Ever since I moved away from home nearly ten years ago I realised my Italian heritage was less and less visible to new people I met and places I visited. I also spent a lot of time phoning my grandparents and mum to find out the tips and tricks for some of our family recipes. As I cooked and served these dishes for friends I would begin to tell them snippets of my family history, the regions in Italy my grandparents came from and how they met. It was then that the seed of an idea was planted in my head.
I was determined that one day I would turn these recipes and our story into a family cookbook and it has taken a while for me to have the confidence to crack on with writing this – I’m not a writer or photographer or chef. I just wanted to to share our story. But once I had enlisted a photographer and the cooking started I started jotting down the recipes and then piecing together a concise but hopefully interesting family story.
I very rarely got told exact measurements, I would be told key ingredients the secret tips and then practice my way though dishes for 2 – 15 people, mentally taking notes as I went. I have tried to make this apparent in the book because although we have specific ways of doing things the joy of cooking is understanding the basics and then figuring it out yourself with your senses. You need to taste it and know it needs more salt or less time in the oven, if you can cook this way instead you begin to find that cooking isn’t work—it’s play.
We know that every region in Italy has its own way of cooking key dishes just as every family has their own version of Sugo or Ragu or Lasagna. And this is true for all families and all cultures. Everyone thinks their version is the best and I love learning about everyone else’s little nuances.
Through the really quite excellent self publishing platform Blurb, some great photography and friends to sub my work I was able to create my family’s cookbook. I hope it will take anyone else who reads it on a short journey into the joy of cooking for family, friends and anyone else who sits down at the table.
January was all about my love for knitting. I finished a scarf for me and one gift. Making something with my hands instead of looking at screens was incredibly satisfactory. I visited the seaside and kickstarted marathon training.
February was all about change as I decided it was time to take the plunge and leave my wonderful job at the Science Museum. There were early mornings, views from the clouds, lots of running and beautiful skies as well as a new job to start in April.
Susie Orbach //On the one hand it says that our bodies are the most important thing about us, that they’re signs to the world about who we are, what our expectations, our longings and our capacities are – and that because of this we have to decorate, train and shape them. And then there’s another kind of ideological message.
Getting older // I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!” My mom is a painter, and she writes and she reads and loves history and travels all the time. She has so many passions; she can be anything she wants. And my dad would be a radio DJ in another lifetime. He loves music so much. He collects vinyl and listens to music all the time. My parents can be whatever they want to be, and they still don’t know what that is. I love that. It’s one of those things where you can have as many lives as you want in one life.
The web is the real world // People still talk about the web like it isn’t the real world. But this is the real world in 2014: The press of a button on a smartphone can summon a ride home in minutes. Self-tracking devices turn footsteps on the sidewalk into data points. The Internet is art on the wall. Runners use GPS-based apps to draw pictures with the strides they take. Astronauts 3D-printed a socket wrench in outer space this year. Uber made skywriting as easy as sending a text message.
Looking back // Time degrades. Chances are anything that’s great now won’t be quite so much once time has got a hold of it.
Being an individual on the internet // our modern age is becoming an increasingly level playing field with such a vast number of people able to access an unrestricted pool of information at the touch of a key.
How to east toast // Understandably, given how great it can be, there is a tendency to try and insert toast into situations where, frankly, it does not work.
CTRL ALT DEL // nowadays internet users have almost absolute control over the videos they watch,” says Texier of the inspiration for her video. “But the users don’t yet have power over the action itself: they cannot modify what’s happening in front of their eyes. In my mind that would definitely represent the next step in video evolution: image and narrative control.
Rookie. Editors letter // How does it feel to exist in a moment, connected to another human being and to the world, without thinking about what it signifies, what it’ll look like in memory? That cohesion frames the moment and turns it into a scene from a movie. I don’t quite know how to let experiences just unfold and be surprised by how they affect me; “We don’t like to admit it,” said Julian, “but the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves more than almost anything. […] And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? […] To be absolutely free! […] To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! […] let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”
London letting off steam // Granary Square
Naughty whippets // Hathern
Women fashion power // Design museum
On top of London // Crystal Palace
OK Tracy // The White Cube
Regents lapping // London
Basically Might Ducks // Somerset House
Constructing worlds // Barbican
Babbmas 2014 // Dalston
Making yourself priceless // Education is the “obvious outlet for the money Millennials can spend,” Perry Wong, the director of research at the Milken Institute, told us, noting that if young people invest less in physical things like houses, they’ll have more to invest in themselves. “In the past, housing was the main vehicle for investment, but education is also a vehicle.” In an ideas economy, up-to-date knowledge could be a more nimble and valuable asset than a house.
But I’m a creative // To make an object worthy of your uncommodified hours, someone, somewhere, has to do some fucking work.
You are what you tweet // There is so much choice of what to experience and ‘how to be’ that people genuinely are different versions of themselves in different situations and different groups. Second, the way today’s thirty and forty somethings are much ‘younger’ than generation before and actively try to avoid growing up. Then there’s social media, where we’re seeing folks projecting a more ‘perfect’ social self, an idea of who they would like to be,rather than who they are. For example, it’s quite cool (people say) in the UK to have a work ethic and look disciplined, so loads of folks are exaggerating how much they go to the gym and what they do there. Just the data tends to show people claim to dismiss ‘celebrity’ yet the Daily Mail website is one of the most popular sites in the world.
Time management // I think time-regulated labor is very obsolete today, especially for knowledge work. But there are other ways of controlling output and measuring performance.
The power of being ordinary // We are tempted to have experiences for the purpose of photographing them, and apply a filter to them, because the last thing we want is for our lives to look ordinary. But when we stand before a Rembrandt self-portrait, we realise that being ordinary – being human – is where the real interest lies.
Cheating algorithms // …everything these days is a battle between algos and quants then quantified cheating is going to have to get more sophisticated. Before long insurance company analysts will be able to spot the telltale traces of sensors strapped to turntables, pets or robots. The machine cheats will have to get more sophisticated.
The morality of tech // Every big tech company begins life as a scrappy upstart, working out some kink in the system that makes it useful, and then using that as leverage to build itself into a giant, sprawling service — whereupon it becomes both invaluable and infamous. It’s a rite of passage to really fuck things up somewhere along the way. We want a thing, fast and preferably cheap. Not much else matters. We know Amazon’s not a nice company, and that the people who work there are treated poorly. We don’t always like it, but there is absolutely, definitively, nothing we will do to stop it. We are happily addicted. Whatever we do, we can’t stop ourselves from making it bigger and more successful and more terrifying and more necessary
November in London // Sometimes, London is throwing the cocktail party for you. Because of the dark, this time of year might see you cramming more into your time than you’d usually achieve: old friends, new ones, dinners and canal-walks and afternoons in the pub, using those same bloody buses to skip between two or three parties in a night. Sitting in Trafalgar Square on a Saturday afternoon, something I might never do when the weather is good, but that seems so essential in the late autumn.
Nearly finished the book that every women on Instagram is reading too. Its good, honest and makes me laugh out loud.
You are what you wear // “we are more conscious than ever that our clothes are vehicles of self-expression. Even if it turns out that lots of other people express themselves in exactly the same way.”
I BLAME THE INTERNET // “Do you know what used to be considered cool, before fashion blogging and influencers and H&M and Instagram followers and Vlogging your shopping haul, before a curated lifestyle and a personal brand and filters and selfies and your entire self being defined by what you can buy and what you choose to buy? Before we started curating considered, eclectic mixes of tasteful minimal accessories and vintage mid-century modern pieces on Pinterest and wet playlists of music about nothing on Spotify?”
Can someone do this for books and music please? // Art seen in films.
I like this advice. You never know where you might go // “Always be ready to go on the adventure”. My grandmother told me this was the reason she wore make-up – so she was always ready to accept a lovely invitation, to go where she pleased, to feel her best while she was there.”
Digital marketing today // “do nice things for real people in the real world, film it, put it on YouTube.”
If you build it they might not come // “Content is king’ is not totally true – the real king is more often than not the grid or the template that decides where the ‘content’ ends up.”
Silence is golden // “a break in your own city is often more about getting away from other people. Hiding from them, indeed. Just occasionally, what could be nicer than to find yourself in a silent zone of discretion?”
The internet didn’t invent stealing // “the interesting thing is not why do some people get stuff for free — they’ve done that for as long as there have been libraries or people singing on street corners. The interesting thing for me, as a creator, is how do I ensure that my share of the money that people spend is as large as possible?”
Plays about the Internet are really funny.
Rescuing puppies. And keeping them.
Halloween Heatwave’s and 3000 pumpkins I love Kings Cross.
Hanging out with Lena on a Friday night.
A dance festival over the same weekend as the marathon. Everything in moderation.
Followed by markets, pedlows and the best apple pie I have ever eaten.Thanks Amsterdam
Get up, get dressed and get on with it. // “You are pure potential in Manhattan, limitless, you are making yourself every day.”
We are automating the wrong things // “Too many systems take total control of the most crucial parts of a task, leaving people to do little more than stare at blinking lights. “Automation weakens the bond between tool and user,” Carr writes, “not because computer-controlled systems are complex but because they ask so little of us.””
Dinner for one // “f it’s not what you do when no one’s looking, it will never be truly what you do.”
Charlie Brooker gold once again // “We’ve ramped up the hyperbole: it’s amazing; it’s awesome. We focus on the personal impact: it’ll rock your world; it’ll change your life. You’ll be so stuffed full of wonder you’ll split at the seams.”
Data never lies… // “To be able to assert convincingly that you have modeled the social world accurately is to know how to sell anything from a political position, a product, to one’s own authority. Big Data sells itself as a knowledge that equals power’”
FKA TWIGS <3 !!! // “You just have to be yourself. It’s really not that hard! You just need to stop going on Instagram so much, because that shit is not real. I do not look like that in real life!”
Stop trying so hard // ” ..make a tacit contract to be polarizing and must bear that cross.”
Growing up on the Internet // “Once that flow of information had changed, it allowed us to write ourselves into the worlds created by the cultural phenomena we used to define ourselves in adolescence. With that creativity, though, also came a sense of entitlement. We were suddenly able to talk back at our heroes, and – as it was when we were bitching about each other – we rarely had nice things to say, whether it was bullying them for not following back on Twitter or hounding their significant others just for existing.”
Everyone under one roof complaining // “People are mean, and that’s a basic law of the universe that’s not likely to change soon.”