The Watermill’s cookery course: What will be in the garden in August, and what will we do with it

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Tomatoes fresh from the Watermill garden. Will there be enough for passata?

Although it is only March, Lois and the team of cookery experts are already looking forward to August, when we are running The Watermill’s first-ever cookery course, and thinking of what we will do with all the produce from the garden.

We’ll be eating a lot of it fresh, of course, but Lois says: “In August, we begin to think about preserving the excess of our produce, ready for the Winter months.  The last of the zucchini will be bottled, for example, and we might make passata with our tomatoes (although there aren’t usually many left after we’ve eaten them fresh!).”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

The grapes will be ripening on the vine verandah

She adds: “We’ll make a compote with the plums for bagging and freezing and enjoying later with breakfast cereals, for example.  And we’ll boil up a fragrant, jewel-like rosemary-and-grape jelly with our young uva fragola, for eating with fresh pecorino or roasted meats.  Herbs are usually rampant by this time (parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, mint) and so we dry them and store them for use later.”

Why not join us and help prepare all these delicious delights and more on our unique cookery course, which we’ve called L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well. This lies at the heart of the Italian lifestyle — and that’s just what you’ll enjoy on The Watermill’s first-ever cookery week. ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen croppedYou’ll learn the secrets of healthy eating from Lois and The Watermill team, among them an Italian grandmother (Mirella, to the right), an organic farmer and our gardener’s wife Marida. You’ll choose freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves each day) and prepare them deliciously for the table.

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking Panzanella 1time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.

Over the years Lois Breckon and The Watermill team have built a reputation for theThe Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy. quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

A colourful corner of the walled garden

Take rosemary to your hearts when you join our unique cookery course

Rosemary 2There’s an old English saying “Where Rosemary flourishes, the Woman rules” and it was believed that rosemary would not grow well in a garden unless the mistress was the master. Well, thanks to Watermill gardener Flavio Terenzoni (and presumably his wife Marida and my wife Lois), rosemary flourishes in the Walled Garden of the Watermill. (Flavio and I are not commenting!)

Sage, basil, mint, thyme, chives and other herbs also grow well here and we use them daily in our cooking. We’ll also be picking fresh aromatic herbs and using them during our unique L’arte di mangiar bene cookery course at the mill this Summer (details below).

In the Tuscan kitchen we tend to use rosemary to flavour meat and potato dishes, but Lois and Ingrid Fabbian, who will be running the course along with some fabulous local Italian cooks, including Marida, Mirella and Angelina, will also be showing you how to bake a moist and delicious apple and rosemary cake.

apple and rosemary cake

Here’s the recipe, to whet your appetite:

Ingredients
190g plain white flour
1/3 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
85g unsalted butter, room temperature
85g dark brown sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 eggs
1½ tbsp olive oil
240g peeled and cored Bramley cooking apples, very finely diced+ (optional) 
one extra apple just sliced into thin slices either with a mandolin or carefully 
with a sharp knife.
½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
More sprigs of rosemary & a couple of pinches of brown sugar for topping 
& a handful of oats (optional too)
One 23cm round cake tin OR 10 individual cake tins,well greased with olive oil
Method
Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan assisted.
Whisk together the flour, spices and baking powder to ensure they are evenly 
mixed. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – approximately 
4 minutes. 
Beat in the eggs, then add the oil and beat to incorporate. 
Mix in the diced apple and chopped rosemary, then fold in the dry 
ingredients.
Transfer into the prepared cake tin/s, lay the slices of apple on top,sprinkle 
with oats 
If using and brown sugar & press the extra rosemary into the top.
Bake for around 15 mins for mini cakes and 25-30 minutes for a larger cake – or until 
firm in the centre and a cocktail stick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely, or serve warm.

