Though I thought 9 was pretty late for breakfast, I was the first person there. Cool gadgets Chef Paola has that I do not: automatic milk frother, electric orange juicer. Great coffee, whole grain bread still warm from the oven, local cheeses…mmmm! Next I decided to venture off the estate to explore the local castle. This was scary for me because of the winding one lane gravel road, and the chance I would never find it again if I left. But mustn’t let fear hold me back, so I rallied and set forth. I found myself driving through the heart of an ancient medieval village. I found a place to park, and explored the town. Where Florence was filled with Americans, I saw none this deep in the countryside. Just locals in animated conversations, gesturing madly. Va bene, va bene!! At the end of town was a beautiful little church where a saint is buried: San Fedele. No one was there, but it was open. They had old fashioned real candles (not the electric ones in most city churches now), and I lit one for my grandma Anna who died six years ago this Friday. It’s nice to be Catholic in Italy. Finally I hiked up to the castle on the top of the mountain.
After exploring the castle, which has an amazing library of books from the 15th century forward, I found my way home for cooking class #1. Today was pizza night, but we made lots of other dishes that will go towards our dinners later in the week. We prepared pumpkin custards, pizza dough, pizza sauce, minestrone soup, puttanesca sauce, bruschetta topping, parsley sauce, panna cotta, an onion soup, and a peach and almond tart. I made the minestrone soup and the pumpkin custards with another student. I call this photo “Fire is GOOD”. These earned us a round of applause at dinner.
I ate one eighth of that yummy pizza, even after skipping lunch. Gotta pace myself!
Tomorrow I am planning to go to Livorno in the morning. After I successfully returned from my morning adventure today, I will have a full car tomorrow.