Another fun day out with Lisa Clifford, reviewing the venues for the two afternoon respite periods for the aspiring writers on the Art of Writing Course.

imageThe ewes are now producing the early milk of the season in order to feed their new lambs – They will continue to make milk throughout the summer season.

These sheep would normally have been on the pasture, but had been brought in because of the torrential rain suffered also here in Tuscany.  The dog was a little redundant therefore but when they return outside he will have to protect the flock from marauding wolves , curious cingiale (wild boar) and other predators.

We watched Lorenzo and his mother prepare three types of cheese during our three hour visit.

Cheese man Lorenzo

Cheese man Lorenzo

Cheese making from freshly milked sheep is not something many of us will see at home , whichever country we live in , and seeing them being milked – followed on by making our own cheese based lunch – is not something many people will get a chance to do – we hope our writer’s will enjoy this diversion – and other visitors to Florence can learn about traditional cheese manufacture if they can give us just over a week’s notice.

In addition, we have been promised that the piece of pecorino that Lorenzo is labelling in the photo, will be kept for us to eat at the Art of Writing event when we go back to visit Lorenzo and his family in June.

In the meantime we ate the fast hardening sheep milk cheese that the shepherds used to make to eat in transit when they moved the sheep from Casentino to the Maremma for the winter , yummy, some home cured meats and salami, bread and a warm freshly cooked ricotta, which we ate as a dessert!
imageAfter lunch we visited one of the few working water-mills in Europe that still functions almost exactly as it would have done in 1696 when it was opened.


We watched the grinding of wheat – with wheatgerm included – which evidently helps us to maintain healthy bodily functions – and also the making of flour from chestnuts, which Lisa described so eloquently in her book “Death in the Mountains”


So what do you think about doing a medieval cookery class – including visits to these places? Let me know!