I wish that these days lo long and bright would last throughout the year, not just for a few precious summer months. I feel like I have more hours for me, to work, cook, write, take photos… I can go for a walk during the golden hour, have dinner with my family and then come back home, and yet, there it is the light, pale and summery. The days are longer, I am pretty sure that this is Mother Nature giving me a hand, an extra hour or two to help me get where I could not otherwise all by myself.
It feel again that sense of invincibility so typical of summer, the energy that flows beneath my skin and explodes into projects, dreams and castles in the air. I am writing now from a new corner that I have neatly organized up in the attic: a desk, a whiteboard with colored markers and a printer. It took me two years and a half to get so organized, but you know, I have my pace…
I’ve been around a bit and busy in these past few days, so I needed to reorganize my external and internal spaces before the last final run that will take me to the delivery of the book…
A Southern wedding
Yes, a wedding in the South of Italy, my cousin’s wedding. A wedding with all the food, and family, and laughter, and long hours drive, and sun, a lot of sun, and sea and waves, and love, above all. We went to Maratea, an old town perched on a hill on the Tirreno sea and guarded by a massive statue of Jesus Christ, often surrounded by clouds, second just to the statue in Rio de Janeiro.
It has been fifteen years since the last time I travelled South to visit the family. Last time I was following the steps of Orazio, a Latin poet, as I was still studying at Grammar school. Now I was searching for peperoni cruschi and cheese.
I had some hilarious cooking classes, where I met incredible people. We had fun, we cooked up a storm, we learned from each other. Every time I ask my students to pin a flag on the map, to mark their hometowns. Sooner or later I’ll grab my suitcase and I’ll travel the world visiting all my students, you know I will do it!
Walking in the countryside
I had some good walks. When I need to clear up my mind I just wear my walking shoes, open the door, cross the gate and head West, following the setting sun. I walk to enjoy the last fresh hour of the day, to burn down one too many tastings of the day, to meet myself, to charge my body with a primitive energy, given by each step I stamp on the ground.
A salad with salmon, avocado and sweet onion from Tropea.
Obviously I cooked. I cooked for work, I cooked for the book, I cooked for the blog, I cooked for my students, I cooked for fun, I cooked for him, for my friends and for my family. And I cooked for me. Often. because when you follow the food blogger’s diet you love to experiment, create new intriguing dishes. Yesterday, coming back home after a few hours spent in between market, supermarkets, shops and other boring stuff, I carved half an hour all for me, stealing time to my schedule, to cook a salad which was also a rewarding meal.
I usually do not buy salmon as I prefer to choose local fish as sardines, mackerels or anchovies, though once in a while I love to treat me and buy a marinated fillet to be eaten raw. I found also an organic avocado from Sicily which brought me to tears for its freshness, so a salad was in order. A handful of raspberries, half an onion from Tropea, a red, sweet and juicy onion from the South of Italy, two tender courgettes quickly sautéed with their flowers and a drizzle of my best extra virgin olive oil. Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper were the final touch.
It was a tiny gift, a pause in an endless line of rushing hours. Now I am already planning new recipes, as tomorrow is a big day, a party with a bunch of friends to test a few recipes from the book. Enjoy this summery weekend, I have a stove crammed of pots and pans which is demanding my attention!