Projects: To Grow, To Make and To Cook.

Butter, Ricotta and Kefir - I made all three of these at some point in Paris. They're relatively labour-intensive and ordering unpasteurised milk from my local cheesemonger (it had to be ordered in specially for me) got me the reputation of being "the weird English girl." However, the butter here in Italy is really dire (I was so spoilt in France!) that desperation may well drive me to risk my reputation again and ask my cheesemonger to put aside some milk for me...  

Fortune Favours The Bold

Setting up life in a new country is never simple. That said, it's been almost exactly one year since I made the decision to move and I don't regret it at all. For every "that didn't work out the way I thought it would" set-back (I wouldn't go so far as to say failure, although … Continue reading Fortune Favours The Bold

Some Like It Hot

It's been really boiling hot this week and often without as much as the slightest breeze. Temperatures will easily soar above 30 degrees (86F) every day... and what makes it particularly unbearable is that it doesn't start getting cool until at least 10pm at night. Normally I like standing in the kitchen, spatula in hand, … Continue reading Some Like It Hot

Mimolette – the “cheese-mite cheese”

Mimolette is the famous French "cheese-mite cheese" - a term which sends shivers down the spine of the uninitiated and provoked wholly unjustified terror in the case of this journalist for the Kansas City Star! It's a round cheese, hailing from the French/Belgium border (near the city of Lille.) Its size is fractionally smaller than … Continue reading Mimolette – the “cheese-mite cheese”

Renovating A House In Italy Is Nothing Like “Under The Tuscan Sun”

Picture an old house, on a hill, in the lush Italian countryside, completely surrounded by vineyards. Sounds idyllic, right? Especially if you've seen or read "Under The Tuscan Sun" you'll already have indulged yourself in a fantasy of doing up a house in Italy. Read this superb article in The New Yorker if you're under any … Continue reading Renovating A House In Italy Is Nothing Like “Under The Tuscan Sun”

To Survive In Italy, You Must Be Resourceful

Living - and surviving - in Italy means being resourceful. You think something's going to be ok because previous experience has taught you how it's done. Well, moving to Italy means putting all that "I've got this figured out" attitude aside and being prepared to eat a lot of humble pie. After a while, however … Continue reading To Survive In Italy, You Must Be Resourceful

Summer’s Here With A Strawberry Genoise Cake

I find the concept of food blogging quite awkward. A casual food blogger is not a professional chef, nor is he or she a recipe-writer. (Unless you have the patience to test each recipe until it has reached perfection, e.g. David Lebovitz.) I personally don't have that kind of dutiful patience. For example, as much as … Continue reading Summer’s Here With A Strawberry Genoise Cake

On Shaky Foundations?

You may remember from my post ten days ago (Building A Life) that building works have started recently on the house next-door. Consequently, my daily routine has now been set to a soundtrack of drilling, banging and grinding of heavy machinery. It starts at 7am and plays on loop until 5pm, with just one hour … Continue reading On Shaky Foundations?

Building a Life In Italy

It's never a good sign when someone wakes you from your postprandial siesta with a knock at the door and a "permesso?" On this occasion, standing on our stoop were next-door's builders. They have just started work on the house adjacent to where I live with The Boy and Super Dog. If ever there's been … Continue reading Building a Life In Italy

Taking a Tart for Labour Day

"Hey Emma, you remember we're leaving at 10am...." whispers the boy, "... well, it's almost 9am and you still have that cake to do!" The done thing in Italy on the 1st May (Labour Day) is to organise a day-out in the countryside. It doesn't matter if you're already living in rural countryside, surrounded by vineyards.... … Continue reading Taking a Tart for Labour Day