.: Trash?

New York City’s storied Chelsea Hotel isn’t famous for its rooms, but for the people who slept inside them. It housed everyone from writer Mark Twain to painter Jackson Pollock, from musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to writer Arthur Clarke. Dylan was in 211 and Andy Warhol shot ‘Chelsea Girls’ in a room with her. Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Salvador Dalì, Arthur Miller, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Jack Kerouac, Sid Vicious were there too.

In 2012, the iconic hotel closed and new owners started to renovate. The hotel’s doors were planned to be thrown out.

Jim Georgiou sells old records on the corner of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue and decided they should be recovered, so now they’re on display in a New York City gallery.

Have you ever recovered anything from trash ? I hate wasting and throwing out things that could still be used. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is so true to me. Most of all I hate wasting food. That’s why I cook small servings and I don’t blindly trust best-before dates on food packages.

And, of course, I eat left-overs. So these are polpette from yesterday 🙂

.: Sometimes to fail is to succeed

I didn’t know about this. Wandering around Youtube, looking for songs by Patti Smith and Bob Dylan, I came across this: Patti got frozen at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in 2016, while singing a beautiful Dylan’s song in his honour. And I heard the story from her lips. Non sapevo fosse successa questa cosa: Patti Smith che si emoziona tanto da interrompere la sua performance alla cerimonia dei Nobel. Wow.

This is what I got from her words: that moment of “failure”, was actually a moment of extraordinary empathy. In that place, so formal, every word and every gesture must be so controlled, so perfectly measured, everyone was feeling nervous there , and she, with her “failure”, gave back to all of them the sense of what they were actually being and doing: human beings celebrating how much human beings can be passionate and can get the most out of their lives and give pleasure and beauty to whole humankind. Il suo gesto, il suo “fallimento” ha restituito una dimensione umana a un momento totalmente formale, tramutandosi in qualcosa di emozionante per tutti i presenti.

Maybe one day there will be a Nobel Prize for farmers or for cooks, not meant for a single person, but for that small % of people that actually produce food for whole humankind or for those who make the everyday work of preparing good food for others. Because food is essential and good food is even more essential. Quando mangiamo, dovremmo sempre pensare a quanto lavoro ha richiesto produrre quel cibo e portarlo fino a noi. Forse un giorno ci sarà un riconoscimento per chi fa questo lavoro. Non penso a un premio per qualcuno, ma a un momento per dare riconoscimento a chi produce e a chi prepara il cibo, globalmente, nel mondo, ogni giorno,  per miliardi di persone. Perchè il cibo è essenziale ed è ancora più essenziale il buon cibo.

So I decided to make a pumpkin risotto with something unusual: almonds. You will judge whether it’s a success or not, but I liked it.

Put the pumpkin in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, go with the usual onion sautéed. Bollite la zucca per 10 minuti e intanto fate un soffritto

Poi schiacciate la zucca ammorbidita. The press the pumpkin (with a fork) to make a kind of cream. Hey don’t throw away the water where you boiled the pumpkin: make a broth with it and cook the rice in it.

Al brodo di cottura della zucca aggiungete un po’ di dado oppure di brodo (se lo avete!) e cuocete il riso con quello. Poi mettete la zucca e qualche mandorla insieme al soffritto e scaldatelo poco (il soffritto non deve bruciare). Infine aggiungete il riso e un po’ di parmigiano-reggiano.

Add the pumpkin to the sautéed, with a few almonds slices and warm it all a little (don’t burn the onion). In the end add the rice, some parmesan cheese and blend it all.

Fail or success, depends on your taste. I like it!

.: Kurt or wise

It seems that Kurt is a pet form of the Germanic Konrad, a derived from the Old High German Kuonrat (wise counsel), a compound name composed of the elements kuon (bold, wise) and rat (counsel).

It seems that Kurt Cobain wasn’t what we would call a wise person. And he died young on April 5th 1994. Surely he was an artist, as he created art. And art is by its nature something controversial, multifaceted, polysemous.

L’arte è per sua natura polisemica e controversa. E’ la molteplicità dei significati che trasmette che provoca in noi quello stupore e quelle sensazioni contraddittorie che ci fanno riflettere e ci permettono di giocare con la realtà.

Though your mother taught you “don’t play with food”, maybe we should play with it, instead.

“Non giocare col cibo” ci insegnano da piccoli. Ma perché no ? Dipende da come ci si gioca…

I think we should play more, instead. Imagination is a human power and something that, most times, helps us living better and be happier. Why not using it ?

Goodbye Kurt. Hello Kurt.

.: Smells like teen spirit

I don’t talk to my coffeepot, but I’m sure I can make a better coffee than Mr. Cumberbatch can probably do. He might make a perfect tea. Maybe. But sure it’s too hot.

In 1997 I was in San Francisco, in a hotel on Market Street and asked for a cappuccino for breakfast. And I remember they couldn’t do a good one. I couldn’t explain it to myself. Making a coffee seems something easy and natural for us in Italy. Ok, today we have capsules and machines that can do everything for you, but what about a manual thing ? So I’ll show you the “mistery” of coffee making. Not a real espresso, but just a homemade coffee with my simple coffee maker.

First: water must be filled to the right level, just below the safety valve.

Then pour the coffee powder in the filter cup. I prefer 100% arabica taste, but you can choose your blend.

you can press it or not, that’s up to your taste. I prefer not to press it too much.

As you can see, I use decaffeinated powder, but that’s just me. I don’t like to have too much caffeine. Anyway, it’s done. You close the pot and fire.

I have an electric one, so I don’t have to watch for it, but the regular one, on the burner, doesn’t make any difference… you just have to be more careful and listen for the coffee to spring. When it starts to gurgle you have to switch it off, otherwise you’ll burn it.

Then I make foam in my milk with a funny device I found in a chinese shop and than I try to draw things in the foam

and it smells like morning spirit