The original plan for my recipe writings was to post seasonal recipes, adding to each category on a weekly basis in alphabetical order, from top to bottom and back. My thoughts on filling the categories equally in intervals has evolved for a number of reasons.
First of all, the category of ‘My Mom’s Favorites’ is very important to me, and I want her entries to be completely accurate. This inspires lots of thinking and jotting down of notes. I am currently researching her hand-written recipe cards, arranging them chronologically. I have now decided to present my Mom’s favorites by putting them together in combinations of dishes which she liked to serve at dinners shared with family and friends. I hope not only to reflect her cooking style and generous personality, but also to weave the story of many memories, starting with our house in Caldogno. This category will be posted periodically as it is both beautiful and also very difficult for me to write about because I miss her so.
Second of all, as far as ‘Authentic Italian’ is concerned, I will only post recipes in this category when both the cooking methodology as well as the ingredients are true to Italy itself. I must do so or risk puzzling my Italian friends and staying awake at night worrying at the same time. Thoughts about what is truly Italian vary from region to region and table to table. Nevertheless I will reserve this category for both traditional and contemporary authentic Italian cooking, adding to this chapter often.
I will be making many additions to the ‘Cupboard essentials’ category. This part of my writing is essential because it will include many favorite ingredients which are basic to my personal kitchen. The reference to the cupboard is practical because these recipes are composed of simple combinations that require time in preparation. Once made, they have a long shelf-life, making cooking on a daily basis that much easier and yet more interesting. Many cupboard essentials fit together like a puzzle.
In conclusion I have added the category ‘My culinary tradition’ to give space to the dishes which strictly speaking cannot be called authentically Italian due to the use of foreign ingredients. It is here I will place my recipes which contain such combinations as wood-smoked fish with garlic, Dijon mustard with honey, yoghurt with avocado, pink pepper with lime, dates filled with almonds and red pepper, cake filled with pears soaked in wine or my version of lemon tart.
I will stay true to the seasons in each category. My choice of ingredients for a particular recipe will often change after having visited my favorite place — the farmers market or the Turkish vegetable shop close to my current home. The order in which I fill in the categories will vary accordingly.
About the photographs: this is the first house I remember living in as a child, just across the street from a villa built by the Renaissance architect Palladio, located in the village of Caldogno. At night the bubbling of the creek could be heard; and laundry was done in its flowing waters every Monday morning.
I will most probably post my writings less often than I like as life’s duties and requirements call more often than I would like. Sunday is my favorite day to procrastinate and writing is my most productive and creative way of doing so.