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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Oat and honey biscotti with walnuts and raisins. I choose baking and I choose cookies.

ottobre 2, 2014

Oat and honey biscotti with walnuts and raisins

I was just missing cooking by instinct, in my kitchen, in a quiet afternoon. I was standing at one end of the kitchen marble table, busy among jars of flour, nuts and honey. My sister was sitting at the opposite side, studying for an exam at the university, but following every movement and nodding at every ingredients I was adding into the cookie dough. A steaming cup of green tea framed an old-fashioned afternoon, one of those cozy days we have spent together growing up.

I’ve always had a tendency to identify scenes of Little Women in my life. It is a book which influenced my imagination for years. Poised between Meg and Jo, I have grown into a little woman of which I am proud, a woman who finds the centre of her world in cooking, in the loved ones and in written words.

When the kitchen spells its charm so convincingly, all you can do is surrender. In these moments, among my pots and jars, I always end up baking something.

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Links to love – Summer crushes

settembre 30, 2014

London

A new season has just begun. Autumn smells like squash and cinnamon, but also newly printed books and sharp pencils. It’s the perfect moment to introduce the first news here at Juls’ Kitchen. Have you recognized the Link Love? Once in a while I add a bunch of links at the end of a post, significant information, fun facts and interesting recipes found on the internet. This will the monthly version. Every month I will list in a short post my current crushes. There will be recipes, either tested and approved or just read and added to my to-do-list, books I am reading, books I loved, movies, restaurants, cafés, interesting articles or inspirational videos.

As befits any first edition, it is slightly special. I tried to sum up my summer months, with memories from London and Salento and the first working weeks of September, still vibrant with the last summer colours. Are you ready? Let’s go!

One of the best coffees I have ever had, made by The Black Cab Coffee in Brick Lane, London.

“Good cooking is honest, sincere and simple and by this I do not mean to imply that you will find in this, or indeed in any other book the secret of turning out first class food in a few minutes with no trouble. Good food is always a trouble and it’s preparation should be regarded as a labour of love” Elizabeth David

This video on body language.

In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan. I just read a few chapters, but this book is already so mind-opening.

Home cooking, the first recipe book by Laurie Colwin, I am almost at the end. She’s my food icon, I’ll talk about this very soon.

rustici  ricci di mare

Puglia, Salento, sea urchins and coffee on ice with almond milk.

Bormioli jars to keep my flour neatly organized on the shelves.

This article about Marcella Hazan. I found myself ordering yet another book, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, on Amazon.

Steller,  the new App for iPhone where I spend hours looking for fresh inspiration.

A cool infographic which will help you discover the music you should listen to on jour job.

An intense black tea, St. Petersburg, by Kusmi.

Regula’s white loaf. It will make you proud.

This funny video. It makes me laugh to tears every time.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Handbook, a comprehensive manual for the olive oil producers and passionate lovers, which explains in detail every aspect, from the different olive tree cultivars to the olive harvesting and process of olive milling, with one last interesting chapter about the culinary uses of extra virgin olive oil.

Gluten-free occhio di bue cookies by Emiko.

13 ways to make hummus, here.

Mark Bittman on the New York Times, When Cooking, Invest Time. Or Work. Not Both. Truth.

These are my favourite links on the web, the books I loved and my latest crushes. Share in the comments your favorite links, the newly discovered products and recipes, the books which were with you during these summer months, the movies you enjoyed during slow afternoons or evening. Do not forget your latest crushes.