Cooking in Catania with Monica.

What a wonderful  experience that was!  We met her in Catania near the outdoor market area. She took us shopping in the markets in Catania:  the cheese vendors, meat stalls, fish stalls, vegetable stands and the amount of shouting that was going on made it a bit difficult for all of us to hear her comments.  To many in the group they had never experienced this before.  To me it was the largest food market ever! And I have been to a few in Italy.  After everything was purchased we walked back to our bus and we followed her to her private home/cooking school and prepared our lunch.  We made caponata, homemade pasta, Sicilian meatballs, salad and she prepared a lovely dessert for us.  Of course, it was served with local Sicilian wines.  She made it very special for all of us and we all appreciated her techniques and hospitality.  Hopefully many of us will take what we learned from Monica and try to duplicate the meal in our own kitchens.  She did provide us with the recipes .   We all received a certificate and a very contented appetite.  No need for dinner that night.

fishmarket2.jpg
markettour2.jpg
Here we are with Monico inside the market purchasing our ingredients.

Here we are with Monico inside the market purchasing our ingredients.

The fruits of our labor. So light and delicious!

The fruits of our labor. So light and delicious!


Taormina - Our last stop in Sicily

Taormina is a very picturesque small town on the eastern coast of Sicily and is a very popular destination.   The views from this part of Sicily are well worth it that it really should not be missed. A stop in this town in a must!

View from the top of Taormina.

View from the top of Taormina.

Hotels are located from the seaside area of Mazzaro’ to the top and the town is connected by a cable car. If your hotel is in the middle of the mountainside chances are the hotel has a shuttle to the top where the town is located. There are a few hotels at the the top and if you do not stay there it is worth a stop to have a drink and take in the views. My son and I decided to take in the views from the Belmond which is in the center at the top of Taormina. Pictured is the Belmondini. Delicious!

Belmondini2.jpg


Not far from our hotel, Grand Hotel San Pietro is the beautiful Villa Comunale di Taormina and it’s beautiful gardens. No entrance fees so if you are in the area it is well worth the visit. It is full of lush greens: palm trees, flowers and succulents.




This statue is at the entrance to the gardens.

This statue is at the entrance to the gardens.

 

While staying in Taormina many took advantage of the free time to shop in the many boutiques.  I always give my group time to shop as it is so important to us ladies.

In between time we had a tour of Mt. Etna with a wine tasting and then one day we took a cooking class in Catania with Monica Consoli. More on our cooking class in another post.