Autumn is in the air! The weather is variable, the leaves on the trees are an in between of green and yellow and the duvet has finally made its reappearance in our bedroom! Normally I am not too enthusiastic about entering the cold months, but the idea that at the end of October the cruise ship season will end (at least until March and then it'll depend on the results of the administrative elections...) makes me feel a lot better. It is also quite likely that we are going to have a referendum on the separation between Venice and Mestre and I have no problems in saying I shall vote YES. I don't think we will win, as in the mainland the population is of 180 thousands, against the 51 thousands based in the lagoon, but... fingers crossed!
This is also the first year I embrace the new season with a real and strongly felt sense of gratitude. I realise I have never been an easy person, I complain a lot and -as Vito says- I am never 100% satisfied with my achievements and go a bit obsessive until I get what I want (or at least try to!). But never like before, deep down in my heart, I have felt so thankful for what I have right now, and I am referring especially to the love and support of my family. Also, I am learning to accept myself and my limits more and am following Julie's, my cousin, advice to always be true to myself, even if the road may seem harder or longer.
Anyway, before I take you with me along my walk in Castello and do some chit chat, the recipe I'm sharing is a simple and rustic whole wheat pie with plums, cherry plums, ricotta and honey. Easy to make and low in sugars!
As you already know, I spend most of my time in Castello. It's just that once passed the Ca' di Dio bridge, the streets are so much calmer and the ease of life so inviting! If it's sunny, even a simple walk from Riva dei Sette Martiri to Sant'Elena makes me happy. Besides, I am often in the area of Caffè La Serra. I go at least once a week to collect the paper bags for the recycling, but also... I have my potters and some of my favourite cafeterias. Unfortunately I still don't know if the Municipality will renew the contract to the potter association I Bochaleri, which has been located in front of La Serra for at least 10 years... I really hope it will, as that space is simply ideal for their activities; besides, they share it with another association of local pensioners and it's just too nice! In fact I suppose that what I like about Castello, is its rustic nature, similar to the one of the food I prepare and the clothes I wear: never fancy, but always comfortable.
Going back to us, I just want to let you know I will be posting a little less on the blog and more on social media (especially INSTAGRAM). From mid October, I shall also be providing more info and special features to my NEWSLETTER subscribers, to thank them for their support and for being my best readers! My first two years of blogging have been intense and I (don't know how) managed to post sometimes even twice a week, but now I am releasing it is becoming too difficult to keep this pace. It's positive because I am busy with other projects, but at the same time I want to maintain my relationship with you and keep providing my personal tips on Venice.
One thing I really enjoyed was the exhibition 'From Titian to Rubens' at the Doges Palace. I had tried to visit more than once, but the queu was too long (if you listen to me, book your visits in advance!!!!). Then a couple of days ago I happened to pass in front of Palazzo Ducale and there were just two people, so I ran (I even stumbled and hit my head against a sign...so embarrassing!) and seized the occasion. Well, allow me say it was amazing and I will return soon. Finally I got to see 'Jacopo Pesaro presenting Saint Peter to Pope Alexander VI' by Titian, which I had studied at uni... I also fell in love with a couple of beautiful ladies, one of which remained me of Daniela Levera, my potter, and ... well, the still life paintings were just... wow! Do go if you have the chance, I promise it will be worth your time!
As for myself, besides being always on the lookout for new clients and projects, I want to re-design (not drastically, but...) a little my website, move a couple of things around, create a member-only section and add a nice Services page where people can book photography walks and/or travel planning services directly. So far I've been doing it only responding to direct emails, so I thought I might as well create a proper page where people may also leave reviews (your feedback is so important for me)! So, that's it for now. Please feel free to drop me a line if there is something I haven't thought about and that you'd like to do with me or see in my offerings and... talk soon! Oh and, yes... enjoy the pie! It's delicious!
RUSTIC WHOLE WHEAT PIE WITH PLUM, CHERRY PLUMS AND RICOTTA
30' prep + 35' cook
500 gr whole wheat flour
200 ml water
160 ml oil (I used olive, but seed oil is fine)
a pinch of salt
250 gr ricotta
2 Tbsp honey
brown sugar and almond flakes to top
1. Prepare the dough. Sift the flour and in a bowl combine with water, oil and a pinch of salt. Mix with your hands until the flour has absorbed the liquid, form a ball, wrap in cling film and let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
2. Meantime, wash and slice your plums and cherry plum and in a bowl combine with ricotta and honey. Pre-heat the oven at 180°.
3. Brake the dough in two smaller balls. Roll them. Use one as bottom layer, so grease a pan, add the dough and fill it with your ricotta and fruit mixture. Now roll the remaining dough and with a pastry cutter prepare your top layers and weave.
4. Brush some egg wash, sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar and almond flakes and bake for 35 minutes.