For a strange reason I have felt almost a little 'fake' and in-turn embarrassed to write. I have felt that my experiences and what I have gained can not be translated correctly to you. Here I am an Australian woman living in Italy trying to write about Italian food and in some-way for a short period I felt like a phony. I think this has also been a reason for my apprehension to commence. Although I do believe now after hosting a few dinner parties and sharing my food with Italian's I have proven myself to be a good cook and feel confident once again in sharing with you. Believe it or not, a few of my first cooking attempts were a flop which definitely bruised my pride a (damn that new oven)! Why do we humans plague ourselves with such destructive thoughts, such as self doubt? I know I am a great cook, but in someway I have needed to seek approval to justify this- could this be called being humble (or just plain crazy)? I think some of the nervousness comes from the fact that Italian's are particularly critical about food. So I guess in a sense being complimented by them is one huge pat on the back.
It has also baffled me that during this lack of communicating with you, you have continued to support me. For this I am grateful and humbled. This blog still continues to receive approximately 100 searches per day. In fact, I have received several messages from concerned readers- one from a popular restaurant. I promise now that I have finally published my first post from Italy, soon to follow will be many food recipes. Within 24 hours of arriving I had already encountered several gastronomic experiences. I thought it would be simply inappropriate to publish my first post from Italy as a recipe. To me, it deserved so much more.
Viareggio is a relatively small sea-side 'glitzy' town in Tuscany. A place that I like but not particularly. In my opinion the ancient Cities that are of close proximity offer aspects more to my palate such as art galleries, concert halls, museums, and controversial fashion. Viareggio does not really host any of these attributes, especially in winter. I find the architecture to lack inspiration almost on a daily basis (although it is not too shabby waking up to a view of the Mediterranean sea every day- or watching the breathtaking sunset from my balcony)! However for some reason this place feels like home to me. I know that one of the major factors that attribute to my current happy state of mind are the people I have meet here and now consider to be my friends. This time I feel like I have truly settled in, and resumed a somewhat 'normal' existence. On my return I felt as though Italy gave me one big invisible hug welcoming me back and the wind whispered that everything would be ok. It is so wonderful finally living in an apartment that although temporary, is mine. To most I think this conventional style of living is taken for granted, but as I have not lived in my own space for such a long time, I am truly appreciative of this. My life for a while has been almost nomad like, in that I have not felt settled. My days in Viareggio have been filled by riding my bike, going to local markets, inviting friends over for coffee- which seem to overlap into lunch, hosting a few parties, teaching English and cooking classes, and travelling a little. I think some of this contentment must go to my flatmate, Cristian. In fact, many of my great food experiences yet simplest have been shared with him around our table. His generosity and ability to cook wonderful food continues to amaze me (I know he will be embarrassed reading this).
Sharing my love for people in the best way I know how to- cooking!
|'Buona Domenica'- Good Sunday lunch at a friends house|
|Mayor of Polisenta in Calabria pays his respect at a 100th birthday party|
|yes, they are whole chillies on the pizza- Calabria|
|fresh tomatoes and whole balls of buffalo mozzarella- Positano|
|a man cuts a slice of peach and offers me the best piece |
|literally sun-drying chillies on a roof top in Tropea- Calabria|
|a doughnut waiting for me at 5:30am in the morning, for my road trip|
|Climbing the local Alps in Tuscany "Apuane Alps"-searching for...........|
|.......picking mushrooms, eating figs straight of the tree, and finding chestnuts|
|'aperitivo' at my house with friends|
|Hitting the local Italian 'discoteca' with my girlfriends|
|singing traditional songs in Calabria|
|a selection of cheeses at a small local market in Calabria|
|100 year old Grandma offers cakes to young children from her front door|
|Catarina slicing 100 bread rolls- literally|
|'snacking' on my terrace|