Our first evening at Spannocchia

Domenica, 15 ottobre 2006

Every evening at 7 p.m., there was wine for the guests on the terrace. The first evening, there were appetizers for us – cheese and olives, carrots, and bread. The wines were organic, and those of us who generally can’t drink red wine because of sensitivities to sulfates found to our delight that it did not give us headaches! For the rest of the week, Randy and Wood prepared a fire in the living room for us to gather around, as the temperature became cooler. Watching the sunset from the terrace, sipping a glass of true house wine, as it was made on the premises from their own grapes, was the perfect way to wind down from a wonderful day.

At 7:30, we were called in from this pleasant gathering to the main event: dinner at Spannocchia. On the first night, the feasting was definitely kicked off right. For the primo piatto, pasta con melanzane (pasta with eggplants). Sandy is not usually crazy about eggplant and he loved it. I’m glad I have the recipe, because I already loved eggplant. The secondo piatto was cervo (venison) with apples, with a contorno (side dish) of sweet braised cavolo (cabbage). This may have been my favorite meal at Spannocchia, but it would be tough to choose from all the competition for the honor. The secondo is always followed by a simple insalata (salad). Most of the food served at Spannocchia is grown or raised there. Occasionally I saw the food in the garden that I would be served later in the week.

The dolce (dessert) was seasonal and special. A traditional harvest dish, schiacciata all ‘uva is made with whole grapes, including the seeds. The result is a combination of sensations – sweet and tart, creamy and crunchy, in other words, delicious. Note the wall in the back of this photo. There were places on the back wall of the dining room where outcrops of the underlying rock either stuck out or were plastered over, making a very rustic and uneven wall.

After a short class meeting in the living room, we collapsed into our bed, covered with a thick down comforter. Ahhhhh, I thought. How will I ever leave this place?

To be continued…

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