movie and chuckled through Shrek 2 in Italian! Early to bed as I had to get up super early to go and get my friend from the airport tomorrow!
I am so excited for Coreen to come - It will be nice to have a piece of home here for a while! We are doing Firenze, Siena, San Gimignano, Catella di Chianti, and Rome. I want to take her to a soccer match and to the chestnut festival that is happening this weekend. So much to show her! I can't wait to play tour guide! :)