My name is Grazia – direct from the land of fine food,
ancient tradition and taking things easy!
Talking to people, I always get the sense that there is
a strong perception about Italy as a land of beauty,
pleasure and the easy life ....
Lately, everyone seems to be running, rushing, struggling to get some time for themselves. We seem to be suffocating in oceans of communication, social networking, the “need” to respond to messages at an ever-increasing speed, eating too fast or “on-the-go” and, in all that, rapidly losing the beauty of life.
I often ask myself what is the value of human life on this Earth and I believe I have found answers by observing my own surroundings.
At present I live in Zurich after ten years in UAE. For those of you unfamiliar with Dubai, the city is extremely hectic, with little time to relax and a constant stream of commitments to take you away from yourself. One day, I found myself running round like a “spinning top” and wondering why this was the case. This was until I discovered the beauty of slowing things down and making the conscious effort to prepare things by myself at home…and here comes the foodie part of me.
In particular, I found that becoming a mother made me keener on taking up cooking, with my thoughts on my kids and family’s health. Therefore, in recent years, I have decided to start exploring the beauty of experimenting with food and the right cooking processes until I have obtained a certificate as professional Chef, in order to get the best out of truly natural and fine ingredients.
It all started when, five years ago, I acquired a small piece of sourdough (thanks to a very good friend of mine); and what a revelation that was! Sourdough is a pure miracle of nature; water and flour fusing together, generating thousands of bacteria (don’t let that scare you; it’s the healthy stuff) until the dough starts growing by itself. As sourdough is “alive” you have to feed it, just like a kid, to keep it healthy and strong. At present I am taking care of my “small baby”, feeding it and making my weekly loaf of bread – it has become just like part of the family!
Unlike kids, sourdough is not so demanding! You can feed it once a week and it will be fine. And this brings me back to what I mean about slowing things down. Taking care of one of nature’s miracle products, like sourdough, helped me to look inside myself; slowing down and finding pleasure in something very simple, yet so emotional!When I see my loaf of bread double after one day of proofing, I have a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
With all this in mind, I feel it is something worth sharing and I am going to take you through my “slow experiment” – from making healthy bread from scratch, to sourdough starters. I am not going to supply only a loaf of bread more than take you on a journey to the “emotional side” of the process itself; showing you that giving time to yourself and your ingredients will lead to a healthier lifestyle – for you and your loved ones.
After all, let’s bring back some of that easy-going lifestyle I referred to at the outset and let’s start enjoying the beauty and pleasure of exploring the slower side of life.