One foot in the summer time, with its flip-flops and light dresses, and one foot in autumn with pumpkin, colorful scarves and that woolen cardigan I would love so much. September is special, it has the pleasant traits of summer without its sultry excesses and the beauty of autumn, back to school time, figs, pumpkins and mushrooms, finally.
September is a January without the snow and without the tree lights to be untangled, a month suitable for good resolutions. I know what is going to happen, the very same thing that happens every January: I make my New Year’s resolutions, I stick to them for a few weeks, then I lose them on the way or forget them behind the first corner. This said, it is always good to make them and write them, black on white. They help you to set a new beginning.
Moreover, the September’s resolutions are affected by a different energy: it is due to the first balsamic and brisk air, to the sound sleep under the warm sheet on the first cold nights, to the joy of a light suntan, to the colour changes on the tree foliage and to the first rains that smell like the forest. Let’s make these resolutions and let’s try to stick to them.
In view of my current physical and mental condition, being at the end of a self-imposed and enthusiastic seclusion, at times a little hysterical I admit, this is what I hope for the upcoming autumn, the first autumn spent at home with a job that I love.
- I hope to save at least a day every week for me. I wish to spend it doing silly little things like putting the nail polish, reading my favourite books, Cecilia Ahern or Joanne Harris just to name a few, or even just sitting on the couch contemplating the highest systems of the universe, doing nothing. I have not learned yet to say no and stop for a moment, this is the most important resolution, my life and mental health is at stake.
- I want to go out. I do need it, a lot. I need to see my friends, to have a carefree social life, I want to go to the cinema to see the latest films, to discover new restaurants, to know someone new, someone special, a significant other. A few words to the wise.
- I dream of traveling. It has been ages since the last time I took my backpack, a map and a list of things to be seen. I want to have a plan just to be surprised all of a sudden by something unexpected. Let’s see if I manage to turn it into reality by the end of the year.
- I will join a Pilates class. Joining the class is easy, it will be difficult to keep going to the gym even when it’s pouring, or freezing cold, or I will be just too exhausted to drive a few miles… going there with my sister will help, I am sure.
- ta daan! I’m going to live alone. It will happen this year. November, November is the right month, I can feel it… I will keep you posted.
These are the most important resolutions, then there would be others maybe a little more remote, but who know? If I’ll ever found myself with some free time to manage, these would be my other goals: learning a new foreign language (French, mais oui), growing my vegetable garden, becoming a mean bread baker, making puff pastry at home.
And now, before the Summer ends and the Autumn comes as a breath of fresh air from the ajar door, here’s a recipe that is balanced between the two world. The stuffed tomatoes recall the sunny season while the warm and herb scented filling cuddles your senses, as befits an autumn side dish. They are great as a side dish to grilled meat, but also as a main dish with a spoonful of white rice and some blue cheese.
Use stale bread instead of store-bought breadcrumbs: it will give more body and flavour to the filling, avoiding it to get dry and sandy.
Breadcrumb stuffed tomatoes
- 6 San Marzano tomatoes
- 5 or 6 slices of stale bread
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano or a tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Cut the tomatoes in a half lengthwise and scrape all the seeds in a bowl.
- Add to the tomato seeds in the bowl the finely crumbled or blended stale bread and the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then stuff the tomatoes with the seasoned bread.
- Arrange the tomatoes in a baking pan and drizzle again with extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake the tomatoes for about 30 minutes and finish with 5 minutes of grill. Serve them hot.
- All the food bloggers loved these stuffed tomatoes, my grandma makes a similar version and I do love how the potatoes taste like once baked in the tomato juices… try them, they are the pomodori ripieni di riso made by Alex.
- Mediterranean tomatoes stuffed with quinoa, baked by Cookie + Kate, with kalamata olives and feta cheese: a summer treat.
- since learning French is among my autumn goals, let’s start practising it: as interesting as all of their recipes, les tomates farcies by Elle a Table are beautifully scenic. Do not forget les tomates farcies aux herbes.
Cat news update
Wolf is fine, he made his house in my studio. He sleeps on two pillows and occasionally we find him hanging from the pillows like those pottery ducks you put on the shelves. He is funny and cute and finally he is starting to get familiar with us and play. He purrs like a tractor and starts to jump spontaneously on our lap, perhaps because we cuddle him a lot?
Lastly, can you give me some advice on a cat diet? It sound totally unusual and strange to me buying bags and biscuits for Wolf, since we used to cook for Kira, and we would love to do the same with him, or at least in part.
Have an amazing September, folks!