Panna Cotta ‘Orientale’ * ‘Eastern’ Panna Cotta

Ebbene si’, sono sopravvissuta alla tesi per il Masters, ed ora sono nella famigerata palude in cui si aggirano sperduti i nuovi dottorandi, cercando la domanda giusta che avra’ una risposta fra tre anni… Purtroppo niente Gollum da seguire, quindi immagino che inciampero’ in un bel po’ di ‘luci’ sbagliate prima di uscire dalla palude. Intanto ritorno alla mia cucina (qualcuno potrebbe dire ‘era ora’) con una ricetta per il contest di mia sorella, che altrimenti ha detto che mi disconosce :-p . Ultimamente, sara’ l’autunno, ho voglia di spezie e cose dorate, quindi sono andata per una combinazione un po’ insolita: zafferano, cardamomo e zucchero soffice non raffinato invece che il solito a velo. Spero vi piaccia!

Cucinando e Assaggiando latest contest

Cucinando e Assaggiando latest contest

Indeed yes, I survived my MSc dissertation, and am now in the well-known swamp where new PhDs aimlessly wander around, looking for that golden question which I will answer in three years time… Unfortunately, I have got no Gollum to guide me around, so I guess I will stumble in quite a lot of false ‘lights’ before I get out. Still, in the meanwhile I am back in my kitchen (someone might say ‘about time’), with a recipe for my sister’s contest, since I have been threatened to be disowned if I don’t contribute :-p . Lately, probably because Autumn is settling in, I feel like golden and spicy foods, so I opted for a combination of saffron and cardamom, with soft brown sugar to boot, instead of the more common icing sugar. Hope you’ll like it!

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On making time

Isn’t it funny how, when you’re pressed for time, is those little things that make you feel better that drop off your to do list first? At least, that’s what happens with me. I get busier and busier and busier with my studies, and my dissertation builds itself up nicely, but my brain, when I finally get home, feels dead. My kitchen shuts down, my meals become hurried, repetitive and unexciting and the days become a blur. And so here am I, tired, in the middle of an heatwave, and I finally figure out (with some help from J., who has been repeating this little nugget of wisdom for weeks now) that I either make time for myself, or I am going to have a breakdown. So here am I, after a nice ‘posh’ wrap, in my little corner, making time. I’d love to promise myself that I’ll make this quietly sitting and writing a regular part of my day, but I’d rather not make promises I can not keep. I’ll probably be invisible from the blogs of all the people who thought of me and dedicated awards to me over time, and stopped by to leave comments, and this corner will probably become what I originally thought it would be at the beginning: my own recipe and thoughts book. Maybe you, old and new readers, will not like this new, more intimate, dimension. Or maybe you will surprise me again, and will keep coming, as you did even when nothing new was happening. Either way, this is me, making time.

Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock (Photo credit: simpologist)

Non e’ strano vome, quando non si e’ super-indaffarati, le piccole cose che ci fanno stare meglio finiscono fuori dalla lista di cose da fare? O almeno, cosi’ succede a me. Vengo assorbita piu’ e piu’ nei miei studi, e la mia tesi cresce ma la mia testa, quando finalmente arrivo a casa, diventa vuota. La mia cucina chiude le imposte, i miei pasti vengono consumati in fretta, e divantano noiosi e ripetitivi, e i giorni si fondono l’uno nell’altro.  E cosi’ eccomi qui, stanca, nel mezzo di un’ondata di caldo, e finalmente mi entra in testa (con l’aiuto di J., che me l’ha ripetuto per settimane) che o trovo tempo per me, o mi riduco ad avere un esaurimento. E cosi’ eccomi qui, dopo un wrap pieno di ingredienti speciali e mangiato con calma, di nuovo nel mio angolino virtuale. Vorrei promettermi che questo essere qui seduta con calma a scrivere rimarra’ parte della mia routine quotidiana, ma preferisco non fare promesse che potrei non mantenere. Immagino che saro’ invisibile dai blog di tutte quelle persone che hanno pensato a me, e sono passate a commentare o mi hanno lasciato premi. Il mio angolino tornera’ a essere quello che era all’inizio: il mio diario personale di ricette e pensiere. Forse voi, lettori vecchi e nuovi, non vi ritroverete in questa nuova, piu’ intima, dimensione. O forse mi sorprenderete di nuovo, e continuerete a passare, come avete fatto anche quando non c’era niente di nuovo da vedere. In ogni caso, rieccomi qui, facendo un po’ di tempo per me.

Edinburgh:a bit of Cramond

Hello there! Busy week, but there is a really exciting (well, for me, anyways) conference on early medieval Scotland, so I am looking forward to the weekend (thanks H. for the ticket!)… I should actually finish preparing a in-class exam for Monday afternoon, but I can leave that till Monday morning ;-) (tip for other students: do not imitate me…) In the meanwhile, here is a picture I’ve always loved since i took it a couple of years ago: I just love the way the ships sails frame the flower bushes on the back, and the fact that the ship is “for sale” only adds to the charm. Mind you, I’d never set foot on a boat, a 5 minutes ferry is enough to make me sick :-p Have a good wee-end!

