Wednesday Wonders: Cooking in Tuscany - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Wednesday Wonders: Cooking in Tuscany

{photos by Michelle Dorman}

This Wednesday Wonder is a bit of a throwback, but we wanted to share this delightful memory and these fun photos with you. Everyone loves talking about food (especially Italian food), and this will really get your mouth watering! 

Today’s post comes from Michelle and Grant Dorman, a Track A family in their 3rd year at SLOCA with kids Shelby (HS), William (UMS), Cole (LMS) and Lucy (LMS). The Dormans were one of the families who traveled to Europe last summer on the “Europe Through the Ages” SLOCA trip. Here’s one of their very special learning encounters:

In order to create a wonder-filled moment, you must create a hands-on experience that awakens all of your senses.  Last summer as our family toured Europe with 40 other students, teachers, and parents, we had one such experience of wonder at the Villa Pandolfini. 

Villa Pandolfini is an Estate located in a Tuscan village, halfway between Florence and Pisa in Italy.  The Medici family built the Estate as a hunting lodge in the 1200s and it was sold to the Pandolfini family in the 1300s.  We were able to tour a portion of the Estate and then had an opportunity to have our hands-on cooking class with Cooking in Tuscany. Luciano was our chef and he helped us create some fun Italian dishes, which included biscotti, focaccia, pizza, pasta, pesto, and gelato.  We put on our aprons and started cooking each item from scratch.  The kids had so much fun making fresh pasta, tossing pizza dough, creating an appetizing fresh pesto sauce with herbs that they picked from an outside garden, and mixing up a delicious gelato for dessert.    

This evening was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and our family’s favorite on the trip.  My son William says, “The food from Italy definitely has a different feel and flavor than any Italian food in America.” I know that the reason we enjoyed this experience so much was that each of our senses were awakened and we were able to relax, have some fun and get our hands dirty, so to speak, while learning a new task alongside family and friends. 

Thanks to Cindy Hilton of Simply Culture Boutique Travel for organizing a wonder-filled trip to Europe! 

Thank you, Michelle, for recalling this memorable experience to share with us. It’s obvious that your family learned a lot that day in the best possible way – with friends and food! 

Simply Culture Boutique Travel is planning another Classical Learning Journey for SLOCA families this summer, to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon! This 5-day trip will take place June 29-July 3, and it is designed for families with UMS and HS students, but it is open to other ages at the parent’s discretion. The adventure will include 3 plays, discussion sessions with cast members, a workshop, and a white water rafting trip. Information meetings about this trip will be held on January 27 & 28 after school, 2:45-3:15 in the office. Come hear more about it! You can also contact Cindy Hilton with any questions: (805) 448-2364 or [email protected]

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