Put a sprig of rosemary on top, too – and, gentlemen, have a good sniff: A man who is indifferent to the fragrance of rosemary is unable to give true love to a woman and those who smell rosemary frequently will retain their youth.Rosemary 3

L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well, lies at the heart of the Italian lifestyle — and that’s just what you’ll enjoy on The Watermill’s first-ever cookery week. ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen croppedYou’ll learn the secrets of healthy eating from Lois and The Watermill team, among them an Italian grandmother (Mirella, to the right), an organic farmer and our gardener’s wife Marida. You’ll choose freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves each day) and prepare them deliciously for the table.

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking Panzanella 1time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.

Over the years Lois Breckon and The Watermill team have built a reputation for theThe Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy. quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

A colourful corner of the walled garden

A colourful corner of the walled garden

 

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Why Tuscan roast pork is all Greek to me – but we cook it deliciously at the Watermill

arista_1Continuing my wanderings along the delightful byways of Pellegrino Artusi’s famous classical Italian cook book, L’arte di mangiar bene, I came upon a solution as to why the Italian’s call their wonderful Tuscan-style roast pork dish arista.  It would seem to make more sense to call it arrosto (r0ast) or even arrostito (roasted).

Artusi H&SBut Pellegrino tells us: “During the Council of 1430, convened in Florence to resolve some difference between the Roman and Greek churches, this dish, known by another name at the time, was served up to the [Greek] bishops and their entourage. When they found it was to their liking they began to cry ‘arista, arista’ (good, good).”

Actually, if the Byzantine bishops were speaking Greek, they would have said aristos, which means excellent or optimal (from which we get aristocracy, ‘the rule of the best.’)  No matter, the Italians, thinking the Greeks were describing the dish itself, heard it as arista and continue to call it so to this day.  There are those who question this story and say the Florentines called the dish arista well before the ecumenical council, but I like Pellegrino’s story better.

The Watermill’s Tuscan cook Mirella Musetti uses tender pork loin for this delicious dish and we serve it every week on our creative courses and we’ll also produce it – and tell you the secrets of its preparation — during our unique cookery week at the Watermill this Summer, called L’arte di mangiar bene, after Pellegrino’s famous cookbook.arista_tuscan_roasted_pork-1024x682

L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well, lies at the heart of the Italian lifestyle — and that’s just what you’ll enjoy on The Watermill’s first-ever cookery week. ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen croppedYou’ll learn the secrets of healthy eating from Lois and The Watermill team, among them an Italian grandmother (Mirella, to the right), an organic farmer and our gardener’s wife! You’ll choose freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves each day) and prepare them deliciously for the table.

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking Panzanella 1time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.

Over the years Lois Breckon and The Watermill team have built a reputation for theThe Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy. quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

 

Al dente and digestion: the gospel according to Pellegrino

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Spaghetti al ragu

In case you missed it in the Watermill February newsletter*, here’s another interesting snippet from L’arte di mangiar bene, the Art of Eating Well, the famous Italian cookbook by Pellegrino Artusi, published more than a century ago. It’s one of the inspirations for our exciting, enticing and appetising cookery course, which will run from Saturday 19 August to Saturday 26 August 2017.

The cookbook, as well as containing many classic Italian recipes, is full of amusing asides and anecdotes, which we have been sharing with readers of the Watermill bog from time to time. For instance, do you know your salsa from your sugo? Please click here to learn more.

Artusi H&SAnd here’s Pellegrino musing on making sure your pasta is not overcooked: “Pasta must not be overcooked, but let us meditate a little on this.  If the pasta is al dente, it will be more pleasant to the taste and more easily digested.  This may seem paradoxical, but so it is, for when pasta is overcooked, and not sufficiently chewed, it goes down in a lump, weighs heavily on the stomach and becomes an indigestible mass.  Whereas, when it can only be chewed, the mastication produces saliva, which contains an enzyme called ptyalin, and this enzyme helps to break down the starch, turning it into sugar and dextrin.

“Saliva has a very important physiological function not only because it helps to soften and break down food, but also because it facilitates swallowing.  Furthermore, its alkaline nature promotes the secretion of gastric juices in the stomach while the food is being swallowed…”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini, a Watermill speciality

Pellegrino adds: “It is said that Neapolitans, great consumers of pasta, always drink a glass of water with it to aid digestion.  I do not know if in this case the water acts as a solvent, or if it is helpful because it is easier on the stomach than the glass of wine or similar substance which it replaces.”