Don't you want to be there already?

Don’t you want to be there already?

Ciao a tutti/e! Ho avuto una settimana piena di cose da fare, come al solito, ma se non altro questo wee-end c’e’ una conferenza sulla Scozia nel medioevo che e’ davvero da non perdere (beh, almeno per me!) (grazie per il biglietto, H.!). In teoria dovrei finire di preparare un esame per lunedi’ pomeriggio, ma posso sempre farlo lunedi’ mattina ;-) (studenti la’ fuori: non imitatemi!). Nel frattempo, questa e’ una foto che ho sempre adorato da quando la scattai: soprattutto la maniera in cui le vele inquadrano il cespuglio fiorito sullo sfondo, ed il fatto che la barca sia in vendita non fa certo male. Anche se io non ci salirei mai, visto che 5 minuti su un traghetto sono sufficienti a farmi venire da vomitare :-p Buon week-end!

Edinburgh: empty nest

Charming little nest of a house, in central location, with open views towards the city centre, the castle, Holyrood Park, Calton Hill and beyond. Very quiet location, but with a few nuts-loving neighbours. Low electricity bills guaranteed by near-by public lights, but heating may require more effort. Insulation will need replenishing. Warning: no roof. Offers only by animals shorter than 10cm, to be sent to the Birds family, currently residing South.

P.S I hope it doesn’t need saying… but you can’t actually buy this nest ;-)

Empty nest

Empty nest

Picolo nido adorabile di casa, in centro citta’. Vista verso il centro, il castello, Holyrood Park, Calton Hill ed oltre. Situazione tranquilla, ma alcuni dei vicini amano le noci. Basse bollette elettriche garantite dall’illuminazione pubblica, ma il riscaldamento richiedera’ un certo sforzo. L’insolazione termica necessita lavoro. Attenzione: niente tetto. Applicazioni considerate soltanto da esseri alti meno di 10cm, da indirizzarsi alla famiglia Uccelli, attualmente in residenza al Sud.

P.S Non ve lo devo dire, vero, che nel mondo reale questo nido non e’ in vendita? ;-)

Freezer cooking

One of the last dinners I had at my sister, the conversation fell on how I, supposedly, don’t like vegetables. The truth is, I love vegetables, but I’d rather cook them, while my sister, more often then not, serves them raw. When I told her that she should know better  (since I have this tiny blog) she pointed out that I’ve blogged so few of my meals lately, that really she couldn’t know. One of the reasons I posted so little, aside from not having more than five minutes in a row for myself, is that I started freezer cooking in bulk (.i. making lots of dishes at the same time, portioning them, and freezing them). How do you post freezer cooking? All together? Meal by meal? And it takes a while to get pictures of everything in a plate, provided you remember to take out the camera a week later! Still, my sister’s remarks are still in my head, so I thought I might just show her that yes, I do eat veggies.

freezer cooking bounty

freezer cooking bounty

This is what I made in mid-January: 3 very genereous stuffed panini with caramelised onions and tuna; hot black rice salad with beetroots, gorgonzola and pecorino (2 portions) ; a loaf of bread; a handful of mini-pizzas; caramelised onion and beetroots dip (3 servings); mushrooms pasta sauce (4 servings).

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Raining awards-part1

Why raining? Well, I’ve got 5 to post, so if this isn’t raining, I don’t know what is! Thanks so much to all of you who thought about me, I’ve been neglecting this corner lately and they feel so undeserved… But I can hardly publish 5 together, can I? For one, I realize I don’t have the time for such long posts. So I’ll do one at a time, in chronological order, and I’ll pass the badge on with the last post in the series.

So, award n.1 is from… supercaliveggie! And before I say thank you, I should also say sorry… She nominated me back in October, and I am only getting round to posting and thanking her now. I hope she’ll forgive me, but I had an hectic semester…

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Edinburgh: look left, look right

Hy everyone! How was your week? I keep hoping I am going to have time to sit down and prepare some culinary posts, and I always end the day knackered. Then again, when my walks to uni look like this (plus a fair amount of researching work) it’s no surprise. Believe it or not, this is the same day, the same time and the same place (Regent Road). I swear. And in case you were wondering, my campus is towards the left (and the sleeting).

Pick a side: would you prefer sleety and grey or sunny and blue?

Pick a side: would you prefer sleety and grey or sunny and blue?

Ciao a tutti! Com’e’ andata la vostra settimana? Io continuo a sperare di avere tempo di sedermi e preparare qualche post di cucina, ma finisce sempre che la sera sono a pezzi. Non una gran sorpresa se le mia passeggiate verso l’uni hanno questo aspetto (piu’, si capisce, lo studio)! Credeteci o meno, queste foto sono state scattate dallo stesso posto (Regent Road), alla stessa ora dello stesso giorno. Giuro. E se per caso aveste bisogno di chiederlo, ovviamente il campus sta verso sinistra (e il nevischio).