Summer

Little summer delirium about color & ravioli with red turnips, to contrast green

The correspondence that Claude Monet kept for many years with his friends of the time, today known to us thanks to the numerous published collections, and which I read as a teenager with a certain romantic feeling, has forever influenced my way of thinking about colors around me.
I don’t think the color of the atmosphere is something most people wonder about, yet the idea Monet couldn’t get out of his mind – the idea that would then become a real obsession, which he experienced with some kind of manic frustration – was born from a genuine desire to understand. Monet wanted to understand the light, the color of the air, the fleeting and changeable first impression of what is around us, in order to tell it and interpret it in the most honest way possible. Continue Reading

Spring

Glimpses from an ancient world | Crostatine with homemade rose petal jam with Miranda’s roses

In my olfactory memory, the intense scent of some ancient varieties of roses is associated with secret Venice, that of the hidden gardens, those that you spy through the cracks of the old doors of noble palaces.
Behind those gates there is a whole world, which is made of often uncultivated green areas, where forgotten species of plants and flowers have been preserved to this day in the stillness of courtyards. Continue Reading

Spring

ODE TO MY GARDEN AND TWO RECIPES WITH SPONTANEOUS HERBS

In a moment everything has changed.  Spring is gone, like Grandma.
While the garden was at its best, giving clouds of white flowers and miles of new grass to be cut, I sat down under the pear tree, in a sea of newly fallen white petals, with the phone ringing in my hand.
I already knew, I didn’t need to answer. That night my Grandma had stopped by to say hello and she had made a big mess.

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Spring, Travel

Nordic Spring – A silent awakening in Northern Norway

It just fades when the waves breaking at the foot of the snow-capped mountains break a silence that is now rare to hear. I’m in Norway and I’ve never been further north than that, and the cold air burning my lungs reminds me of it as I open the window of my room.
I breathe deeply the smell of the North Sea, and I look at how the landscape is finally letting new colors emerge from that almost perennial white mantle. Spring has lazily arrived here too, without haste. It’s such a different Spring from the one we know in Italy, but even here it coincides with the lengthening of daylight and the awakening of nature. It’s still very cold and there’s a bit of snow, but that’s nothing compared to the usual winter temperatures! Continue Reading

Winter

Bigoli in salsa: a Venetian timeless recipe for a dish of whole wheat spaghetti with anchovy sauce

Whenever I am asked about typical Venetian recipes, my list starts from “bigoli in salsa“.
Perhaps to me, this dish of bigoli is the pasta dish par excellence, the first I think of when I see spaghetti on the shelves of the pantry, and what I’ve probably eaten more in my life, even more than the evergreen pasta al pomodoro.
Bigoli are a type of thick, fresh spaghetti made just with two basic ingredients: whole wheat flour and water, and their origin seems to date back to the 1600s.
Originally the fresh dough was kneaded at home and then hand-pressed through a specific pasta machine with large holes to get some very thick and long spaghetti, but in more recent times it’s common practice to use the dry bigoli you can find at the supermarket. Continue Reading

Living

WELCOMING THE NEW YEAR: 10 SIMPLE TIPS FOR A BETTER LIFESTYLE, AS CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR AND NOT

During these first days of 2018, which I am living as in a retreat – a new time in which I can finally explore the pleasure of doing nothing, I’ve been thinking of everything 2017 has given me and what it has taken away from me.
It was a decisive year for me, from many points of view, and I did not really realize it until I could stop and relax completely, finding myself here, in front of a crackling fireplace in Tuscany. Continue Reading

Winter

Freaky-version of Torta della Nonna, a recipe from the book “Naturally Vegetarian” by Hortus!

Torta della Nonna, a recipe from the book "Naturally Vegetarian" by Hortus! | The Freaky Table

My dear friend Valentina (Hortus!) wrote a book, and after a year of hard work, research, intuitions, doubts, shared inspirations and support behind the scenes, today I can flip through its pages and feel proud almost as if it was my own cookbook!
In these pages, I can even see the story of our friendship, together with many nice recipes and pictures, timed by seasons and food, the same who Valentina sometimes cooked for me as well.
I recognize her mother’s hands mixing the pasta dough, surfaces and textures of old tables where I happened to eat and/or shoot, flowers and plants of her garden, props (including also some of our TheFreakyRaku ceramics!!), details of her life… of which I am lucky enough to be part of.
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Winter

Lost in the fog: a boat trip in the Lagoon and a dish of spaghetti con le vongole

I don’t know what silence is, I said, while I am floating in the void.
It looks like Paradise – however you call it – the place where we go afterwards, doesn’t it? Francesco smiles under the wet scarf.
I am tasting that new and inconsistent taste, the fog, the dense fog which enters the nose and rests on the tongue, a bit salty.
When you’re inside it, you can’t escape. It’s like being in a dream and trying hard to wake up, in vain, until the doubt of being already awake arises as an upsetting possibility.
My eyes are wide open but there’s nothing to see. Continue Reading

Travel

Recap of my Food – Trip in The Netherlands – part. 1 Rotterdam and around

You know that sometimes, when so much happens in very little time, you just don’t know where to start, when it’s time to tell it. Well, that time has come.
Last month was one of the most intense times of my life, not only because I almost always travelled alone but also because I never knew what to expect.
I adore being organized and prepared for life (whatever it may bring me) but this time I left  thinking – more or less – “whatever happens will be ok”.
And, you know, I ended up thinking that it is exactly when expectations are not clearly defined that we can be really surprised – such a surprise that makes your belly ache.
I will remember this autumn as one of the most difficult of my life, not only for all the trips I am going to tell you about and for the new portfolio I have published, but also for some personal happenings that have pierced my stomach as a lance. I will not add anything else, this is all I have been able to do and say lately and, although it is still very painful, I only want to jump backwards to tell you about the wonderful places I was so lucky to visit.
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Fall

Come, Grandmother

Come, Grandmother, and sit next to me in my garden. We shall have breakfast under the vine, and we shall see the morning light glow upon the leaves that bear your name, Edera – Italian Ivy.
I know, it is foggy now, but all the mist shall pass.
You will see, it will be so quick – just the time of some coffee together, and this soft, white veil shall disperse in the October sky.

I know you want to follow it and go up, up…high up in the sky, and maybe watch me as I fret to prepare all this for you – for us. But, I pray to you, stay with me just a little longer. It took so long for you to get here. 93 years are far longer than I can imagine.
Your eyes saw so much, and yet kept their enchanted, child-like glow.

I met so many people, you know? Most of the time, they were complicated people. But maybe it is life itself that is complicated, and there are so many things you do not know of the outside world.
You only need few simple things to be happy. I can hear your voice on the phone, so happy that I called.
As you say ‘hi, love’, I can find in your slightly sorrowful voice the certainty that you brought kindness in this world, and you did so through your modest, quiet soul, and your child-at-heart attitude that has never left you.

I know you have to go, and I do not mean to keep you. It’s just that I am going to miss you so much, and I really wish you could stay a little longer… but I do not mean to be selfish, I figured out a while ago that everything is borrowed in this life.

Slender hands, blue eyes and copper-blonde hair are just a tiny part of what I inherited from you. There is a universe of love within me that will follow you wherever you go.
Enjoy this new journey, dear grandma Eda.
I will stay a little longer, and listen to your voice in the rustling of the leaves.

In beloved memory of Edera Molin,  1924-2017.

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