Today Juls’ Kitchen is 6 years old. There have been 537 blog posts, 6.846 comments, countless important friendships born across different seas and continents, or simply across the Apennines. A few blog or press tours which brought me to Valdera for a vespa tour, to Andria to discover the extra virgin olive oil of Puglia, to Ceglie Messapica, a tiny town in Salento with a rich food tradition, to San Vincenzo for the fish festival of the Etruscan Coast, to Aosta to spend some time in a special Swedish location, to Moena where I fell in love with Trentino, to Barcelona where I got lost in Boqueria, to London where I had breakfast at Scholtés.
In these six years my English has improved, even though I still reveal a strong Italian accent, even in my writing. My pictures changed as well, as I learnt to use natural light, avoid the nasty yellowish light of a kitchen counter and match plates and table clothes. Do you remember my first pictures? No? Just check this one, I still remember my shadowed kitchen and my hungry parents waiting for me to start the meal.
I rediscovered the pleasure of writing. My list of favourite food writers grew as the length of my blog posts throughout the years: Laurie Colwin‘s books are now on my bed table, something I leaf through before going to bed. These books are the staple of my inspiration along with Elizabeth David and Molly Wizenberg‘s books.
I was also finally able to select those cookbooks which are now the guide to my my culinary ventures. Those books have always been there, before I discovered my passion for cooking, before I was even born. Pellegrino Artusi, Paolo Petroni, Giovanni Righi Parenti and Ada Boni are classics of Tuscan and Italian cooking, yet they have been friends and teachers to a young Tuscan woman searching her way in the kitchen. My curiosity and my love for beautiful pictures brought me to enlarge my collection with other books, from Jamie Oliver to Tessa Kiros, Claudia Roden, Heidi Swanson…
I learnt to finally make meringues, I tried more than one version of pasta frolla, I opted for healthier and tastier choices as brown rice, raw cane sugar and wholewheat flour. Olive oil has always been there, protagonist in every recipe. I tasted for the fist time hummus and grew fond of it, learnt to appreciate tahin, which now is always present in my pantry, became addicted to green tea, whose herbal taste is a constant in my daily routine. I’ve been a good mother to my sourdough starter.
I published three cookbooks: My grandma’s recipes, I love Toscana – which is available in English, Polish and Dutch – and Cucina da Chef con ingredienti low cost, for the moment just in Italian. There is nothing more physically and emotionally wearing than writing a book, but it is so rewarding that I would start again tomorrow. Even today. Now.
In 2013 you voted me as Best Italian foodblogger at the Macchianera Food Awards. Even in 2014 we did good, thanks to your votes, again.
Tommaso and I started a new project with video recipes, we began with oat and honey biscotti to film recently a chocolate and clementine olive oil cake, which is apparently one of your favourite cakes on the blog.
It has been six years now. What was a hobby and a passion has now become my life, because it would be an understatement to call it just a job, it does not do justice to that fire and that curiosity burning inside and characterizing every day, from when I put a foot on the ground in the morning to when I fall asleep with my nose in a book or in a cooking magazine in the evening.
Six years of me and you. And this is just the beginning. Thank You!