Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) is the name of my school here in Florence. When I’m not in class or out exploring a new city, LdM clubs are a fun way to get involved.
I was able to prepare and enjoy five different Italian appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. Each Thursday morning for five weeks, my friend Lauren and I (as well as the other students in the club) met with an LdM chef who walked us through preparing these dishes. Each class, we were required to bring our LdM apron. We entered the kitchen with everything set up for us: ingredients, utensils, spices, and the recipe to follow. Our chef, Enrico Sassonia, and his assistant were great. We had so much fun making traditional Italian dishes throughout our first club sessions that we signed up for another round of cooking club, which allowed us to make three more dishes.
A quick look at the dishes I was able to prepare:
- The first dish, called Mozzarella in Carrozza, is an Italian appetizer comparable to mozzarella sticks. They were loaded with mozzarella and super delicious.
- The next week, we made Ribollita soup. This is a traditional bread-thickened vegetable soup and unique to Tuscany.
- Strudel de Mele (apple strudel) was fairly easy to make and so good. It came out of the oven flakey and golden brown, which we topped with icing sugar.
- Panzerotti Ripieni e Fritti is a fancy word for the second appetizer we made, which is basically the Italian version of a pizza roll. They were amazing.
- Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a traditional Florentine cake. Similar to a sponge cake, we filled the inside with homemade whipped cream and a mixture of sweet ingredients. My favorite part of this dessert was getting to decorate the top with powdered sugar and the Florentine symbol.
Here are some of the pictures I took throughout my weeks as a chef:
In an attempt to get ourselves up and working out between all the gelato, pizza, and pasta we’ve been eating, Lauren and I decided to sign up for zumba club. Us two, along with six other LdM students, were able to participate in the club each week. Our instructor, Henrik, is a full-time zumba instructor so he did a fabulous job throughout the semester. We began the classes learning steps to Puerto Rican/Venezuelan type music, which was extremely difficult and not at all our type of music. Throughout the semester, Henrik began to play more pop songs by European artists, and by the last few sessions, he also had us dancing to songs by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and so on. We will miss zumba club as it was something we looked forward to and a great way to brighten up our Mondays.
This photo was taken on our last day of zumba class, but was missing a good chunk of the students who normally came. We had also just ended the class, so excuse our sweatiness.