Friday, October 7, 2016

Cooking With Simona Part II; In Which We Meet Adriana and Eat Her Vegetables

When I come to Italy, invariably, people ask me, "Do you teach cooking classes in Italy?"  My answer is no, simply because I want to learn what people are cooking in different regions, I learn more this way, and I think that the locals benefit from teaching their cuisine to students.  Italians love to share their heritage, and their customs.  In this way, students get to know the real treasure of Italy, its people.
Yesterday dawned cold and windy, with rain.  We were scheduled to go to an organic farm to pick vegetables and then return to the villa to have a cooking class with Simona and Simone.  They have acted as our shepherds here along with the Bucceletti family, in arranging our time here.  Simona and Simone are what the Italians describe as molto gentile, strictly translated means very nice, but means much more than that---it's a great compliment.
 Situated at the base of Castiglion Fiorentino, Adriana's farm is organic, and she is in love with her veggies.  Assisted by her son Simone, she sells vegetables to people in the surrounding area.  Summer vegetables are almost done, with a few tomatoes still on the vine, but the weather is turning colder at night, so she is picking the tomatoes green, and going to use them for making condiments.
Cutting chard for our lunch with Merlene







winter squash


weighing our vegetables

Garden cat


Grape vines; the grapes have not had the best year, between the cold rains the past few days while they are harvesting, and hail in August, no one has a lot of grapes to harvest here

Before we left Adriana had to show me her pepperoncini, hot peppers.  I took a few and will dry the seeds and plant in San Diego when I get back.  

Several years ago Adriana planted this gourd vine, and it has grown up around a tree, and this one is about to be picked.  She said in years past people would hollow them out and use them to store water, or wine.

Grazie Adriana!  This was a great way to begin our morning, picking the vegetables that we would used in our cooking class.  Ciao for now.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Diane for the great post! I had a great time with all of you yesterday!