Today is 21st of August and I threw in the garbage the first potato after 3 months of been in charge of the kitchen while managing a hostel. I feel proud that my methods worked and I want to share some (maybe well known) tricks but not really followed by the most of the people. That happends beacuse we need to live fast on the end and some advises for washing up or preserve something imply efforts or time. We don’t want to put an effort on the food cause when we come back home we want just to relax and eat something quickly. We don’t take “time” for food cause the last thing we want to do after work is standing up in front of the stove, unless you have a serious passion about it. We can cook for lovers, we can cook for friends but on the end we don’t put this effort for ourselves and even the best intention ends up with lots of side effects such as waste of money, food or time.
Since I hate to spend time cooking I applied some tricks to reduce it while I committed to eat things that are good for my own mental and fisical health.
Rule number one : Don’t buy compulsively.
Some of us, once in a market or super market get the fever of stocking up. This is dangerous for our wallet and for our time. Going in a supermarket to watch around and buy chips or drinks with friends has nothing to do with a proper shopping. I love to do both and I love to go shopping with a plan. I observe myself or those who I’m cooking for and I have a clear idea of what I want every time I’m shopping. Maybe you can get wrong once, but twice is hard if you just do yourself the favour of having a “quite” specific diet. Doing this mistake is intolerable especially when you end up in a supermarket and you spend 3hours there, watching the emptyness most of the time. As I said, it’s fun, when you step into it just for fun. Leave the stocking up issue for stuff on sale and that can’t expire, soaps or shampoos but not for food. Observe what you need in one week and go at the market with a clear vew once per week. If you do so, It takes no more than 15 minutes to check out.
Rule number two: being aware.
As long as it might seem boring, tidying up makes yourself aware of what is going on in your fridge and when you do it frequently you will notice it is not that hard. Put the new stuff at the end and the old ones ready to be used as first. In This way you won’t deal with stinky, sticky, messy crap. By the time your going to have the next shopping you’ll realize things have been shifting in the fridge with a meaning and this organization is clear in your mind and you won’t feel the panic of not knowing what’s going on behind.
Rule number three: Don’t cook following recipes
This is a tough one, because it touches our feelings or perhaps our wickenesses.
Following a recipe is the first step through a organic bag full of waste and the impossibility of learning the properties and the behavior of some foods. If your mind, eyes and hands stick always at the plan, soon or later your dishes will become boring and static and you will never see the beauty and risk of acting “outlow”. Some food just need to be handled differently by different people. I’ve eaten more creepy things coming out from recipe then from creativity.
I stopped to follow recipe when I started to understand the food better and how I like it, but, most important, I always found recipes something you can afford to follow when you can afford to buy all the ingredients from the scratch. I Never really got the chance to afford it, while other kind of food is dying in the fridge. It turned up that this was an essential skill, travelling and especially sailing wild. I still love sometimes to make some beautiful cake or tiramisú especially when I’m cooking with my friends.
Rool number four: Cook on forehand.
One thing I hate doing while I’m starving is cooking. When I’m hungry I want to eat, not to cook. I guess this is one of the main reasons why we end up eating junk food. Well, I admit I love junk food too but I try to keep it for fun not to feed myself with it. So, instead of feeling guilty because I put rubbish on my body I’ll feel good because I did my job and I fullfilled that need of crashing it sometimes. And here is how I fullfill my duties: I cook when I have time to do it and when I’m not hungry yet. I noticed that when I do this I’m focused on what I need/want to put on my dish. I also multitask instead of praying in front of the pan, because I can’t wait to eat. We have a proverb for this in Sicily : “pignata taliata un vugghi mae” that means “pan is never going to boil if you watch it”, so make sure you get busy with some other stuff while you cook. Cooking is also multistasking and being patient. I love to have the food ready when I’m hungry, I don’t like that feeling of not being hungry anymore when I cook for a long time and somehow I feel full just by the smell. I love instead to prepare several dishes to share or save for the next meal. I even love more when I take care of the leftover because I know that next meal, than, is going to be various.
Rule number five: make a choice
Don’t go out for dinner if your salad is going to die in the fridge. Or don’t buy the salad if you are lucky enough to know when it’s going to be a busy week. If it is totally unexpected and I can’t help with it, I prefer to leave the food cooked so I can give it an other chance the day after (boiling eggs up to expire, using the yogurt for cakes or desserts, cutting fruits and turn them in a salad, baking veggies)
I will always remember when my best friend offered to bring me in Linate airport even if that meant for us to leave at 3 a.m. and get lost in the fog. I remember it because everytime my best friend offers me lifts it ends up like the best time ever, partying wild or having some stick’n poke tattoos, or facing snowstorms, or him coming one day earlier to pick me up at the airport. I love the fact that even if I meet him always in the same city contests he is a real “wild” person. It always feels like holiday with him. That time He was bringing me to have my first intercontinental flight, alone and a bit scared. I was super nervous and at that time I wasn’t so good in controlling those attacks of extra care and concern about the future, the culture, starvation, pollution, wars and global heating.
We started the trip stopping in every “autogril” (petrol station) like he always loves to do. For him, it doesn’t make sense to have a road trip if you can’t spend money in trash food and stupid things on the way. That is why we almost risked a fine in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with nobody in the same parking area for parking in the handicap reserved spot. Once we started to drive we understood that trip was going to be long and I was going to be late. No matter he fought the car couldn’t go any faster than 50 in the highway with that fog. Tracks, of course, had a different opinion of our troubles and they honked at us all time long. Their overtaking was pushing things far, shaking that little car that Gabri calls “scarponcino”, (litterally “ankleboot”) Linate direction signs are millions everywhere, even at the entrance of the highway from Torino kilometers away. Unfortunately, they forgot to put them in the most useful spot, especially when there are work in progress around and you need to exit the highway. We got lost and late of course but I will remember that crazy trip for ever. All night telling stupid sotries and funny things. Telling each other about our clumsy childhood…telling each other secrets that only in a car in the fog in the night you would ever lough about.
