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Simona Carini
Northern California
An Italian transplanted in California
Interests: creative cooking, cheese making, bread baking, food writing, blogging, book and box making, kayaking, photography, classical music You can contact me at simosite [AT] mac [DOT] com
Recent Activity
You are welcome, Wendy. Glad to read you've had a good harvest :)
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Thank you, Claudia. I find vegetables and fruit inspiring as shapes and colors. It's mother nature at work with occasionally some human creativity mixed in :)
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You should try it, Deb. It's so cute and also good (by the way, I have a pot of the soup on my stove right now :) You are welcome, my pleasure.
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The Thelma Sanders squash looks beautiful, Claudia: I hope it will give you good results. Some years ago one of our local farmers introduced me to white acorn varieties and I've been a fan every since. Prolific Squash sounds promising. Tonight for dinner I had my first squash of the season: delicata squash stuffed with leeks, egg and cheese. I am looking forward to your contribution :)
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2020 on Announcing Novel Food #40 at briciole
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creamy delight (placemat by La FABBRICA del LINO) In the year of COVID, in the summer (and now fall) of fires, I am clinging to cooking and reading to keep my balance. Among my to-read books, I recently chose a novel by the late Swedish author Henning Mankell (without Kurt Wallander2 as protagonist): The Man from Beijing.1 The book opens with a horrific mass murder in a remote Swedish village. Judge Birgitta Roslin, who is connected to some of the victims, gets involved the case, whose roots go back in time and space to the construction of the Pacific Railroad, which... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at briciole
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Summer is quickly moving to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it is time to launch a new edition of the culinary/literary event Novel Food, the 40th to be precise. Novel Food is a voyage of literary discovery and a party featuring literary-inspired dishes contributed by event's participants. This is the 13th anniversary edition: this is a hard year for the world and for California right now it is even more so. Still, I think it is important to focus on the small joys of daily life and certainly reading and cooking have been a comfort to me in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at briciole
Thank you, Debra :)
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I wonder what it takes to convince farmers to grow something a bit different. I guess they are worried people would not like the novelty. Here the Costata Romanesco is popular and I also find yellow zucchini. My husband does the same :)
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farm fresh and fabulous (placemat by La FABBRICA del LINO) Our current Cook the Books Club selection is Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown1, a novel that follows the stories of two women, Alice and Eleanor (Nellie). In 2018, Alice and her husband, Nate, move from Manhattan to a house in a town outside New York sold because the previous owner had died. In the basement, Alice finds a cookbook and a box of old magazines. Her neighbor, Sally, tells her a bit about Eleanor, who lived in the house from the mid-1950's until her death, and gives Alice... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at briciole
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I decided to give gardening another try, small scale and with low expectations. Kale does well in my garden, but I like some variety. The dumpling cart was a big hit: the artist painted it on site so we saw it come to life :)
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It was fun, Claudia, and interesting. I hope you can find some of those noodles in your area :)
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a bowl of great flavors (napkin by La FABBRICA del LINO) Our Cook the Books Club selection this time brings us to China (Cina) with the novel Kitchen Chinese by Ann Mah1, which follows the adventures of the two Lee sisters in Beijing (Pechino). Born and raised in New Jersey, the sisters follow different careers: Claire becomes a lawyer and moves to the Chinese capital to work for a prestigious firm, while Isabelle works as a fact-checker at a magazine in New York and wants to be a writer. Isabelle loses her job in a bad way and her boyfriend ends... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2020 at briciole
Dear Elizabeth, we can start a club. I just planted a sunflower seedling plus some more kale. Baby steps for me too. Good luck with the red okra :)
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Glad to read your farmers' markets are open again, Elizabeth. And yes, yay for farm fresh eggs :) Thank you for your kind words on Novel Food. And the next edition will be the 40th (hard to believe)
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I am confident I could handle a surfeit of zucchini, but in my case just a handful materialized. Given your climate, though, and your gardening skills, I would expect you'd face that problem, Claudia. The book is intense, indeed, but also hopeful. The format allowed me to read it slowly, which I usually need to do when a book is intense.
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I hear you, Elizabeth. I tried some years ago to grow zucchini and there was little return on the investment, so I now stick to what I know does well here: kale. Though this year I've been successful with some lettuce, which makes me happy :)
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Indeed, Elizabeth, you never know whether you can find food on the way so carrying a snack besides water is important. These bites do well in warmer weather too. I recommend you pick up the book again: there are interesting chapters ahead :)
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And thank you Elizabeth for another contribution to the event :)
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2020 on Announcing Novel Food #39 at briciole
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You certainly don't need me to add to the myriad stories about the pandemic we are experiencing, so while I acknowledge it and its consequences on all aspects of our life, here I would like to create a small corner of relief from the intense pressure. While different for each of us in content, such pressure is a reality for all of us. One element that has helped me cope with the situation has been the continuing ability to shop at our farmers' markets, to support our farmers and to bring to my kitchen season's produce. The other has been access... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2020 at briciole
You are welcome, Lucia. Glad my recipe came at a good time :)
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summer on the plate (napkin by La FABBRICA del LINO) The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian1 is the most engrossing memoir I have ever read and one I heartily recommend. The writing is delicate and evocative. The author tells her difficult, often deeply painful, story through vignettes organized in glossary format. The vignettes work like pieces of a puzzle: as the book proceeds, the reader reconstructs the lives of the main characters—the author, her parents and her sister. Adrian's husband and children also play an important role, one of hope, as we see that she has been able... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2020 at briciole
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simple ingredients rolled into energy bites (bar board and coaster by BHV Woodworks, napkin by La FABBRICA del LINO) After reading Laurie King's Garment of Shadows, 12th of the Mary Russell novels, I decided to read the first: The Beekper's Apprentice, originally published in 1994. A 20th anniversary edition was issued in 2014 with a new introduction by the author and that is the volume I read. The novel is narrated in first person by Mary Russell a young woman who meets semi-retired Sherlock Holmes while roaming the English countryside—in Sussex, where he is living with Mrs. Hudson—and becomes his investigative... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2020 at briciole
Thank you so much, Claudia :)
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2020 on Announcing Novel Food #39 at briciole
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Thank you so much for participating, Deb :)
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2020 on Announcing Novel Food #39 at briciole
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