The Italian word spirito (spirit) has many meanings. Whatever meaning of spirito you’re considering, you definitely need spirito to face your life. Why? Let’s have a look!
In your life you need (spirit) power of observation, because the opportunities, such as trains, often stop where you are only once, so you must be well prepared to grab them, even if you have to run after them, losing on the road the heels, the scarf and even your hat (do you remember that old black-and-white films with those beautiful steam trains on which you can jump onto at the very last moment? Well, forget them, have you ever tried to hop onto a high-speed train?).
In your life you need enterprise spirit, that is, you need to be enterprising, said the girl who – to ask a guy out – loses herself in the international waters of words (yes, I admit, I believe in gender equality but if only you could go back to the ’60s, when a girl was supposed to be sitting with a skirt balloon, a string of pearls, a pastel twin sets and ribbon shoes and a guy was supposed to ask her to dance… oh! everything would be much easier).
In your life you need spirit of adaptability. The second time I went to London I found myself in a hostel with a tiny bathroom. It was so tiny that, when you wanted to brush your teeth, you could spit the water on your feet or beat your head in the mirror. Well, it’s okay! I enjoyed London with a bump in my head for the entire weekend, bu my breath smelled of mint! London is well worth a bump.
In your life you need team spirit. This can be testified by my colleagues when the three of us moved one of our cars that had stopped at 100 meters from the office. Once understood that the hand brake had to be released, it was much easier and with synchronous pushes and labor room encouragements,we were able to bring the car in the parking lot. Girl power!
In your life you spirito – wit – to not take yourself too seriously, to laugh of yourself!
… and if you need wit and spirit in your life, you definitely need my Aunt Teresa’s wine doughnut cookies! They are the easiest cookies I have ever done, fun to mix and shape. The recipe calls just for very few ingredients that you can always easily find at home, you can customize them as you prefer, adding spices and nuts, and, moreover, they are light and suitable for those who are lactose intolerant, not to mention that they are really fun for children.
They can be considered an old-fashioned afternoon break, like the traditional and ever green sugar, wine & bread. Or you can munch on them after dinner, cuddled up on your favourite armchair reading a book that takes your breath away. They can be stored in a tin box for several days. With these ingredients you will get a hundred little doughnut cookies, ideal to slip one per finger on each hand (yes, you counted correctly, 10 doughnut cookies! but come on, they should last for a while otherwise you’ll run out of nibbles just at the climax of the book!).
Ingredients (make approximately 100 – 120 cookies):
- caster sugar, 1 glass + extra sugar to sprinkle over cookies
- extra virgin olive oil*, 1 glass
- white wine**, 1 glass
- plain flour, all the flour the dough will take (I used 6 glasses)
- baking powder, 15 g
- grated lemon peel
Pour the sugar, the olive oil and the wine in a large bowl and whisk. Add in the grated lemon peel and begin to mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. After the first glass of flour, sift in the baking powder, then keep on adding flour until the dough becomes plastic and silky, as to let you roll it into small ropes (I used about 6 glasses of flour). Let it rest 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the dough into small ropes. Coil the ropes into round doughnut shapes, leaving a small hole in the middle. Sprinkle the cookies with caster sugar and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes and remove from the oven as soon as they get a slight golden colour on the top. Let them cool and store them in a tin box.
* The extra virgin olive oil: I used a sweet, fruity, delicate and light extra virgin olive oil, produced on the Tuscan hills overlooking the sea. It is perfect to use with fish and sweet pastry.
** The wine: Chardonnay Maschio, a sparkling wine with a scent of musk and almond blossoms and a fresh and gentle aftertaste of golden apple (wine description taken from the back label, as you know I”m not and expert of wine!)
Alternative flavour mix: you can use red wine instead of white one, or a sweet wine, vinsanto or passito. You can add other flavorings such as anise seeds, orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla or ginger. You may enrich them with dark chocolate chips, raisins soaked in rum, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts. The possibilities are endless. The mix I chose (a sparkling and flower scented white wine + lemon peel) has proved to be particularly delicate and gentle. The two flavors enhance each other in a fresh and spring harmony.