Friday, May 27, 2016

Day 23: Around Modena

Day 23:  Modena

POTD:    Four: Quatro

Weather:  Warm, up into the mid-90s at times, no humidity

Even though it is a relatively early start of 8:45, THB and DB go for a walk and are at breakfast at 7:30. The breakfast isn’t quite ready, those awesome croissants haven’t arrived yet. We wait! With the croissants, we have fruit, yogurt and cereal plus decaf cappuccinos.

The usual 10 minutes

How late was she? Her usual 10 minutes, with all of the other Canadians scurrying around. It’s a long drive to a gelato machine manufacturing facility. What’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato is artisanal, made in small batches, ice cream is commercial and made in large batches. THB’s view: what a bunch of whooey. Gosh, we in the old country are doing it the way our ancestors did it and you (implied, Americans) are just in it for the big bucks.

Cute T-shirt

We attend a 30 minute Master Class (usually a 4 week’er…) on how to use the machines and then break into small groups to make our own gelato. 
Master class teacher

She's on tippy-toes!

Banana-kiwi, not THB's fave

THB and DB and Houston biz guy are a trio making Melone02 di Modena (clever, no?), cutting up cantaloupe and then adding water and fresh lemon and pre-mixed sugar and other additives.

Lots of fun, and when our extruding machine is just about to pop out with Melone02 di Modena, the teacher comes over and adjusts our machine to extra-fast mode. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS, there Melone02 di Ploppen-on-the-floor.

Strawberry, kiwi, and banana are the other flavors, consistency is all pretty decent, and everybody gets a ton of tasting in.

For our second stop of the day, we drive up to a monastery at the top of a hill, dining outside in a lovely setting. As we’ve become accustomed to, the restaurant is ours alone for lunch and the food is tremendous (THB can’t really say that every meal is the best one, it’s damn close to the truth for the last few days).

K from Canada goes Mammoth before the umbrellas provided full sun protection

And, we’re going light (by Italy standards): an unbelievable pasta of soaked bread and pesto, served as just individual layered squares of about 1” piled up at random. This dish is very unique, even in Italy. In the US we would call it a best-seller.

foccacia bread is terrific, a crisp crust

The second course is a bowl of veggies (celery, carrots, radishes, fennel, etc.), served with broiled tomatoes, chard, a veggie mix (the least interesting of the dishes), those hot sopapillas and squished crumpets, soft cheeses, jams, slices of prosciutto, mortadella and pancetta.

Lots of wines, beer, and water.

Since we gone so light, there’s a chamomile soufflé with lemon aspic for dessert, another unique and excellent dish.

Back in the van on time at 2:30. It’s hot, so THB and DB decide to forego the 1-2 hour shopping in nearby Vongale. By 3:30 when the van arrives at the hotel, THB and DB have decided to skip the group dinner, staying in at the hotel.

Feels like the right decision. A long nap for DB, a short one by the pool for THB.

Dinner in the room:

Packing tonight because tomorrow night we’re not sure what time we’ll be getting back and then the pickup for our ride to the Bologna airport is at THREE AYE EM. Whoa momma!! That’s early. About 45 minute ride to the airport and our flight leaves at SIX AYE EM for Amsterdam; a two hour layover (THB prays that is enough) and off to SFO. Home again home…to a kitchen remodel that made very little progress past the deconstruction before electrical panel issues slowed everything down.

Shots of the town/monastery near our lunch spot:

And a few more shots from the gelato manufacturer

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