Lincoln is not so much a morning person-'Italian water' or not. The shower in
our room has 3 knobs controlling 2 or 3 different spray options. It is very
confusing- when you are awake- half asleep he always chooses the wrong knob and
soaks himself and floods the bathroom- I did this last year. This happens 2x a
day. This morning, he picked up my eye cream tube(it is similar to toothpaste)
and brushed his teeth with it for 10 seconds before he realized the switch. So
now we say his teeth are smooth- not shiny and white. We think it is funny.
Paulo, today's driver- had on nice red pants with his collar up. Very hip. Of course during the day, his wife became his fiancee-life stories always come out. I know his tax bracket and write offs_he only accepts cash payments.
On our agenda: wine, tourist sites and cooking class. We started with a visit to
San Gimignano. This is a medieval town-walled in- famous for different sized
towers. The town was abandoned for 300 years-until the late 1800's. People live
inside and packed with usual-gelato, postcards, tee shirts, restaurants ect. It
is a cool place to see- for an hour at the most- however, most drivers give you 2
hours- which can limit your options for other activities. We powered through in
25 minutes- had cooking class.
Cooking classes can be hit or miss. I had no idea what to expect. We arrived
late and the hostess(Patrizia) was more than annoyed with us. She had all the ingredients
ready. We started with Tiramisu. Already late-needs to refrigerate for a few
hours-she wanted us to separate egg whites and yolks. We didn't understand which
bowls she wanted us to place yolks in and then our technique didn't match
hers-then the unthinkable- Lincoln broke yolk into the whites and she was
'done'. Ruined she stated and took over- I looked at Lincoln and said she
better lighten up because I'm not dealing with this for 3 hours. We were ready
to walk. Her husband, Maximo, told her to be nicer and we started again. By the
way, my tiramisu has a key ingredient-espresso liquor(every person who has had
my version is well aware of DWI potential).
We went to the garden to pick basil for the pesto sauce. Lincoln peeled
garlic and given a steak knife to chop it up-he reached for another knife-told
no- that was for the pasta- I had to grate cheese-managed not to hold the cheese
right- she was not happy to be working with us. We made 2 types of tagliatelli-
spinach and plain. My rolling skills were not up to par-Lincoln learned from my mistakes and rolled perfect pasta.
After this, they brought out the wine, cheese and some proscuitto samplings. The
atmosphere changed- Lincoln-a huge foodie- loves all Italian meats- started
asking about the food and they realized, he had great understanding of quality.
Maximo-didn't speak english-however he brought Lincoln his own private stash.
All three of them bonded- more and more food came out. Maximo explained how
he makes steak Florentine- I stayed close to the wine bottle.
They had 3 dogs and warmed up to me when they knew I was a dog person. Made me
try some meats- to me- it was slimy, gross and discreetly coughed it into a
napkin- this was enough to tip the vegetarian scales. No more tastings for me-done.
No more bloody, red and raw meat. More on the medium well side from now on.
Patrizia, really lightened up-opening more wine- the class and
lunch was amazing. I would recommend this class and or their restaurant Castello della Panceretta. They
have a love of food-simple and quality. I tried to convince her to sign up for Top Chef. She and Lincoln had similar art tastes, food and collecting items. She even gave Lincoln an antique sign. She
laughed when she saw Lincoln pouring homemade grappa into his glass(again).
Paulo returned and joined our conversations. It was great. Apparently, Maximo's
nephew lives in the villa next to George Clooney-and swears he is gay- that was
my kind of conversation- have been missing my US Weekly.
Afterwards, we tasted some more wine and have a case on the way. All sad to
leave, we had made some friends.
Another castle town and back to the hotel. We had the best day of our trip that
afternoon- mostly because from the start-never had expected the outcome.