Ten years ago, I pushed ‘post’ for the first time. What a journey! Honestly, I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into, and I am so glad I didn’t: I took it one step at a time and learned along the way. The discovery was both on the content front and on the technical side, and there were hurdles on both. At some point, though, things became quite clear and predictable. This blog was not really going to be a blog, as in a “weblog,” rather it became a collection of about 60 of my favorite recipes, a place where to publish short articles or essays, as one could say, on Italian culture, ingredients, and products and the companion website of my podcast, which has 78 episodes to-date.
If you’ve been following me, you have certainly noticed however that, lately, my posts have been lacking significantly and that my presence on the social networks has also gone down. This was an exceptional year, however, and I do plan to resume blogging and podcasting as soon as things will normalize a bit. I’m sure you all know what I’m referring to, COVID-19 has seriously disrupted our lives, if not worse. On top of this, the pandemic hit as we were renovating our new house in preparation for moving in. This, of course, proved to be challenging, but it all worked out in the end!
Moving to a nearby town while lockdown is in place was probably the hardest part. We lost the physical presence of neighbors, friends, and coworkers, as well as familiar places and routines. No more strolls to the neighborhood park, no more day trips to London, no more stopping at the local grocery store where you know where everything is! And of course no more favorite restaurants and cafes. Normally, when one moves, they replace the comfort of familiarity with the excitement of discovery. Well, there hasn’t been a lot of discovery with social-distancing in full effect. Just a few strolls around town, some getting in line at the grocery store, and some careful errands at the post office or the hardware store. Things are getting much better now, with more businesses reopening. But we all know that there is still a significant risk of a second wave and that – really – we should all still try to stay home whenever we can.
Staying home though has its advantages. A lot more cooking! And a lot more planning around what to cook, based on the availability of delivery slots from the online superstore we started using heavily. With more time for cooking as well, this was a win-win situation for us. We experimented with more recipes and cuisines, some baking, and of course still going strong with my sourdough! Speaking of which, the only recipe/article I posted this year was about my proofing and baking method and I couldn’t be more proud of the reliable results I keep getting, still with the same starter which has now been with us for 16 months! At first, during lockdown, everyone seemed to have started baking and it was a bit challenging to get a hold of the strong flour needed for feeding, but with the help of friend bakers we still managed to source enough of it, and it’s now back on the shelves. I hope that more people got into baking as a result!
During the past year, I only published one podcast episode – a chat with writer Andrew Cotto on his lovely novel Cucina Tipica, which is set in Italy and centered on food, as you might have guessed! I have been in touch with future podcast guests and I plan to resume production in the next few weeks.
To end this anniversary post, I would like to thank you all for your support during these months. I wish you all the best and hope to chat with you soon via messages, comments, and – who knows – maybe through a podcast! Stay safe.