Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And even more cooking!

I remembered to close my shutters last night so I was able to sleep in this morning – it was some of the best sleep ever! I went down to breakfast around 9:30 and about half of the others were already down on the terrace. This morning was a little bit warmer, but I definitely still needed a sweater. We sat around talking for a while, but I had to go for my 10:45 massage. They have someone who comes up to do massages in the “spa” area where there is also a dry sauna and a steam room. Laura (pronounced Lowra) was fantastic and just what I needed. I’m not sure what type of oil they used, but it seemed like it was olive oil – that would be very appropriate. After the massage it was time to enjoy the pool a little and the nice sunshine.

I am really liking these nice mornings. Before long it was time for lunch – make your own pizzas! We met out by the wood fired oven where all of the toppings were already prepared by us the day before. We did our pizzas in groups of 3 – including getting our dough spread out. We even got to slide them into the oven ourselves. They only had to cook for 2 minutes and they were done and can I just say, out of this world. I’m thinking I need one of these wood fired ovens some day!

I could only eat about half of it, so maybe I can have the other half for breakfast. We had a pear and white chocolate tart for dessert that a group had made yesterday. It was very rich, but very good.

It was only a short time until our cooking lessons started again, so I had to run up and shower to get ready by 3 pm. I managed to arrive right as they were ringing the bell. Class today was going to be a busy one. We are making things not only for tonight, but for tomorrow night’s dinner and Thursday’s lunch. I was very excited to be assigned to the dessert course. Today Ingmar was my partner in crime. We had a lot to do including making balsamic vinegar gelato, a Mullefugo with Chantilly cream and strawberries, panna cotta, and a raspberry ricotta cake, and finish up by starting the Limón cello. There was so much going on that we were running into each other every once and a while.

Around 5 o’clock we took our wine break and enjoyed some freshly made foccacia bread with rosemary, rock salt and pepper.

I think I could have eaten the whole lot. After a nice break it was back inside for the hard part – dough time. We had to make spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli and then also make fettuccini noodles. We learned the whole kneading technique yesterday, but now we had to really roll out the dough so thin. This was a bit of a challenge. In the end it all came together – again thanks to Franco.

I can’t believe I could go home and make fresh noodles for my pasta! We were finally released from our kitchen duties. I went down by the pool to blog. There is my favorite little tucked away seating area that I just love.

Unfortunately the internet was down, so I just enjoyed watching the sun set. Soon it was time for dinner. A few of us met up a little early and had a glass of wine (it runs better than water!). Our first course was Franco’s caprese salad which were rosemary skewers with tomatoes, mozzarella, and zucchini. It was also served with a parmesan bowl full of melon and a bit of prosciutto.

Next we had our pasta course which was the ravioli that we had made earlier. So good. Our main course was this turkey done with pecorino and truffles over diced potato, leek, and carrot. The flavors were incredible. We are so excited, we get to take out dogs and go truffle hunting later this week! Dessert was the final course which we had made. It was puff pastry with Chantilly cream layered with strawberries and a small scoop of the balsamic vinegar gelato on the side. I can’t wait to make this one at home! I think this dessert was my favorite so far. We all enjoyed a little after dinner drink, and then headed to bed. I am up writing this with my windows open and it sounds like the wood fired hot tub has it’s first visitors this evening! We have a big excursion tomorrow so I am getting on to bed (though not so early).

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