Shopping and chopping — December 28

It’s overcast again. We had a slow start. Something to do with going to bed after 2:00 a.m. because of card playing and wine drinking. At least, I was drinking good wine. Robin bought a 5 litre jug of wine which he made into some sort of mulled wine. There’s still about half of it left, but that means half of it was drunk last night. Scary! And he and Allie didn’t go to bed until at least 2:30 a.m.

Amazingly, we all were having something to eat before noon. The morning and early afternoon was supposed to be shopping time. Scratch the morning, but we did get out, despite the rain showers, and did some shopping. Some of us bought shoes, some were too picky and bought no shoes. Scott, of course, bought a silver ring, anello argento.

Our plan was to go to a great wine shop before our cooking lesson. When we went to the shop, it was closed until 3:30 and our lesson started at 3!!  Something similar happened when we were in Lucca two years ago. We ended up back at the flat without extra bottles of wine.

Our cooks, Elisa and Michele, hefted up massive boxes of ingredients and equipment to the flat. Then, after some preparation, we started our lesson to make a typical Tuscan dinner.

We started making tiramisu, then chopped vegetables for the crostini, risotto, and osso bucco. Our menu consisted on two types of crostini — toasted bread slices topped with a tomato mixture and mushroom mixture; coccoli (which are like fried bread dough balls, i.e. bread doughnuts without the sugar) served with proscuitto and stracchino, which is like a fresh cheese or very soft mozzarella; then risotto zafferano, and osso bucco which is cooked with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic and herbs.


After we finished the basic preparation and things had to cook while Elisa and Michele cleaned up (one of the great parts about having a cooking lesson is someone else cleans), Robin and I booked it back to Enoteca Alessi, the wine shop which had been closed earlier.  It was a treasure trove from which we had to quickly grab some Brunello we hadn’t seen before.
Here’s Robin by the Brunello di Montalcino section.
After I slipped off a curb and fell on the wet street, we eventually got back to the flat and had dinner. Here we are enjoying the tiramisu.

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