During the Christmas holidays I reunited with my friend Nina after almost a year apart. She had moved back to South India after three years in the Netherlands and was in Amsterdam for a few days. Irresistibly, our catching up ended up revolving around food.
So your long-awaited holidays in southern Italy are over, you just travelled from 28°C sunny to 13°C solid grey in less than three hours and timely caught the Italian disease while waiting for your lift outside Amsterdam Airport. They call it il colpo di freddo, “the hit of cold”; its symptoms include chills, slightly sore throat, a mild cough or sneezing, headache, running nose, stiff neck and general asthenia. It may associate with grumpiness. There’s only one thing left for you to do: go home as fast as you can and make soup!
While the world had certainly more serious issues to deal with, yesterday I woke up scratching my head about the tangled mess of sprouts growing in my kitchen. I tend to recurring enthusiasms for self-made, home-grown stuff. I guess it’s a side effect of my obsession with self-sufficiency: in case I ever find myself in charge of starting a new civilisation from scratch, I like to think that at least I would know how start a fire, build a shelter and bake good bread – I’d stick around if I were you. Ideally, I would get to the point of stitching my own clothes, making my own pelati (peeled tomatoes) and preserves from my own produce, and only use the eggs laid by the three pet-chickens I will have one fine day (I dream of a vegetable garden and free range chickens hiding eggs in the backyard).