i love
my friend lily's ethereal drawings
for the latest issue of small magazine



when the little friends gathered on sunday morning there was pink lemonade and the sun was kind. even the princess castle cake defied the force of gravity and held onto its towers until the very end.

the birthday festivities are officially over.  now it's time for peering into tiny advent windows . . .



a muddy puddle cake; a sleeping beauty outfit; a doll that sucks its dummy; a pair of walkie talkies; a scooter; a polka dot dress; a barbie on points; etc: a little girl turns 4.

 or, as my grandmother liked to say, 4 is now closed, and she is embarking on 5.






we need 4 candles for tomorrow. and an explanation about where time goes when it flies . . .



peppa pig is partly responsible
but then it has been raining for a week + a half solid
it would have been a shame to waste all those muddy puddles.

now we can retrace our walk mentally
and live off its murky memory for the next 48 hours,
having just joined the gastro pandemic victims' queue!



a grey-sky landscape for the sofa
+ a first gesture towards reclaiming the living room
as a reading/viewing space

[from six and a half stitches]



to pull over little shoulders
as winter closes in

"what fairies wear when they get cold"

handmade in new zealand
with new vintage fabrics


to look at + listen to as the rain plip-plops outside
the yellow umbrella
(here in chinese but irrelevant, there are no words)

i could almost hear
a.'s imagination fly around the room.



so the cake
a torta di noci
old, bitter and deep
from parma
that we have been making forever
but only now with our own walnuts
is a flourless triumph - try it
even with other people's walnuts.

from giuliano bugialli's 'classic techniques of italian cooking'

6 ounces unsalted butter
6 ounces shelled walnuts
6 ounces sugar
4 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder
2 or 3 drops vanilla extract
5 large eggs
2 ounces glaceed citron, cut into small pieces (bergamot preserved sweet/ γλυκό is a perfect local alternative)
3 tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs, preferably homemade

> melt butter in a small metal bowl improvising a double boiler. Remove form heat and let stand until needed.

> chop shelled walnuts and sugar very finely on a board using a mezzaluna, transfer to a large bowl, add cocoa powder and vanilla and mix well with a wooden spoon.

> separate the yolks from the egg whites and add the yolks to the bowl. keep the whites in a crockery or glass bowl for later.

> add citron and pour over the melted and cooled butter. mix thoroughly until the mixture has a thick but smooth texture. beat the egg whites until stiff. (to remove the egg whites left on the whisk do not bang it against the bowl but gently tap the whisk above the bowl with your hand).

> scrape all the egg whites with a spatula into the bowl with the nuts. with a wooden spoon, fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until homogeneous.

> preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. butter a 10-inch ring mold well and line it with breadcrumbs. shake out any excess and reserve them. gently spoon the mixture into the prepared mold and sprinkle on remaining breadcrumbs.

>bake for about 40 minutes, then unmold and leave to cool on a rack.



hmm, no cake today.

[this caught my breath .  .  .]

maybe tomorrow.

[fukuhara shinzo]



a quiet week
gathering thoughts and forces
nibbling cake (more on that tomorrow) and
pausing to catch a sun ray on the face


good to reunite
with this ring - it looks like marble but it's actually plastic -
that just crawled out from under a cupboard
(having been missing, presumed lost, for years)
to remind us of a little street on a cold afternoon
in venice.