Fall

The Freaky Raku goes to Rome | Finding zen in a cup of tea and matcha whoopies

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Here’s how our story begins: with a drill, a real one, with the iron tip, the noise and everything.
The spinning drill, connected to an iron plate, turned the fickle and flaky wheel. This was our first makeshift pottery wheel, and it took quite a lot of courage to call it that.
After a lot of cursing and short circuits, we learned to make our first imprecise, uneven edged  bowls. We admired them with a mix of pride and frustration, trying to justify their weird shapes with our inexperience. Freaky. There wasn’t better word for them.
And that is how The Freaky Raku was born, just one year ago, amongst clumsy attempts and some happy-go-lucky shaping, as a side project of this blog (you can read more about it here!).  Continue Reading

Fall

Gluten-Free Corona beans and pumpkin cupcakes to celebrate new adventures and the earth’s hidden treasures

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How is it possible that the news always arrive altogether, I wonder.
While I look at the water-flooded garden, the bamboo trees have already turned yellow and the heavy rain makes them swing.
Yesterday everything was still green, while an incredible sun shone brightly as if winter was still far away.
I am not the kind of person who accepts rapid changes, I think. Yet I am beginning to understand how necessary they are for me sometimes, to remain flexible like a bamboo tree.
Renata arrived one afternoon with a backpack on her shoulders and some fresh Norwegian air in her golden hair. She smells good and her magnetic eyes look at things for the pleasure to discover and treasure them.

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Fall

SPELT HAZELNUT COOKIES

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Some time ago Valeria invited me to dinner. While we enjoyed delicious homemade seafood dishes (directly from the Chioggia fish market!) we inevitably ended up talking about the countless things we love and share.
It was such a great evening that I could hardly believe we were just a few kilometers from home.
Valeria lived
in London for a long time and then in Sidney, but she came back to Veneto, her homeland, to work at her cookbook which will come out soon. 
I got used to travel quite long distances to reach “my fellow beings”. New friends and people, who miraculously appeared in my life filling spaces in my heart, often took me far away from home.

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Past Workshops, Summer, Workshops

#GRADARAINGOLD WORKSHOP RECAP

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Soundtrack [Stay Gold – First Aid Kit]

Just like Autumn comes back coloring the first leaves of the trees, there is something which almost cyclically brings me back to Gradara. If I think that until last year I didn’t even know where this little diamond town was, I can’t believe that now I feel at home when I am there.
There is an entire family waiting for me: a Mom who cares if I eat or not, a Dad who is always busy but with a chirpy mood, an always happy dog who wags the tail (which he has not!)… and a dear friend – almost sister, whose hug can erase in just a second the distance which normally divides us. Continue Reading

Summer, Workshops

ESPRESSO-CHOCOLATE LAMINGTONS + AN AUSTRALIAN #CHIAROSCURO FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING RETREAT ANNOUNCEMENT

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That’s right. I am announcing a workshop in Australia and I don’t know how I will manage to end the page without screaming too many times yeeeeeh-yhuuuuuu-whoooo-jabadabadoooooo while jumping up and down and throwing my passport towards the ceiling like a mad woman. You can imagine me this way, while I prepare some cakes with a vaguely aristocratic name, wondering if they can be valid as an “Australian recipe” since I twisted it by spreading in the house the very essence of Italy: espresso.
Before giving you the details of one of the most exciting projects for 2017 I want to tell you about the intensity life slaps us with, sometimes. But this is not a sad story, I promise.

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Past Workshops, Summer, Workshops

#GRADARAWORKSHOP MEMORIES

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[ Read Betty’s post here! Valentina’s post coming soon! ]

When the icy frost whitened the garden more than six months ago, it was hard for me to imagine that summer would be coming again… together with those days at the end of July which seemed far, far away. Let’s hold a workshop together – someone had said – and that sentence was enough to spur an endless row of ideas, e-mails, shared folders and dreams arising from the desire to create a chance to share, more than anything else.
With Valentina and Betty at my sides I could undertake something that was a new adventure for me and take the first step towards the very first workshop of my life. Continue Reading

Summer

1 YEAR OF THE FREAKY TABLE | GLUTEN-FREE COCONUT LAVENDER DARK CHOCOLATE MINI CAKE

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In this season of the year, even though I wake up early, the sun is already high up in the sky and a warm breeze moves my linen curtains bringing an intense scent from the blossomed lavender bushes in the garden.
I still remember when they were planted, when my Mom – wearing one of her long Bordeaux dresses – extracted from some earthen pots the little lavender plants which became big bushes within a few years, purple in the month of July. She had just come back from one of the best journeys of her life: a long exploration of Provence, through the little villages of Southern France and immense flowered landscapes. Continue Reading

Summer

Creamy yogurt and cherry syrup popsicles with dark chocolate and salted roasted almonds

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Guys, brief note before the post: the nominations of the Saveur Blog Awards 2016 are open! So, please if you like The Freaky Table, don’t forget to give it a vote!
Please nominate my blog in the “Best Photography” category or if you prefer in “Best New Voice” category. Every single person will support my blog, can make the difference… and something nice could happen! Vote here: http://www.saveur.com/blog-awards-2016-nominate by entering my url: www.zairazarotti.com

Even though the cherry tree was planted in my garden, it does not belong to me.
It belongs to earth, the earth we till asking the sun to be warm enough and the rain to be gentle enough to grow new fruit and vegetables each year.
The rain has fallen mercilessly turning the garden into a miniature lagoon. The grass has turned yellow and a few small canals have merged into a big one at the center of this imaginary Venice. Continue Reading

Summer

Passatelli, a recipe from the heart of Romagna + A two day workshop with Valentina announcement!

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The blank paper sheet I have before me is flashing in all its annoying brightness.
It had been waiting me for days… weeks, I should say. Sometimes I feel like I can’t restrain the words on this page because all I want say seems too much. Or too big for words? I don’t know.
Just when I think I’ve put a thought into focus, another one gets in between, wiping out the previous, dragging me into a messy whirlwind of loose ideas. So, I put this task off for another time, and replace my white sheet with the deep black of the backdrop I usually use for my shoots, waiting for my thoughts become evanescent, less sharp and perfect.
I delude myself into thinking that it might be easier, but it isn’t – especially when these thoughts are stuck in my mind, crisp as the marks of my footsteps in the dew-covered grass. Continue Reading

Summer

A history of Roots | Strawberry oatmeal vegan cookies

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“All of life is a coming home. Salesmen, secretaries, coal miners, beekeepers, sword swallowers, all of us.
All the restless hearts of the world, all trying to find a way home.
[Patch Adams – 1998 movie]

The scent of hot coffee when it comes out of the moka and the scent of home-made cookies when they come out of the oven are part of my idea of “home”.
Nevertheless, “home” is not only the place where I happen to live or the place where I feel I belong. It is a mixture of many more things and places.
I think of Venice as the city where I was born and where my family is deeply rooted.

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