I want to start this off with a shout out to my husband of 19 years! Today is our anniversary, and not only are we not together for the first time ever, but we are actually on different continents. He leaves tonight from Calgary to start heading in this direction, and I am really looking forward to seeing him. Actually, I know that all four of us are ready to put our nuclear family back together!  :)

pasta makingRight after breakfast was our second cooking class, and today we made homemade pasta with two sauces - a fresh tomato sauce and pesto. Making pasta was fun, but it was time consuming and I understand the invention of packaged pasta! Julia made the dough and then we put it through a pasta squisher (not sure of the correct term!). It went twice through one setting, twice through a thinner setting, and then once through the one that makes it the thickness that you want (tagliatelle vs. spaghetti vs. angel hair). We then hung it to dry while made a beautiful fresh tomato sauce with only onions, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes. A sprinkle of salt and sugar and that is it! No garlic or other spices… I must admit that I was skeptical… but it was amazing! The onions were fried in a liberal amount of olive oil for about 15 minutes - maybe that makes a difference? p10estoThen we made a fresh pesto sauce with a huge amount of fresh basil, parmesan, olive oil and hazelnuts. YUUUUUM. Our homemade pasta was so thin and tasty - I completely understand why you would put in the effort!

Our hostess was heading into town to the grocery store, and we decided to tag along. It was so hot today, and we knew that we couldn't stay in the pool all afternoon without frying! The grocery store seemed like a great excursion - we love to see both the similarities and differences in foreign foods. We had fun browsing the aisles, and as a bonus we found some awesome anti-itch mosquito stuff that Julia has since been using like crazy. She is a mosquito magnet so this has been fantastic. We bought a few other tidbits as well as some ice cream to eat while we were waiting for our hostess to finish shopping. It was a nice way to pass an hour and see something different.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool - Julia and I played water volleyball for a bit before I admitted defeat and retreated to read my book in the shade. It is so nice having a pool here - it was definitely a selling feature of this place when I was looking for a cooking B&B. Julia loves to swim, and I knew we would both be happier if she could have a chance to get in the pool every day.

prosecco juliaWe were on our own for dinner tonight so we walked down the hill to a pizzeria that was recommended to us. We obviously were early birds as there was no one else there (aside from the staff) when we arrived. Interestingly enough, after we sat down they quickly brought over two glasses of prosecco! They were placed down on the table with a flourish, and then the waiter left. Julia was sure that she was given sparkling water, but I tasted it and it was NOT water. Things that make you go, "HMMMM". More for me? The food was absolutely delicious, and by the time we left more than half of the tables were full. One thing that caused us great intrigue was a single man who absolutely devoured his food. It was as though he was on Survivor and hadn't seen food in weeks! He must have pre-ordered, because when he arrived his small table had a Flintstone-sized T-bone steak, a mixed salad, a half litre of red wine, a cup of ice, and a litre of water. He attacked his rare steak like an animal - barely chewing and cutting off huge pieces of it. Then he (the horror!) poured himself half a glass of red wine and added ice and water! And then chugged it down! It was insanely fascinating. He eventually slowed down and looked as though he was entering a fairly serious food coma. I wonder if this is his usual practice?

treesWe walked home and found some really interesting things along the way; a garden full of blooming artichokes, an old pathway from hundreds of years ago, and *my favourite* an old Roman road with perfect trees. We are up on the site of a really old castle, but unfortunately after reading the informational plaque I soon forgot most of the information! What I did retain, however, was that it was built in the 11th century - boggling. You can see evidence of a lot of very old things around here, and I love it.  :)

Julia and I retreated to our room pretty early and I am sitting here writing this blog post while she googles card tricks. She actually learned one and 'tricked' me with it - she was inspired after I showed her my one fancy trick this afternoon. I have been doing it since I was ten years old, and if I haven't shown it to you yet, ask me… your mind will be blown. ;)

We chatted with Chloe tonight, and although we are all having fun we are looking forward to seeing each other this weekend. Oh, and please don't let lighting strike us, but Julia and I are craving sushi and tacos!! We are eating fantastic Italian food every day, but we are used to an eclectic meal rotation. It's funny how the grass is always greener…


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