Happy Hump Day to you all! I must say, that while I generally dread Wednesdays because they are the obstacle to the all-downhill-from-here second half of the week, they are possibly my favorite days here in Italy.
If you read my blog at all, you know what Wednesday's mean: Sergio's! We have had a standing Wednesday lunch date there since late February I think, and I've mentioned before that I think the staff is slowly getting to know us. None of us can really put a finger on what it is about this place that just warms our hearts, whether it's the ever-changing handwritten-daily menus, the same faces we see every time we go, or the simply incredible food, I have no intentions of ditching this date any time soon.
As soon as Gillian and Sam were ready to go, off we went!
After our lunch, Sam and I took our books down to the Piazza Independenza again to soak up some Florentine sunshine. We say that we go to study, but we mostly just watch the dogs play in the park. We have come to recognize many of them, as well as their elderly Italian owners, who seem to gather in the park for little reason other than to cram onto benches with other elderly Italians to watch their dogs have a good time. Interesting people, these Italians.
I went directly from there to my cooking class, where I knew I was in for a seriously delicious dinner. I have literally been waiting for this class, knowing that what we were preparing was going to blow everything else away.
We handmade the dough ourselves, allowing it to rise before rolling it out and then portioning it into three separate pans.
One pan became this...
The other two pans became pizza margherita, which is just the dough and tomato sauce (don't forget the olive oil!) topped with fresh bufalo mozzarella cheese and basil.
Sound boring? It's not. I'd just like to inform my parents that when they get here there will be a non-negotiable pit-stop in Naples just for pizza. Thanks!
And you can't have pizza without beer...
Now we're going to play a small game called Name That Entree!
We started by slicing the eggplants very thin and then coating them with salt. While they sat like that, we prepared the tomato sauce the normal way, with peeled tomatoes, olive oil, salt, the works. After the sauce had thickened up, we set it aside and heated up some oil, which we deep-fried the eggplant in, after rinsing the salt off. We then lined a deep pan with the fried eggplants, then a layer of sauce, then a layer of sliced fresh mozzarella, then basil, repeat. Top with grated parmesan cheese, and bake. Then devour.
Then there may or may not have been a little more pizza...
Finally, our teacher let us at the dessert, which I was personally involved in preparing! See that crust? All mine, baby.
I singlehandedly rolled out the dough for the crust, and after the teacher had added the filling, a classmate and I did the criss-cross pattern with the dough strings on the top.
I wasn't entirely sure about how I was going to feel about this dessert, with the candied fruit and all. It turned out to taste pretty similar to the torta della nonna, just more citrus-y and sweeter, thanks to the candy. I certainly wasn't complaining.
Tomorrow, I have class pretty much all day, but then, in the evening, my roommates and I are going on a tour of a gelato factory! Free samples? I sure hope so! Then this weekend we are going on our final excursion with our program to Perugia for a wine tasting and to Siena to experience Italy's thermal hot baths! Woohoo!
I hope your Hump Day was at least half as good as mine! Ciao!