March 7, 2022. 55°F/13°C
I was excited to be able to take an onboard cooking class this morning, where the highlight for me was learning to make gnocchi. Now that I know the secret (warm DRY potatoes) and I’ve felt the texture of the dough with my own hands I think I’ll be able to duplicate it at home (warm grated cooked potatoes, 00 flour, egg yolks, and shredded parmesan). The rolling and shaping was done using a liberal dusting of a 1:1 mixture of 00 and semolina flour. Manfredi’s Head Chef Camil Perrera also showed us the trick to “rolling” each gnocchi over the back of a fork – not squashing it with the fork – to create grooves if we want to get fancy, although he was quite happy with homestyle plain cut dough. He reminded us as well not to overcook them; pop into gently boiling water and remove them as soon as they bob to the surface – no more than 2 minutes!
We also made a tomato and basil sauce using onions, LOTS of garlic, and a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes, and learned to use the basil STEMS in the sauce as well as the leaves (as long as you have an immersion blender to purée it after it is cooked). I had to deke out of the class before we grilled the sea bass, assembled the tiramisu (or ate all the food we’d made) because my stomach was feeling queasy, but nonetheless it was a really great learning experience. I’m almost convinced that my body was simply sabotaging the opportunity to have a 4 course meal with wines…. for lunch.
We’re “cooking” on other fronts too (although not quite yet on the wifi speed front). Ted and I got the good news that it looks like this cruise will not impact our planned summer Schengen Zone stay since the countries we’re visiting on the ship will be considering us “in transit”, we were able to exchange a couple of our 50 Euro bills for coins that are useable in European public bathrooms, AND we just got our latest list of exciting approved excursions for the Venice Italy through Heraklion Greece leg of the cruise.
Life is good.
The sea has been calm today (less than 1 metre of swells) so I’m not at all sure what was going on this morning – it felt the same as being seasick though. No matter. It was soon over, and tomorrow we’re back on land in Sardinia.