This is going to be one hard entry to write - I myself took 65 pictures yesterday, from the morning market shopping to almost midnight when we finished dinner with Marcello, Raffaela and their family. It was as close to perfect a day in Italy can possible be. And I will start by saying that after months of correspondence, having that that Bluone had to be the family anem, well, surprised to find out that it is actually, if you were speaking English, "blue - one". And I have to then say without the recommendation from Mindy and ColleenK, who spend days with these wonderful people last year, we would not have been there yesterday.
So having booked mid-trip preparation, and joining with Jerry, Sandy and Palma, the day began by meeting under the stature of St. Petronious by the Due Torre. David wisely decided to skip the walking tour, so I walked there under the lovely porticoes myself. While the others, who have been in Bologna for days/weeks before us, knew the market area, I was delighted to have Raffaela as a tour guide; in the pasticcierias, the salumerias, the cheese stores, the fruit stands, we learned the history of culinary art in Emiliga-Romana. She also helped us pick the menu and the ingredients for our cooking/dinner class that would be held in their apartment later in the afternoon - we chose some, and let her chose some, not picky here at all. In the end, heads swimming, I think we had chosed two pastas to make, several seasonal vegetables, veal to saute and then, a zuppa Inglese to prepare for dessert. I think most of the pictures are going to have to wait for an album when we return.
From the market:
Around noon we were done, had caffe and gelato, then walked to the ristorante where we were meeting a larger group of Slow Travelers for lunch; David met up with Jan and Ken, who had taken the train from Venice that morning, and they met us at Al Sanggiovese, a Palma pick. We filled the restaurant practically; it was nice to meet Tom and Judy, who are again traveling Europe in their motor home Papillon. The morning, the shopping, the lunch, this would have been a day itself, but we still had cooking class ahead.
My lunch salad at Sangiovese
We needed taxis to get to the home of Marcello and Raffaela, as they now live north of the centro storico. Up the flights of stairs (David is a trouper), promptly at 4, and the games began. We began by making antipasti, making a meat mixture for stuffing zucchini, and another stuffing for the zucchini flowers, and al;so for meatballs, as well as preparing dessert. While Raffaela finished some of the prep, her daughter Francesca showed us the beginning steps of the pasta making. While the dough rested, we had the antipasti and wine, then returned to cooking, and prepping. Pasta making continued after we had eaten, the rolling, the making the local garganelle, and also filling and stuffing tortelloni - I think it may have been 8 pm by this point. Finally we sat down for the two pastas, but no, not done yet, we still have the stuffed zucchini, the meatballs, the veal, the asparagus, more dishes, more wine. And no, not done yet, it may have been 11 when the zuppa inglese was served, and then we all signed the guestbook, said farewell and waited for more taxis.
It was a most wonderful day; if you are ever in Bologna and want to do some cooking, please sign us with Bluone, really, truly, deeply.
A small sampling of what we made, what we ate: