The week-ends are made for cooking. At least in this household. It does not matter that in our apartment I feel, at times, like a hard boiled egg placed in a microwave; I shall roast, bake and fry the hell out of this summer anyway.
It’s only July but I am starting to long the chill of September.
I have always been a sucker for the fall.
When I was a child, I forced my grand dad to take me to the news stand, which also doubled as local school supply mecca, to buy all the new stationary already in August. I looked forward to smelling the paper of brand new notebooks and the dusty smell of graphite in the pencils. It evoked the smell of grass and rain. It conjured the perfume of rotting leaves and the bitter scent of olives that my grandma rhythmically broke with a stone on the marble of her kitchen. The pungent odor of the jumpers that came out from storage and the smoke of the fireplace where we used to roast the first chestnuts.
I used to put my new belongings in a pile on the old chest drawer that my father built, and look at it every night before falling asleep dreaming of the stories I just read or imagining those I wished I could live.
I still consider the beginning of the year to be October; like a school child is still inside of me somewhere, although I am turning 40 in less than a week. And I still have to force myself not to say goodbye to my colleagues with a cheerful: “See you next year“, the day I am leaving for the summer holidays; like I would do with my schoolmates at the end of the term.
Last night a thunderstorm cooled down the air. You could hear the boisterous voice of Thor from afar, so I put on this playlist of Murakami’s vinyl collection on my Iphone, and I made a soup.
(for two people)
500 gr of datterini tomatoes
Olive oil EVO
4 cloves of garlic with their skin
300 gr zucchini
salt, thyme and pepper
300 ml of vegetable stock
1 cut the tomatoes in halves put them in a baking dish, add the garlic, coat the top with some maple syrup, sprinkle some salt and add some thyme branches. Add a generous amount of olive oil and cook for 30/40 min at 200 C in the oven.
2. Dice the zucchini, add the shallot cut in half, salt and pepper and a generous amount of olive oil. Bake for 30-40 min at 200 C in the oven. Until they are brown and roasted (but not burned).
3. Add the tomatoes, the zucchini, the shallots and the garlic (remove the skin now) in a blender, add the stock and a splash of vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add some more olive oil, if you wish to be decadent. I did.
500 gr of flour
15 gr of dry yeast
15 gr of salt
340 gr of water at 35/36 C
1 Stir the yeast in the water. Put the flour in a bowl that is big enough for the dough to double. Make a hole in the middle and add the salt on the edges of the hole. Put the water with yeast in the hole and with a non stick spatula start mixing. You don’t need to kneed for this recipes, just stir until everything comes together.
2. cover the bowl with some clean film and let the dough raise for one hour or two depending on the room temperature, until it has doubled its size.
3 put the bowl in the fridge (covered with clean film) for min 3 hours, preferably 24 hours.
4.Warm up the oven at 250 C, put a heat resistant container full of water into the oven. It helps the bread to raise and not form the crust too soon.
5. When ready take the bowl out of the fridge and make the dough in the shape you wish. Cover it and let it raise for 40 min. Make some diagonal cuts on the dough before putting it into the oven. Bake for 40 min . I used a pizza stone which I put in the oven to warm up for 40 min before cooking the bread.
6. Cool down on a cooling rack before slicing it.
There are no pictures of the baked bread because the viking and I tore it apart before I could take a decent picture. It was that good.