When I started my 42-week sweet strike, I gave as granted that, although I would keep making desserts, the rate of savoury baking posts would have significantly increased. The other thing I was totally sure about, was that my first savoury post of this low-sugar season would have been aubergine Parmigiana.
Two weeks ago, I started a 42 weeks long sugar-strike: no added sugar or sweets of any kind until the 26th of February. I don’t want to bother you with the details and the “whys” and the “hows” of this decision, but one thing I was a bit worried taking this step was my blog. Not being able to taste and try and eat what I make will be surely a big challenge, but then I thought: well, OK, baking is more like Science, so the really important thing is not to taste but to follow the recipe. And in all truth, if I want to develop something new or make my own adaptations and try new things there will always be a number of people willing to make the “sacrifice” of tasting my concoctions on my behalf, my husband, for example, has already signed up very happily.
Sometimes baking is not about spending a lot of time in the kitchen with a 5 page long recipe and tens of ingredients. Sometimes baking is about putting together something quick and simple, but still very tasty and made the same care that a grand celebration cake would deserve.
I have been thinking of posting a recipe for an apple pie for very long time, but somehow never got around, as I never managed to decide on the best version to make. Apple pie is one of those mythical concepts very difficult to grasp because everybody knows it but always in a slightly different version. Every household has a favourite recipe, which slightly differs from all the others and, as they are all likely to be very good, it is very difficult to pin down the ultimate one. So, in a sort of enlightenment, I realised there was no point in looking for the perfect apple pie, the one that would make everybody happy and, as usual, when I stopped overcomplicating things, it became clear that the only right choice was MY apple pie, or rather, the apple pie of my childhood.
After a long week of running around like headless chicken, sorting out troubles that are either not mine or created by others with the sole purpose of “entertaining” me, one of the things to which I look forward the most is having half a day to spend in my kitchen. When I cook, especially if it is only for leisure, the mind is free to wander and get a well-deserved rest.
I left Italy 12 and a half years ago, in a very turbulent period of my life, sometimes it felt more like escaping than simply moving, and I have never really looked back in the strict sense of the words. I left without really knowing what I was going to find, but with the certainty, somewhere inside of me, that I would have not come back. I have been visiting a countless number of times, but not as if I was going home; for some reason, for me, from that very moment, Italy became my “former” home.
OK, I know what you will all think now, so much for a blog with some proper adult baking and no “baby baking”: she makes one Guinness and chocolate cake and thinks she can get away with that, we turn our eyes for one second and we find ourselves with banana pancakes! But I promise you, if you manage to follow until the end you won’t be disappointed as there are so many reasons why these pancakes are a great treat.