It seemed fitting to follow my previous post of coffee with… cake! It’s been decades since I made patty cakes or cupcakes (‘tortine‘ in Italian). I decided to make some for my cousins who, when I visited them at Christmas time, sent me home with their home-made crostoli in a paper bag. A small gesture that was unexpected and lovely.
We’re returning to their place to harvest the wine grapes they’ve been growing from cuttings Roger gave them a few years back. And so begins the process of him making the wine for this year (yes, he still does so the old-style way taught to him by Nonno Anni and older Italians!) Will share with you some of the process in my next post.
In the meantime, hope my cousins like the tortine! (With so many fancy ones about these days, I had forgotten how nice simple vanilla can be.) 💛 xx
These lovelies are some baking treats from having more time in the kitchen of late (and there’s been some fiascos as well as triumphs, I admit!) Roger is the scone baker in our house so gets credit for these. He likes following set recipes, while I’m more of a ‘bit of this and that’ cook, assessing as I go. The last time I baked scones was in a school ‘home economics’ class where the teacher said my hands were too warm for the dough (cool hands are better so scones aren’t tough apparently).
Great-grandma Charlotte was the scone baker in my family. She even entered some at the Ipswich show and gained second place for ‘best plate homemade scones’ in 1927 (her breads won several firsts!) Her daughter, Lorna, my grandma, preferred talking politics with a cigarette in hand than cooking, though she did make a mean fried rice. I feel for her as she’d have been great in a professional career but most women in those days didn’t get that chance. I had a thing for pancakes and pikelets from a young age and that page of my first cookbook is splodged with attempts. Just like the kitchen now wears flour over the benchtop and a bit on the floor too.
The thing about home cooking is, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out quite right. When there’s that comforting, cooking scent in the house (if not too burnt!), a cloth spread over the table and a cup of tea or coffee ready, eating what you’ve cooked while it’s still warm can unexpectedly bring back happy memories and stories of people loved, now long-gone, and just for a little while, all feels well.