Monday, April 22, 2013

Now That's Italian!

As I sit in a castle on the very tippy top of a mountain in Italy, I think to myself, Holy cow! I'm sitting in a castle on the top of a mountain in Italy!!!! Check it out -- here are the views from my room:

Had you asked me just a few months ago if this was part of my plan, I would have, of course, sighed and said something about maybe someday (minus the top of the mountain part -- I'm absolutely terrified of driving on or up mountains and truth be told, I'm not so sure about how I'm going to get up and down without complete panic), then gone back to my everyday life at home and The Kitchen Studio.

Thanks to my friend Sharon, I'm on a cooking vacation with a week full of cooking-related activities ahead of me. A deal on Groupon and a bit of coordinating with the travel company, Epitourean (who really should have told me about the darn mountains when I asked), and here I am. The welcome dinner last night was lovely, featuring truffles and wild boar, as was the homemade limoncello to cap the evening.

There are 20 in the group, with 16 women and 4 men, some in for the adventure and some, obviously, for the food. Today the plan was to go truffle hunting, but the weather is iffy and we may lead with a wine tasting class instead, though I am a bit dubious of tasting wine on a Monday morning. It feels so decadent, doesn't it?

I"m curious to see what the week brings, with the people and the food and the host and staff (who all seem terrific btw). Personally, I'm hoping for inspiration and education, and a bit of time to write and plan. Our first cooking class is this afternoon and I'm curious to see how the instructor handles a group of 20 in the kitchen at one time for a hands-on class. 

If you're interested, I'll keep you posted this week with pics and blog updates, and any epiphanies that come my way (I'm hoping they are plentiful and frequent).

One quick note -- we stopped at a rest stop along the way here from Rome. No cappuccino to go -- they all come in porcelain cups and you stand at the coffee bar to enjoy. No time for that, which was a complete bummer, but I did grab salami & Parmesan in to-go was awesome and pricey (13 Euros!)! No fried nasty roadside food, but instead fresh salads and panini.
Add in the 4 shirtless gentlemen weightlifting and cooking on an oversize Bunsen burner in the parking lot, and the stop may have been the best part of the ride!

Stay tuned, and ciao!

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