Thursday, June 18, 2015

Italy - Day 6 (Tuscany)

We awoke to the stunning hilltop town view Tuscany is famous for.  The kids headed to the pool before we traveled to the home under the direction of our tour guide Natalie, to spend an afternoon with chef extraordinaire Aldo for an afternoon of learning to make Tuscan pizzas.  Such a delightful afternoon on so many levels! 

Our visit began with a tour of Aldo’s eclectic home, surrounded by his gardens, chickens, and occasional nameless cat.  There were views from every window  and the gentle breeze rustled the surrounding leaves of the olive, apricot and cherry trees.  Completely magical!

 Aldo and our tour host Natalie were so sweet and great with the kids.  We first donned our aprons and chef hats before setting to work learning about the history and process of the food we were making.  The gourmet delicacies we turned out from Aldo’s wood burning pizza oven were nothing shy of amazing!  Aldo adored Gianna (pronounced Johnnn-a in Italian) and he commented on more than one occasion that Caa-Den will be a movie star someday :)  When asked how many girlfriends he had by Aldo, Caden told him just one - his Millie in Australia!

(she takes her work very seriously)

Olive trees

Bruschetta that was rubbed with fresh cloves of garlic before being topped by tomatoes and basil fresh from Aldo’s garden. Next we had a flat bread with olive oil and rosemary.  This was followed by a chickpea pizza, made from a chickpea flour, topped with sea salt.  My favorite!

Gia made her pizza topped with tomatoes and garlic that Aldo stewed from his garden.

Riley made her pizza topped with capsicum and mozzarella.

Caden’s pizza was topped with mozzarella and artichokes, also from Aldo’s garden.

Abby’s pizza was anchovy and caper.

Lily’s pizza was bacon and mozzarella.

Molly made zucchini and parmesan pizza.
By Caden Angst

By Lily Angst

By this point we were all incredibly full having sampled brushcetta, flat bread, chickpea pie, 6 pizzas, and having drunk a bottle of wine (some of us even napped!) and we had a lot of pizza to take home – but we dug in one last time to a pear and chocolate pizza that Molly helped Aldo prepare.  Simple and delicious!  In fact for all pizzas, Aldo said the Italian rule of thumb is no more than 2 -3 ingredients so that you can taste the flavors.

Dark chocolate is being grated over the pears before baking.

We signed a little thank you card, and nibbled on a big bowl of cherries fresh from Aldo’s garden, before heading down into his orchard to pick some ourselves.  A truly perfect afternoon!

by Caden Angst

We stopped on our way home to visit a gorgeous little winery...

Gia stayed asleep in the car.

Loved this map!

Back at the hotel, the kids enjoyed the pool, we went for a run along the vineyards as the sun was setting, and prepared for our travel down to Amalfi tomorrow.  

Another great day in Italy!

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