Monday, June 29, 2015

Pool dinner #2

Last Wednesday, there was another poolside dinner, but this time we were allowed to help with the cooking. I went early, while j stayed with the kids and brought them later. We were helping make fresh ravioli, which ended up taking really long, because there was only one working pasta maker. 

The one pasta maker that was broken. 

Z being silly with bread, saying they were glasses. 

The dinners are family style, so the portions on the plate weren't necessarily pretty. The first course was a Russian type salad (I remember it being popular in Spain), which had a little too much mayonnaise for my taste, but z actually liked it. Pic isn't worth posting. 
2nd course was beef tartare, with aruga and lemon. I ate that tiny but. Not a fan of uncooked hamburger, but at least I tried it, right? J ate a ton of it. 
Next was a sort of spinach egg medallion. Tasty, but not pretty. 
Next was roasted red pepper with runs sauce.

Next was the pasta we made. Yummy. Lots of butter. 
Next was chicken in butter lemon sauce with carrots and potatoes. 
This was dessert. Panna cotta and the same hazelnut chocolate torte as last time. Kids didn't eat theirs, so we took them home to eat another day. Once again, everyone was speaking German around us and we were completely left out. We survived by having the kids play games on the phones. Cost of the dinner? 24 euro per person (kids are a euro per year of age). 

Wine museum

After a bit of wandering around Barolo, we finally found the museum. All in all, it was more entertaining for the kids than I had expected. You take an elevator to the top of the castle, and then wander through the various rooms, where you end up in the basement at a tasting room at the end of the tour. There were lots of small rooms, and lots of things to push, levers to move, even a bench to peddle, which rotated in the middle of the room. 
The family at the beginning of the tour. 

Wine museum!

Outside, gazing at the beautiful vineyards. 

A fun room with black lights. S really glowed. 

A sunny room!

I think this display was about Adam and Eve. There was a rain shower on both sides of the display which had a motion sensor, so you didn't get wet (unless you walked backwards to the previous room, which I did, of course!). 
Adam and Eve?

The rain shower. 

Some random text. 

This went with the picture above. 

More random text. 

There was a mini theater room with random clips from all different movies pertaining to wine. This one was from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life." 

In the basement was an old schoolroom where orphans were taught. 

J in the tasting room. You could pay 2-3 euros to have different tastes of Barolo wine. I found it to be a bit of a tourist trap, and a waste of money. 

There was nothing for the kids, so they patiently played on phones. 

Kids got a treat!

Monforte d'Alba

We stepped inside a church in Monforte d'Alba. 
Center of the church. 

Side of the church. 

Ceiling of the church. 

This was a little park we found next to the  church. 
The outside of the church. 


We set out this morning to go to a museum about Barolo wines. On the way, very close to Barolo, after many windy tiny roads, s started whimpering. J pulled over, and I whipped s out of the car just in time for her to bend over and vomit. She successfully emptied her stomach of its breakfast without sullying her pretty yellow dress. We hung out for 10 min until her stomach settled, gave her Dramamine, and moved on. We got to a big roundabout, where a worker was blocking where we needed to go, and there was a policia. The policeman said Barolo was chiusa- closed- so we ended up driving back to Monforte d'Alba to eat an early lunch. 

The prosecco is the first thing to hit my stomach today. The waiter has suggested an alternate route into Barolo, as the whole town is not closed- just the road. 

10th anniversary and other free times

Our parents and m watched the kids on our anniversary while j & I went to town for a little drink and some free time. We stopped at some shops on our way home for dinner to cook. We picked up a delicious apple torte, along with bread and wine, among other things. 
Sadly, my mom was not improving, and my dad was beginning to feel yucky, and they made the decision to return back to the states. I was so sad. :(   Anyway, before leaving, the grandparents watched the bambini while j, m, and I went wine tasting. I got to drive for the very first time. The car, a stick shift, took a little getting used to, as did driving on the twisty roads. 
We started at Oddero. 
The big container in the middle of the photo used to be worn on one's back, and held picked grapes. 
The room outside the cellar door at Oddero, filled with mementos. 
Huge casks. They also had a few concrete casks. 
There were a couple good wines at Oddero, but they weren't tasting all of the best wine. 
After tasting at Oddero, we went out for lunch at Mange in La Morra, a nearby village at the top of a hill.  
This was my first course, stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms. 
This is j's starter. It had crisp prosciutto on the top, and a pilaf of veggies on the bottom, with a cinnamon clove sauce (not my favorite).
M got a salad with tuna. Very healthy. 
My first main course was pasta with sage and butter. It was really tasty. 
I forget what j & m had. I liked mine the best. 
We all chose the beef for the second main course. By then I was really stuffed and could barely finish even half the course. It was beef braised in Barolo, served on mashed potatoes with veggies. 
J & m had after lunch beverages, and received with them the tiniest, cutest little cookies. 
M and the wine country. 
J and the wine country. 
Th three of us next to the concrete casks at cavallotto. 
Every few years, someone crawls through this tiny door to scrub the inside of the casks with wire brushes. 
This gives some perspective on how small the door is. 
A Patricia green bottle and domaine serene in the collection. 
The three we loved. The son, Giacomo, was doing the tasting for us. He was very kind, and he gave us a discount and sent us home with a free bottle of 2013 Chardonnay. I wanted to get a picture of him with j & m, but he doesn't like pictures. 

Bye bye, auntie m

On Sunday, m offered to watch the munchkins as we got one last trip in by ourselves. We spent the day driving to Seravalle, to outlets for shopping. I looked for shoes, but didn't find anything. J found a couple work dress shirts and pants. I did find two cheap cheap dresses. 

Z enjoys the playground downtown. 

J gets in a good upper body work out. Yes, he brought those from home. 
One last picture of m before she left us. We really miss her! She did our laundry with hers right before leaving - baby sitting and laundry! It doesn't get any better than that!