Allora, what was in store for us on this day? Allora is my new favourite expression, by the way! We heard it from just about every Italian we dealt with! It basically means “and so” or “then”. For example: Allora, next we take the eggplant and we… Doesn’t it sound just so much better than “And now….” 😀
Allora, my friends, on this day we were staying “home” at La Costa to learn how to debone a chicken, stuff it with prosciutto and ground pork and tie it all into a neat little bundle. We also learned how to make melanzane parmigiano (eggplant parmesan) and I can promise you folks, I am no longer making it the same way I have for years! Matter of fact, just this week, I made it for mi famiglia! Plus panna cotta and cantucci (or cantuccini) which is an almond cookie basically the same difference as biscotti, which can or not be double-baked (though that kind of goes against the origin of the name biscotti as it means twice baked). Sorry, I got carried away there. The important thing is these little babies are absolutely delicious, especially when dipped in vin santo! (see my welcome by Milena!) Some pici rolling also took place. (We couldn’t possibly have a meal sans pasta, right?)
But first, we watch Terry debone that chicken. Don’t you find he looks like a young Vincent Schiavelli?
Now it was Donna’s turn. Love how her tongue sticks out when she’s concentrating… 😉
I will not torment you with finished product pictures… nah! Just kidding!
We had some time to do whatever (attempt at blogging…yeah…uhhh…no) until 3:30 because we were off to the Roman baths, Bagno Vignoni, and then the beautiful town of Pienza.
On our way there we stopped off at “the most photographed house in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany”. Why? Who knows? However, if any of you buy a “Tuscany” calendar, chances are this house is one of the monthly pictures. Well darn it, wouldn’t you know? When I got home, I looked through my old calendars (though I was convinced I had chucked them all) and lo and behold, there it was! February 2010!
Lovely and all… but MY picture is so much more… mine! 😉 Plus! There was a wedding going on (pretend I am happy to have people marring my perfect photo…)
Moving on, we made our way to the Roman baths of Bagno Vignoni. What a delight to dip our toes into the warm waters surrounded by such a view!
Back into the van and off to Pienza. Finally had my first gelato of the trip a scoop each of Fig and port and blackberry. They even had one that was spinach & kiwi. Sounds gross, eh? Well, it wasn’t!
We all walked around shopping and taking in the sights, then met up with everyone at the Restaurant La Bandita, where we had yet another fabulous meal. So weird to be served by a Scot! He told us that the previous Christmas, they held an all Scottish feast that we very well received by the locals!
Zucchini carpaccio, pesto linguine, chicken on a carrot purée and finished off with a semifreddo of white chocolate and salted caramel and a blueberry sorbet. Mmmm
A funny thing happened on our way home… Angelo put on some disco music and we started dancing in our seats. He then turned on the disco lights in the van! Well… all hell broke loose. There was dancing up and down the aisle and laughter galore. Wonder how often that happens, eh Linda and George? We must have been a special group… And Linda went and posted MOI on the Facebook page! Well now…
Did I mention Rosemarie, as well as her daughter Venetia are actors (actresses?)? Venetia directed her mum in the play “Calendar Girls”. Needless to say, this means that Rosemarie (who, for a reason I cannot explain, I kept calling Annemarie – her sister, by the way – for two days) is not exactly shy about letting it all hang out. I apologise again, Rosemarie, as I am caught on tape! As are you…
Laughing our heads off, we made our way back to La Costa where most of us continued to party. Paulo was kind enough to get us a bottle of wine, which did not suffice so we “stole” one from one of the displays – can’t really call it stolen as we left a note with our names on it. Thank you, Sandy, for picking up the tab on that one… gulp!