Gluten free butternut squash bundt cake. Things you bake after a walk.

ottobre 22, 2014

Ciambellona di zucca

October, butternut squash time. I’ve never cooked so much with squash as this year. October is also the perfect month to organize short trips and visit small towns, enjoying the crisp air that you breathe in these medieval villages perched on a hill. Get the car, decide where to go, then choose a soundtrack which can suit the moment: Bruce Springsteen, light chats and projects or a relaxed silence, interlaced with a few knowing looks and enraptured expressions of joy in front of the ever changing landscape.

Last week we drove to Volterra, a town renowned for its Etruscan heritage, just twenty five minutes far from home. Those were twenty-five minutes of bends, rolling hills, woods and hamlets. When you reach the top of the hill a town crystallized in another time welcomes you.

The colours are those of an Autumn in a Tuscan medieval village, where the red bricks and brown stone mirror the red of the tree leaves surrounding the walls, which appear behind a back road every now and then.

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Giulia’s Sense of Fashion. Butternut squash risotto with clams

ottobre 20, 2014

Butternut squash risotto with clams

Smilla had a sense of snow, a deep innate knowledge of this magical natural element. I have a sense a fashion, which is very personal and often difficult to understand. I can not match scarf and coat, not to mention shoes and clothes. I have a few pair of high heel shoes, but I seldom wear them, as I’m not able to walk with them: I almost instantly assume that staggering walk you have when one of your legs falls asleep if you’re sitting for too long in the same position. I do not have designer clothes, as I can not afford them but mostly because I’m not interested.

One wardrobe shelf is enough for my handbag collection. I wear them indiscriminately during summer or winter. My common sense is barely enough not to make me choose a colourful plastic handbag while the fog is entangles among tree branches or a felt handbag during the heat of summer. I mean, I tried to wear that felt bag in July once, I won’t tell you how hot it was.

I’d have artistic ambitions on fashion, too, I tried to find my own style, labeling it as colorful, simple, young. Those are just convenient labels I have chosen to justify so many daring matches which someone could see as at the limit of legality.

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October. What to pick up at the market?

ottobre 8, 2014

October at the market

October. Back to school with your new books which still have that evocative newly print scent and carefully sharped pencils. Time for the smell of a woodpile awaiting for colder nights, for bright sunny days that make you step outside into the Nature. Time of cookies for breakfast and for an afternoon snack, time for a roast which will pervade your house with a Sunday aroma, even on a boring Wednesday, time for a muffled laughter under the first blanket in front of the tv.

October, time to start another new section of Juls’ Kitchen. Seasonality has always been my inspiration in cooking. Since I moved on my own I had the chance to buy fruit and vegetables at the market, too. This gave me an even deeper sense of the passing of seasons, making me appreciate even more the anticipation of what’s to come. I’m reluctantly waving goodbye to the aubergines, my favourite summer, cherishing in my heart the moment when we will meet again, when the first grilled vegetables will bring me the slightly smoked smell of thinly sliced aubergines, drizzled with a dash of good olive oil and a splash of vinegar.

In the meantime I am also welcoming with open arms pumpkin and butternut squash, as you would welcome an old friend you have not seen for a long time. We will spend together a few exciting months, which will be full of surprises, rediscovered habits and steaming soups with a faint smell of nutmeg.

Let’s head to the market and see what awaits us in October on the stalls of our local producers.

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