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Pork Loin With Dried Prunes And Pancetta

Pork loin with dried prunes and pancetta

Take fresh fruit. Crisp apples eaten bite after bite on the street, a quick snack to tuck in your bag, a freedom statement I've proudly embraced since I used to have an apple as mid-morning snack at school. Sun ripened peaches praying to be devoured, soft velvety skin, a dense pulp and warm juices running…

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Books, Roast Chicken And A Farewell

Books, roast chicken and a farewell

When I was a child bookshelves at home were overfilled with home magazines, cars magazines, books and an old cooking encyclopedia my mum bought before getting married: a few issues from the complete edition you could purchase at newsstands weekly. No trace of cookbooks or food magazines. Mum never loved…

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Beef Skewers With Orange And Lemon Marinade

Beef skewers with orange and lemon marinade

Beef skewers marinated with orange and lemon juice

I’m sitting at a table at the Arnold Coffee in Florence, one of those bars inspired by the American Starbucks with a continual coming and going of people, a huge stack of paper cups next to the counter, enormous blackboards with an endless choice of American coffee, lattes, shakes and smoothies. It’s not my first choice in terms of quality coffee, of course. An artisan coffee shop with in house roasted coffee, lost in a back alley, a place that only you and three other people know, well, this is definitely better, or at least, it is certainly more useful in terms of image and romantic allure of  foodie up-to-date with the latest trends.

But it’s raining here in Florence, I have an hour of spare time between the first official engagement as a teacher at the Florence University of the Arts and a dinner with him, I feel like writing and I need something warm to hug me from the inside. Arnold coffee is the best solution, I took an hazelnut American coffee, a triple chocolate cookies (yes, I know, I’m on a diet, my Super Ego just reminded me of this insignificant detail) and I sat down at a table.

If I turn my back to the road I feel like I am elsewhere. That young couple sitting a few tables from me is definitely elsewhere. They are lost in each other’s eyes, hands wrapped around a cup of coffee as if it were the last bottle of water in the desert, regardless of the chatter around them. That girl sitting alone in a leather chair is elsewhere, a wool hat to hide her face partially, though not enough to cover a delighted smile in front of a coffee with whipped cream and a slice of decadent cheesecake with raspberries. Yes, it could be me if I were not here to tell you what I am seeing around me!

Then, if I had managed not to get soaked in hazelnut coffee, finding myself, my hands, my skirt, my iPad and my pullover completely sticky, well, the picture would have been perfect. But without a spontaneous act of clumsiness it would not be me. Better to get into today’s recipe!

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