The garden is where I start from when I cook, and its my biggest source of inspiration. Especially during summer, when it's so green and full of abundance.
I like to wonder around to pick berries and fruits and eat them straight away or think about recipes that will celebrate them.
Our tomato plants are bent by the weight of cherry and San Marzano tomatoes, so I made Pappa al Pomodoro (I'll post the recipe in the next few days), a thick and creamy Tuscan soup, made out of stale bread, fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, vegetable broth and olive oil of course. A typical summer dish.
The plum tree in front of the solarium is still loaded with fruit even if Chris picked at least 30 pounds of fruit. I made A LOT of jam : plum and ginger, plum and Rhubarb. What else you do you do when you're Italian and have so much jam in the house? You make Crostata filled with jam. Buttery, delicious and super easy.
I'm reading a lot of cookbooks lately, not just for inspiration for recipes but to discover how other people approach food and why its meaningful to them. For now with this project, I'm following my intuition about what I want to cook without overthinking why I want to cook it. I usually start from what surrounds me in the garden, then find a recipe or a traditional recipe pops up in my mind. Then I decide whether I'm going to follow it religiously or use it as a base and add some twists of my own. I love food in its context. Its linked to a person, a story and a place. The difficult part to me is express it all of his in words when I write about a recipe. English is my third language and even though is the one that right now I'm talking the most, my own thoughts are still in Italian and French too. One of the reasons I read cookbooks in English, and the stories in them, is to expand my English vocabulary so I can express my own thoughts better.
I randomly came across "Honey from a Weed" by Patience Gray. It was a quote that I'd read from the book that made me want to buy it, and I ordered it on Amazon. Here's the quote:
Poverty rather than wealth gives the good things of life their true significance. Home-made bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with olive oil, shared – with a flask of wine – between working people, can be more convivial than any feast.
Even though she was British and not Italian, by traveling all through Italy she deeply understood what the Italian way of cooking and eating is. These where some of the words I was looking for!
About this blog
Created: August 21, 2018English