That maybe so ,ut here at the Watermill we are sticking to a glass (or two) of the fine red wine made by our friends in Chianti. We promise to serve our pasta al dente to add to your enjoyment and aid your digestion, as well as sharing the secrets of healthy Italian eating with the freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves) prepared deliciously for the table.

Panazanella al mulino, another Watermill speciality

Panazanella al mulino, another Watermill speciality

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. Over the years, Lois and The Watermill team have built a reputation for the quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

 *You can subscribe to the Watermill newsletter (it’s free), and find our about all our latest activities, by clicking here

 

Slow food – but swift service!

slow food italia logoOur Watermill gardener Flavio Terenzoni doesn’t like snails – in fact he is often in a state of war against them. But one snail he does like is the one in the logo above, the emblem of the Slow Food movement. The Watermill is a member of this grassroots organization, founded in Italy  in 1986 and since spread worldwide.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Slow Food is simply an alternative to fast food, and the movement strives to preserve traditional and regional cooking, as well as encouraging sustainable  agriculture and the promotion of local small businesses, all of which are aims of The Watermill too. We try to use fresh, local ingredients, too, many of which are gown by Flavio, or in the vegetable garden of our cook, Mirella Musetti.

ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen cropped

But slow food, doesn’t mean slow service: in fact, the Watermill also has a reputation for delicious home-cooked meals, served on time, with no waiting about between courses. And it’s the same in the little local restaurants we take you to, too: honest food, freshly made, delightfully served.Dinner at mill square

As one satisfied guest said last year: “I have been on at least 50 weeks of workshops in the last 12 years and I have to say that the last one with you was the best-ever in terms of the organisation and the lovely food and wine we had. The local restaurants were very memorable – the sort of places you wouldn’t go to on your own, full of character and a quality experience.”

So, come and join us and indulge in the gentle pleasures of Slow Food. Meanwhile Flavio can wage war on the rest of the snails!

panzanellaPS Come and learn the slow secret of Italian cooking on our first-ever Watermill cookery course, L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well. For more delicious details, please click here.

Do you know your sugo from your salsa? Pellegrino did – and so will you on our unique Italian cookery course

Dinner at the watermill..Great tastes, good company.

Dinner at the watermill..Great tastes, good company.

Browsing through that quintessential Italian cookery book La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene, the inspiration for the Watermill’s first-ever cooking course, L’Arte di mangiar bene, I was struck by the difficulties there can be in translation.

I am reading an excellent English translation*, but I can see the problem we have from almost the beginning. Recipe 4, for example, is for Sugo di Carne, which translates as ‘meat sauce’, but the translators make the point: The meat sauce described here is not what we have come to understand by that name, i.e. the ‘ragù’ or ‘Bolognese’ sauce often served with pasta. It is, in fact, more like a ‘dark broth’ and is often used as a base or flavouring for many other dishes.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.In fact, the cookbook’s author, the immortal Pellegrino Artusi, makes the point in his typically humorous introduction to the recipe: In Romagna, which is a stone’s throw from Tuscany, they do not much care for dictionaries, and so they call meat sauce ‘brown stock’, perhaps because of its brown colour.”

Soon Pellegrino moves on to sugo di pomodoro, which can be translated as ‘tomato sauce’, but which should not be confused with salsa di pomodoro, a more complex concoction, but which also is translated as ‘tomato sauce’.

Pellegrino insists: “Sugo must be simple and therefore composed of cooked, puréed tomatoes. At the most you can add a few chunks of celery or some parsley or basil leaves, when you think these flavours will suit your needs.”

