Tag Archives: my Italian Australian life

the lovely simplicity of vanilla…

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

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Art, another year… and coffee

Verso buoni finali e buoni inizi! To good endings and good beginnings (and good coffee too!) What a time it is at present. “Mamma mia!” as Nanna Francesca would say, while Nonno Anni would likely raise his hands, palms up, as if all we can do is get on with it as best we can.
And so we do.

I’ve been back at my desk a week and Roger is back at work too so I no longer have my ‘personal barista’ in the house. Those who know, Mezza Italiana, may recall that on his first trip to Italy, Roger didn’t drink coffee and wouldn’t even go into a café with me, until he came to fall in love with all that is Italian, right up to growing and roasting coffee beans and even doing a barista course!

He’s never learnt coffee art but over our Christmas ‘holiday at home’ I asked if he wanted to try to create a different picture on our coffees each day and he happily gave it a go. Some are great, some maybe a little iffy, but that’s life really, a bit different each day and for the most part you sort of know what you’re going to get, but not truly and then there is the unexpected.

Auguri per l’anno and thank you for joining me here again. I can’t wait to share the next book with you later this year! Zoe xx

PS. I think my favourite might be ‘Aladdin’s lamp’.

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Light in the unexpected…

An unexpected package in my letterbox… a present from a lovely friend, Eileen, who was ordering fabrics for her business, happened to see this tea towel and thought of me.

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to go back to Abruzzo where Nonno Anni, Granny Maddalena and so many in my family are from, and where I used to buy such tea towels at the local market. So it’s great to add this one to the collection. (I’m guessing some of you may be familiar with these regional Italian linen tea towels!)

I used to carefully put them aside in the linen cupboard but now I use them and it’s lovely to see them in the kitchen each day. Thank you to Eileen for such kindness – it made my day to receive this! xx (Eileen makes cushions in gorgeous vintage fabrics at Touch Wood Design.) Times have been tough for so many lately. I guess I hold hope that such kindnesses, however small, that we might be able to do, can keep giving us some light.

Wishing you a lovely day! Zoe 💛🌻

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