‘Is this an I love you platter mum’? Why yes! These flavours, this freshness and this story of Italy, it sure is.

Adventures On My Bike – Day 1/28

Today’s recipe: Caprese Crackers.

Food! I spend most of my days thinking about it … and often after one meal I’m dreaming of the next one.  Somewhere along the camino I recall writing about food as one of the areas I wanted to focus on in my life when I returned home. What we eat, where it comes from, how it’s packaged. It is something I am passionate about but not something that comes easy and I haven’t had found my food ‘big picture’ rhythm since landing here in NL.  The basics of cooking don’t come naturally to me. If I wanted to make a quiche for instance I don’t know the differences in pastry: short crust, puff, filo it may as well be learning a new language. And today I read a recipe that talked about blind baking, great – is that for all types of pastry? My naturally food inclined husband who has been on dinner cooking duty this past 6 months is off hiking next week so here is my window. He is amazing at cooking and if you come to a dinner party it’ll be him that cooks but I need to be across my whole diet not just the dinners. Here is my opportunity, my today, my timing to start practicing the kind of  passion driven routine and simplicity I so dearly loved on the the camino … and vowed to step further into upon my return. Goodbye food funk hello travel inspired food.

When Jimmy (littlest pictured here swinging like a wild kid from a tree at Lake Como in Italy last year) asked me ‘if the caprese cracker plater I served up today after school was an I love you platter’ my heart did swell. Do we need to be an expert to be good at something? Do we need to know everything to try? Nope. Can we keep it simple? Yes. I made a platter of veggies  for my kids after school earlier in the week – nothing fancy. As they were munching away I said ‘do you love your I love you platter’? Honestly, I felt like I was saying I love you by having that ready for them as they walked in the door. Sometimes we just have to decide to jump into the adventures that are calling us don’t we? And doesn’t food create wonderful moments and memories? My relationship with food is not always a wonderful one, but this body that walked a camino – I want to love it more. Limitations can be elastic … we can stretch them wider (just like my Spanish) poko a poko*. The hard thing is usually the getting started bit. To find the way in. Once we are in, once we find that one baby step we can move forward. And with commitment momentum will soon built and follow.

In true camino style the way markers lead the way. I’ve been watching ‘Move to the Continent’. Mostly it follows retirees from the UK seeking to live a simpler life in a mediterranean country. And as they explore local villages, markets and the way people live something sparks in me. I don’t ever want to wait until retirement to live a dream life – I am going to live it now (within our constraints of course). I am a lover of travel and change but also I am a believer that contentment can only come from where you stand. Plus friends what is the point of travel without growth? Bucket-list ticking? No thanks. Do I need to live in Tuscany to live an Italian style life? Heck no! And not if you ask my Jimmy (6). I asked him last week what I should cook next week. He thought about it and said ‘remember that salad I used to love eating in Italy’? Why Jimmy ‘yes, I most certainly do’! And now I have an idea. I also have a bike, a local market, a fruit and veggie shop, a kitchen and a desire.

After School Snacks – Caprese Spelt Crackers

Ingredients:

  • Mozarella (organic) **
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Spelt crackers. (I haven’t managed to make a good cracker yet so I cheated by buying these organic ones.)

Method:

Chop it all, lay it out and get the kids to make their own! Zero food waste was left here, boom!

As timing would have it I am ready for an adventure and a challenge. The school I have been subbing at is on its summer break. My kids still have a month to go! And I have been feeling for a while that my energy isn’t where it should be as well as a craving for freshness and new tastes (also less bread and meat). As timing has it today is the summer solstice and I am ready to honour that by following the signs. Those arrows that point us in the direction we need to walk. Food photos are not my thing but hey I’m also surrendering (like thatAnnette honour and surrender in one paragraph :)) into that! This adventure feels right, it’s timely.

Just last week my friend Janet and I were chatting about how sometimes we throw some vulnerability out there and new people or the right moment arrives. A bit like when the student is ready in walks the teacher. I look for blogs that tell a story and honestly they are not always easy to find. I don’t know how Emiko Davies’s blog arrived in my realm but how it has inspired me. Italian treats and a love story with Florence – bellisimo.

Buen camino,

Fran xx

*Poko a poko means little by little. My favourite Spanish saying. Thanks April ;)

** I am convinced organic is the best option. It feels like a no brainer but I can’t always use it. It’s expensive and time consuming to source. Often it comes with more plastic. I do my best and I pick and choose. If I’m baking I try to use organic flours etc. Surely, from scratch is still better than processed even if produce is not organic. It’s ok to work within our own personal constraints there’s no perfect just our conscious best.

3 thoughts on “‘Is this an I love you platter mum’? Why yes! These flavours, this freshness and this story of Italy, it sure is.”

  1. Love, love, lovin’ your words. Take that baby step and the momentum will come – could’ve been written for me too. And that snack looks truly delicious. So many levels of enjoyment from reading your posts. Enjoy riding that Foodie- Inspo wave! 👍Kx

    Like

    1. Oh Karen! You’ve got so much energy and momentum already … it’s jumping out of your words! I’m excited for you and for whatever you’re hatching. Waves are my favourite places to be – glad to be sharing this one with you! Fran x

      Like

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