As for salsa di pomodoro, first you must prepare a battuto, a flavour-base of  chopped ingredients, using a quarter of an onion, clove of garlic, a finger-length stalk of celery, a few basil leaves and “a sufficient amount of parsley.” Season with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, mash in seven or eight tomatoes and put everything in a saucepan on the stove, stirring continuously. “Once you see the sauce thickening to the consistency of runny cream, pass it through a sieve and it is ready to use.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Tomatoes fresh from the Watermill garden

Pellegrino being Pellegrino, this essential recipe is accompanied by a humorous anecdote: “There once was a priest in Romagna who stuck is nose into everything and busy-bodied his way into families, trying to interfere in every domestic matter. Still, he was an honest fellow, and since more good than ill came of his zeal, people let him carry on in his usual style. But popular wit dubbed him Don Pomodoro (Father Tomato) since tomatoes are also ubiquitous. And therefore, it is very helpful to know how to make a good tomato sauce.”  You’ll certainly do that on the Watermill’s L’Arte di mangiar bene cookery course — and much else besides – and we’ll pick our tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden. Click the link below to savour more.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

 

*Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Sartarelli, University of Toronto Press

Have you heard the Early Bird news?

Blog Early Bird parrots Dec 16Yes, you only have six days left to take advantage the Watermill’s Early Bird offer, which expires at the end of the year.

If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £75 per person discount on each of our fabulous 2017 painting, knitting, yoga, cooking and Italian language holidays. Our courses are filling really quickly (some 145 places already taken), so now is the time to book – and receive the Early Bird bonus.

We’d love to welcome you on one of our sun-filled, fun-filled courses next year. Come and join us. You can find out more about everything by clicking here.

First, here’s the full list of our inspiring 2016 painting tutors, with links to more details about them – and more of their inspiring pictures. And after that, more details of our knitting, yoga, cooking and language courses. We hope to see you soon…

Doranne new head and shouldersPainting by Doranne Alden, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.13-20 May: Watercolours

with Doranne Alden

To learn more about Doranne and The Watermill, please click here.

 

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersA painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy27 May – 3 June Watercolours

with Sandra Strohschein

To learn more about Sandra and The Watermill, please click here.

 

Sarah S H&S for tutor profilePainting bysarah Spencer, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.3-10 June Oils and drawing mediums

with Sarah Spencer

To learn more about Sarah and The Watermill, please click here.

 

Keiko painting en plein air

Painting by Keiko Tanabe, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.10-17 June Watercolours

with Keiko Tanabe

To learn more about Keiko and The Watermill, please click here

 

RENNER H&SPainting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.17-24 June Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums

with Maggie Renner Hellmann

To learn more about Maggie and The Watermill, please click here.

Lea Nixon head and shouldersPainting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.24 June- 1 July Watercolours

with Lea Nixon

To learn more about Lea and The Watermill, please click here.

 

Terry Jarvis painting cropped morePainting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.1-8 July Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

with Terry Jarvis

To learn more about Terry and The Watermill, please click here.

8 to 15 July 2017 Tom J Byrne

Oils and watercolours

To learn more about Tom and The Watermill, please click here.

 

New Sue Ford pic croppedSue Cinque Terre demo15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford

To learn more about Sue and The Watermill, please click here.

Mark Warner H&S croppedPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel.

To learn more about Mark and The Watermill, please click here.

Neiman H&SNeiman Daumazon promenade26 August-2 September Watercolours

with Varvara Neiman

To learn more about Varvara and The Watermill, please click here.

 

Mike new head and shoulders FINALPainting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.2-9 September Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

with Mike Willdridge

To learn more about Mike and The Watermill, please click here.

Nel and Rebecca head shotPainting by Nel Whatmore, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 September Pastels

with Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca andThe Watermill, please click  here.

Charles New photo 2012Sluga Fivizzano belltower demo pic30 September-3 October Watercolours (and acrylics,  oils)

with Charles Sluga

To learn more about Charles and The Watermill, please click here.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhttp://watermill.net/painting-holidays/painting-holidays-tutor-tim-wilmot17.php7-14 October 2017 Watercolours

with Tim Wilmot

To learn more about Tim and h The Watermill, please click here.

 

Here are the knitting weeks:

Lisa Richardson head and shouldersLisa Richardson Saturday 6 May to Saturday 13 May 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita 

Please click here for more about Lisa and The Watermill.

