First of all let me tell something: I’ve been in your shoes loads of times! I know what it means to plan in advance a super dinner and make a last minute grocery shopping. I know what it means realising that you’ve forgotten something and quickly having to get back to the shop and back home. I know… Then I remember the moment when everybody is sitting at the table, chatting and enjoying the food. I actually remember watching them from the kitchen and thinking: “it’s a success!”
I became so good at organising these family parties that my whole family decided to leave it to me. I must admit it really didn’t annoy me at all for two reasons:- 1. I’m a self-confessed control freak(!) and 2. I enjoy creating dishes. The next step was acknowledging that I had a gift, the gift of making dishes from basic ingredients and enjoying the workload no matter what.
I must admit that things changed slightly when my daughter was born. At that stage my 24 hours just flew by but incredibly nothing really changed. I don’t know if it was a question of tradition but I still end up cooking for about 14-15 people anyway. In Italy we strongly believe that food brings people together and for us it is quite unimaginable to celebrate without at least a 5 course menu on the table, no matter what we celebrate. I clearly remember making a 7 course meal for the first Christmas together, and this included home made ravioli with cavolo nero and scampi, prawns with pomegranate and so on. In Italy cooking basically means: “I care for you”.
The last step basically was transforming this into my job. Since I moved to Scotland my family is miles away. But nothing really changed, before I was caring for them, now I care for you.