As soon as I’ll finish writing this post I’ll have to face a list of to-do things which I’ve just written down on a piece of paper torn from a notebook. It breaths new hope in my already busy schedule, as if writing down deadlines I would be magically able to complete all my tasks. Dream baby dream, as the Boss would say. My list ranges from iron that pile of clothes to prepare your luggage, possibly in this order, from charge the battery of your camera and do not forget the tripod to check the food in the fridge, sorting it between my mum and grandma. I dared to add clean the whole house, too. I fear I won’t be able to check this before we leave.
Yes, we are leaving! We will head first to Alassio, in Liguria, for Annette Joseph’s photographic workshop, then we will cross the borders to spend a few days in Provence and visit Giuseppina in her cooking school, Venise en Provence.
It is a much needed week to take a deep breath, as when you fill up your lungs with air before diving into the swimming pool to reach the other side. As soon as we will be back home the Tuscan summer will be there. Three torrid months of cooking classes, markets, local producers, tastings, recipe testing and photography. To be honest I should label all these activities as work, but I still have to come to term with it. At the end of the season I know I will be tired and I will be needing another vacation but, as every year, I will have a baggage of memories, experiences, new contacts and projects which will lead me into autumn.
Now we need to charge the batteries before facing this summer, which I hope will also grant me enough time to enjoy the sun, the shade, new books – I’ve already read and ordered many new books, you’ll hear about these soon – and many walks.
Let me leave you with another baking project for the week.
When I opened my blog more than 6 years ago muffins and cupcakes were my passion. Then I grew up, I shifted my focus on Tuscan cuisine and I abandoned them for a while, preferring crostate, quattro quarti and biscotti.
A few weeks ago I found myself in a new kitchen with a basket of fresh strawberries so intensely smelling on the table. An old charm came to my mind and I felt the urge to bake a tray of muffins, something you could eat for breakfast with a coffee or as an afternoon snack with a juice or an iced tea.
I used just a few simple ingredients I could find there, something which can be found in every kitchen. I cut many squares of parchment paper and I neatly arranged them into the muffin tin. Everything was simple, effortless, two bowls and a wooden spoon.
The sun slowly came into the borrowed kitchen and turned it into my cozy kitchen. I call home any place where I can turn on an oven, whisk eggs, butter and sugar in a bowl and bake a cake.
- 200 g of unbleached flour
- 100 g of caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- Grated zest of one organic lemon
- 200 g of fresh strawberries
- 125 ml of plain whole yogurt
- 100 g of melted butter
- 1 egg
Heat oven to 200°C, fan assisted.
Stir all the dry ingredients but the strawberries in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl whisk the yogurt with the melted butter and a beaten egg.
Now pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold gently until you have a smooth batter. Finally add the chopped strawberries.
Line 12 muffin tins with baking paper or paper cups, fill them with the strawberry batter and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, until golden and well puffed.
(Glasses Invino by RCR Crystal)