 

Marie Wallin head and shoulder croppedMarie Wallin

Saturday 20 May to Saturday 27 May 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Please click here for more about Marie and The Watermill.

Sarah Hatton head and shouldersSarah Hatton

Saturday 16 September to Saturday 23 September 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Please click here for more about Sarah  The Watermill.

The yoga retreat:

Claire Murphy H&SYoga portrait shape 39-16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul

with Claire Murphy

To learn more about Claire and  The Watermill, please click here

Our cookery course:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

And last, but by no means least, our unique Italian language course:

Language FrancescaSaturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017

Francesca La Sala Italian Language course

Please click here to learn more about out Italian Language course at the mill, including the itinerary for the week

An inspiring Italian cookbook

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, ItalyThe name of the Watermill’s first-ever cooking course, L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well, was inspired by the famous Italian cookbook La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene, written by a rich retired 19th Century businessman and landowner Pellegrino Artusi. It was composed in his house in the Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio, very close to the apartment in Florence where the Breckon family live when they are not at the mill.

Artusi was 71 when he finished the cookbook in 1891. He failed to find a publisher, so he published it himself. After a slowish start the cookbook really caught the public’s imagination and sales soared. It is now a perennial Italian bestseller and has been translated into a number of languages. The recipes are classic and timeless and we’ll be sharing some with you on later blogs and in our cookery course at the Watermill next Summer (details below).

Artusi bustLike many of his class in those times, Artusi welcomed progress and embraced science — and his book can be  regarded as truly scientific ( the first part of the title), since the recipes were the result of observation and experiment. He lived alone in his house in the Piazza d’Azeglio, with a butler from his home town of Forlimpopoli and a Tuscan cook, who undoubtedly made the dishes while his master watched and tasted. (I’m sure the butler did, too.)

The book also had profound cultural significance: it was written in Italian rather than any local dialect and was the first to bring together recipes from all the various regions, so it helped to make the citizens of the Kingdom of Italy (created in 1861) feel part of a united nation. And it was not written for professional chefs, as was customary at the time, but for middle-class housewives and those servants who helped them cook family meals.

But above all the tone is friendly and reassuring, full of straightforward practical advice – and humorous comments.  I particularly like his note on apple strudel: “Do not be alarmed if this dessert looks like some ugly creature such as a giant leech or a shapeless snake after you cook it, you will like the way it tastes.”

We’ll have more from Pelegrino Artusi in coming blogs and we’ll also be celebrating his inspiration in our L’Arte di mangiar bene cookery course at The Watermill, where you’ll not only learn the secrets of healthy Italian eating but also savour la bella vita italiana.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

 

 

 

Announcing a unique cookery course from The Watermill team

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are proud to announce, by popular demand, an exciting, enticing and appetising cookery course. And, of course, being at The Watermill at Posara, it will be a cookery week with a difference! It’s called L’arte di mangiar bene and it will run from Saturday 19 August to Saturday 26 August 2017. 

And don’t forget our Early Bird bonus: if you book on this appetising new cookery course before the end of this year, there’s a £GBP 75 discount.

L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well, lies at the heart of the Italian lifestyle — and that’s just what you’ll enjoy on The Watermill’s first-ever cookery week this Summer. We can’t promise you a big name Italian chef, nor the use of expensive chi-chi ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen croppedingredients. Rather you’ll learn the secrets of healthy eating from Lois and The Watermill team, among them an Italian grandmother, an organic farmer and our gardener’s wife! You’ll choose freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves each day) and prepare them deliciously for the table.

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking Panzanella 1time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.

Over the years Lois and The Watermill team have built a reputation for theThe Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy. quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

Artusi_1a_edL’arte di mangiar bene is the name of a classic Italian cookbook published more than 100 years ago and we’ll provide you with handouts for all the dishes we’ll be preparing together. These, along with your own notes from our demonstrations and discussions, will allow you to begin your very own handbook on The Art of Eating Well.

You can learn more about this sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring course by clicking here. And don’t forget that Early Bird bonus!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.