Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CRANBERRY ORANGE PECAN BREAD WITH STREUSEL

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not celebrate Thanksgiving. No turkey, no sweet potato casserole smothered under a mountain of marshmallows. No cornbread stuffing nor cranberry relish. No festive table heaving and groaning under an abundance of food. No traditional dishes, a holiday repertoire pulled out, no note cards flipped through searching for grandma’s recipe for this, mom’s recipe for that, dad’s special whatever. No. Thanksgiving. Dinner. None.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CROSTATA DI MARMELLATA (JAM TART)

MAKE A WISH


The occasional tapping of wrench against iron, footsteps across the creaking, ancient parquet and the hum of distant voices are the only things to break the silence of a silent apartment. The sun – finally, the long-awaited sun – sneaks in, wary to make too much of a show or to commit beyond today, as I sit and begin my week. Good moods have returned in spades, lighting up my days in a way that no bright ray of sunshine can. Whistling, singing, smiles bursting across rosy-cheeked male faces have a way of cheering me up and pushing me joyously through the day. My own sluggish, lackadaisical mood is reinvigorated and I find myself inspired once again. Things seem to be looking up in Crazy Town, our tiny private island lost in a sea of mankind has burst into summery bloom even as autumn sets in outside my windows. We are, once again, on the right track.

Friday, November 11, 2011

APPLE DUMPLINGS & ORANGE MASCARPONE TARTLETS

STARTING OVER - BAD DREAMS AND GHOSTS


A fleeting premonition. It spun before her eyes, a flash of knowledge. Should she say something, try to get him to slow down, warn him of impending…what? Danger? She hesitates. He never liked it when she in her constant state of nervous anxiety tried to warn him, control him. And it usually all ended in nothing anyway. Or was there simply not enough time? Then there came those hang gliders, so close she could practically touch them if she rolled down her window and reached out her hand, brush her fingers across their skin; so close she could see their faces, see their smiles, weaving in and out, in and then away from the car. And then it was upon them. She turned her head and noticed that he was no longer watching the road, did not notice the curve of the highway as they sped forward, as the sharp turn in the road rushed towards them. He, too, had noticed the hang gliders so curiously close to the car, to the craggy, rugged mountainside and was observing them in wonder and slight amusement.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

RETURN TO MILAN

ROAD TRIP


Road Trip!” he yelled, fists pumping the air as his foot pressed down on the accelerator and the car hit the open highway. “Road Trip!” they echoed gleefully, thrilled to be on the road and heading back to Italy, their home, their favorite place. Snuggled into their chosen seats, packed in amongst too many suitcases, umbrellas, rubber boots, crumpled, well-worn maps strewn around under seats and crammed down into side pockets and bags overflowing with boxes of cookies, bottles of water and bars of chocolate, they were on a great adventure, just the three of them, father, mother and son.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FROM PLATE TO PAGE TUSCANY

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it,
and the imagination to improvise.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Sylvia Plath


Squeals of laughter resonate throughout the villa, bouncing off the heavy stone walls, boomeranging down the stairwell. Women clatter from floor to floor, trailing power cords and camera bags in their wake. Sweaters tugged closer to ward off the chill of this Old Grande Dame of a house as we settle in for the second From Plate to Page workshop.

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