I have a close relationship with my stove. I talk to her (in my mind it’s a ‘she’) every day, and she talks back in steam puffs and flickering fires. She’s been a friend since I have memory and a confidant during the last year, between a lockdown and another, when our social routines went dry. (Fun fact: the Italian word for stove is stufa, which also mean bored. Can you relate to that?).
So yes, we talk a lot, the stove and I. And sometimes we fight. You see, cooking can be one of the most creative activities, so closely tied to all that’s pleasure and confort. But it can also be a daily drama (thank you, 2020!), aggrieved by those judgmental scales we have. And no matter how much you love it: it comes a time when you just run out of ideas, the prospect of putting down a balanced diet is overwhelming, and you end up going the easy way – a pack of chips, canned meat, frozen veggies (or no veggies at all). You name it.
That’s when I can be of help. I love food when it’s good, healthy and quick. Complex, luxurious meals need time, patience and skills (and here and there I will show you something on this side, too), but I know for certain that simple things are the best. A little organisation when shopping and stocking, some hints about combining elements, and there you go.
Outside the kitchen, my family is with me. My husband can provide a helping hand and is a brave taster; my daughter Francesca and her friend Daniel take care of pics, video and all that’s digital; my son Federico is a would-be gastronomic journalist and a professional cook who every now and then passes me tips and modern recipes.
My sisters, nephews and nieces in Italy and Australia occasionally send notes and experiments, and share memories of when we used to seat at a table set for 12, everyday, lunch and dinner. My mother, an outstanding cook herself, was the director of that ever changing movie. She is no longer with us but she really is the genie presiding over my kitchen.
Inside, it’s just me and the stove: she knows it all, and keeps track of everything. Follow us: we’ll keep you fed and entertained.