Yesterday we went for a walk outside the gates where we saw several farmhouses like this old one just down the road, piles of stone still occupied after probably centuries of use.we picked fresh figs from the trees, and wandered in ancient olive groves with trees so twisted and gnarled that they were surely ancient, but still bursting with olives. It is no wonder that olive oil here is the most common product, and so flavorful and satisfying.
After a spectacular lunch of spaghetti in lemon sauce, prepared here just for us, we drove to a small seacoast town called Monopoli, where we wandered along the cliffs above the Adriatic, and watched families frolicking in the little coves below us.
We walked around in the old town, and drove throughout some of the impossibly narrow little streets, streets not made for cars but for pedestrians and the occasional donkey cart. It was a little hair-raising.
We returned to the Masseria in time for another spectacular meal, a tasty risotto on top of a lentil puree, with a bunch of Italian greens from the garden outside, and some small bread and cheese dumplings fried in oil, fantastic. We spent the evening meeting some of our new students, and putting the finishing touches on the classroom.
Today the class started. We have 5 students, 2 Canadians, one from France, one from England, and one American ex-pat living in Italy. It was a challenging day. With no decent paint, and with palatte heaters that were sporadic at best, Daniella had a rough beginning. But, as always, she showed her immense resourcefulness and pulled it off. Tonight we ate homemade Italian sausages, bruschetta with wild asparagus and cheese, and stuffed peppers from the garden, followed by a homemade gelato made from yellow plums, honey, lemon marmelade, in a mint and agave sauce. We are blown away by this magnificent chef, this gorgeous place, and the happiness of being in Italy, the best place eaver!
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