After 2 years living in Italy, I had to buy an extra case to bring back my very neccessary emergency shoe purchases. I’m returning home after this Sicily trip with rather different accessories. There’s my new silicon cake mould in this season’s scarlet, and a doorstop of Parmesan that’s going to stop the fridge door from closing. There’s also the bag full of rocks, sadly not of the sparkly variety. My daughter insisted that all her friends would like a crumbly black pumice stone from mount Etna’s crater.
Most importantly though, I’m bringing back around 30 fabulous new recipes given to me by the lovely people I revisited around Sicily. Some welcomed us into their kitchens to meet their families and friends and to demonstrate how to recreate the dishes their own children loved and still love. They didn’t mind at all when my daughter wanted to help with the cooking, clapped with delight when she demonstrated her egg breaking skills, and waved away my apologies when she spilt flour all over the floor.
They showed me the little things that make the difference. Knowing how to check if pizza dough is the right consistency. Marinating raw mince in herbs and wine overnight to create a ragu of an entirely different class. Shunning shiny waxed lemons for the more perfumed aroma of their sallow unwaxed counterparts when flavouring a simple pudding.
Their passion for making delicious children’s food from simple but good quality ingredients inspired me all over again, reminding me why I started this blog in the first place. Some recipes will be easy to recreate at home in my kitchen, others may need several attempts in order to adapt ideas based on local ingredients, but I’m already used to doing this with many of the recipes I’ve been given from around Italy.
I’m going to test and post one of my delicious new Sicilian discoveries as soon as possible. Hope you’ll love it as much as me.