I surprised my wife with a class with Melanie in her family's olive grove at the end of September. I had been communicating with Melanie quite a bit by email leading up to the class. She gave me all the details of the class and what we would do and cook.
She picked us up outside our hotel in Firenze and we drove 15-20 minutes away into a secluded olive grove that her family owns. I was ecstatic at this point since we were finally away from the hustle and bustle of Firenze. We got a tour of the grove and saw the different crops and animals. We then picked some herbs for our meal, poured some homemade wine and checked out her outdoor kitchen. We began making pumpkin ravioli, eggplant "rolls" with capers, tomatoes and mozzarella inside with an aged balsamic vinegar sauce. We also made grape and fig tarts with figs and grapes from her property for dessert.
Learning how to make ravioli was interesting. It took some time and effort but it makes my wife and I want to get the tools to make them here at home.
After making everything over 3 hours (we talked a lot which slowed us down a lot), we finally sat at a nearby table and ate our meal in dim light. It was a wonderful, casual, quiet afternoon and evening. We started at 3:30pm. Melanie dropped us off back at our hotel in Oltrarno around 8:30pm.
We recommend a class with Melanie. She speaks perfect English and Italian and is engaging and knowledgeable about the dishes she cooks. Just bring your bug spray. The mosquitoes are everywhere!
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