The idea for this blog springs from a personal and enduring passion for both cookery and gardening. Since my grandma (who was born from peasant parents here in Tuscany), and my mom have always been home-loving housewives, I’ve learnt how to cook at a very early age. My grandma’s family was big (she had four children, including mom, and several grandchildren) and when we gathered for holiday meals, cooking was both a feast and a trouble. Watching them – the two generations of women in my family – while preparing ragù, lasagne, crostini coi fegatini (chicken-liver toasts) and arrosto (roast-meat) was the best training I could have ever wished for. Unlike them, who are very traditional in their recipes, I’m more curious and love experimenting different cuisines and cultures – and in this sense, my husband Mario (who, incidentally, is the official photographer of this blog’s recipes – endless thanks, my love!!) is my greatest supporter, being himself a really big, hearty eater. Actually, besides being my photographer, is also the legitimate taster of all my dishes, so blame it on him for the choice of the recipes! Of course, I neither claim to be a great cook nor to create remarkable recipes: there are so many fantastic foodblogs around that I feel I’m just a drop in the ocean! But I’m engaging in this new adventure just for fun and I think that’s the right spirit to do things. Moreover, since my baby was born last May, I feel so enthusiastic and energetic about life: I feel like doing things, creating, experimenting. And I have so little time to do so! Sometimes I’m so tired that I only wish I could sleep, but I can’t help it: the less time I have, the more creative I become.
As for gardening, well, that’s a more recent passion. When Mario and I had to choose our future house – our first, hard-earned house – I put some conditions on its requirements: white doors, parquet in every room (except in the bathroom!) and a garden. Though I grew up in a flat with a condominial garden, we’ve never had a garden or a balcony on our own and this lack of outdoor spaces has always been to me a sort of a physical and moral constriction. That’s why I’ve always longed for my own garden where I could grow plants and fruits, and I finally had it: a very small flat with a pretty large backyard. Of course, we still wish to have our own farmhouse in the country with an orchard, a kitchen garden and even cows, but that’s another story and for now we are content with our small backyard. Although it is almost entirely paved, there was enough room for a quince tree, a pomegranate tree and an enormous plant of sage, together with shrubs and roses. The rest was placed in terracotta and blue pots (I love blue pots!): thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, lemon verbena, coriander, basil, parsley, tomatoes, a lemon tree and even rhubarb, which is impossible to find in Italian supermarkets. Eating natural is my motto and I try to pursue this aim growing my own kitchen garden. Sometimes it’s easy and satisfactory, sometimes it’s disappointing, but there’s nothing funnier than being in your garden and picking up what you need for cooking. Obviously I can’t grow all the staff I’d like (supermarkets will do), but that’s ok: it’s a big achievement all the same and I hope people around me will enjoy it.