In the western facing little seaside towns, Sunset is a must to see. Around the western costline in Sicily is such a deal that doesn’t lead to any romantic attachment anymore. People from Trapani are so into the sunset that they always try to get along with it. It’s a show that our world offers on a daily basis and this doesn’t make it boring at all not even if you attend it every single day.
A very common and lovely routine here around is to invite friends for “sunsetting” together. That makes it the most social part of the day. Even when alone, it is still something that makes you willing to stop for a second, no matter where you are. Watching the most special star falling behind the horizon is the best and chilled part of the day.
Here is a list of what I belive are the Best spots to have the greatest enlightments of your life: “Punta Sottile” lighthouse in Favignana island, Faraglioni in Favignana island,
Lazzaretto in the old Trapani harbour, Mount Erice at Venus castle gardens,
Stagnone Lagoon sault farms,
Mount Monaco in Sanvito Lo Capo,
Mount Cofano at Cornino side, Macari bay
Sanvito Lo Capo lighthouse
The VhF was an important tool for my new life abroad. So it was that I started my “official” and “public” talking in English. At that time I remember it was an issue because even if I could communicate quite well with this foreign language I was still in doubt about my “listening” skills. Imagine when the skills needed are related to safety during sailing, approaching harbours, decks and having infos about weather, coordinates and communications with other boats. I really thought I could mess a lot with this tool in my hands, but everything went right in the end. First time using it was in the Caribbean Sea, Virgin Islands. Everybody on board thought it was my duty to do that, cause nobody was able to say anything in English. After this time that I remember with a bit of fear, this job was quite different…
When I started to travel with a more diversified provenience travellers everything become more “democratic” and the use of the vhf wasn’t a big deal anymore.
During my sailing trip I discover that the SSB Radio (single side band) was a great tool to communicate. In every area you can ask for the frequencies were independent volunteers advise you about everything related to the sea at least twice per day, at a certain time. I found it interesting, especially because you can communicate your position when you leave and people are taking notes of it. That means that they will look for you when you are aspected to come somewhere, somehow. This might sound a bit “too much” but is actually a very useful way to stay safe and “together” even when far apart from each other. Sometimes you meet new sailors because you hear their story on the radio and maybe you even talked, and the day after they are anchoring just besides you.
On those radio “rendez-vous”, there is normally a boat crew who is volunteering. They normally start to call people that were “in” during the last transmission. If you are signing for the first time you go on the queue waiting for the call for anybody else to join. After giving your name and position you can just keep silent and listen to the others or asking your questions and express your doubts on the end. I loved this system, I loved to hear from other people. I loved that we weren’t alone in a little boat in the vastity of the ocean. There were other sailors, many of them.
In Ritme, I was using the SSB radio also for sending very concise mails. We had the SailMail account provider connected with a Modem to the SSB Radio (it’s something like 280 $ per year, a pretty fair price for being connected with the world and being able to get the forecast wherever you are). It was quite a funny game for me to look for the best station with the most of the chance to get an email through, unless the Ocean was rough and throwing me up, down and left and right onto the desk. This system is actually very basic: you send a little email to a computer that is always connected on one of those radio stations offered (that is why you need to check the favourite one), that computer will eventually send it for you. Quite often “Niue” or “Honolulu” were the best options. One -few words (10) – email from the Ocean could take from two minutes to half of hour to go through. But, yes, I could tell my sister that I was still alive after many days of silence. It’s a great tool.
This stunning place is about 80 km south from Natal, capital of the State Rio Grande do norte. It’s a cute village with many restaurants and hospitality facilities due to his recent growing in tourism. Pipa is actracting people for surfing and kite surfing, but the truth is that this place is just one of the most beautiful in Brazil. To get there by car it’s quite easy (even by bus). Just need to go off from the highway at the Goianinha little town and you will be right in the Tibau do Sul municipality.
1 Coming from the village you’ll reach the beach from above. Little colourful buildings around you are houses, shops and restaurants. During the low tide, the beach unveils rocky spots that create little lakes and sandy lagoons in wich you can chill sitting in the clear waters.
I loved to take a photo shoot in there. The place is so various that looks like a water park where people are passing by looking for their own “lake” among the rocks. Water is calm due to the reef that protects the seafront from the big waves of the Ocean.
2 The village is tiny but fervent. There is a high presence of Argentinians business and tourists. It looks almost like an argentinian enclave. It’s very common to hear spanish speakers in Pipa because of that. Night life is nice especially thanks to the live concerts offered by Taipa, restaurant and bar.
I was there during the low season and I was quite surprise that during those (just) three months of low season there was still a lot going on.
3 On the side of Pipa beach there is a big, long and gorgeous cliff at least 10 meters high. Its colours vary from red to yellow passing by pink and orange. The rocky wall is coverd by a forest, and some of this vegetation is part of the Santuario Ecologico.
I loved to appretiate the differences in between the tides in this place cause the cliff seems higher when the sea is going almost against it and lower and some sort of smoky or smooth when you see the moisty air on the seafront space when the sea is less pushy!
4 Praia do Golfinhos lays straight after Pipa beach (heading north). It is just superb and when you are pacient enough you can even spot some dolphins around. The shore was so huge and flat that people where arranging football fields and games in the wet sand during the low tide. The cliff here looks even more majestic. Swimming in there can be a bit rough because of the waves: in this part of the cost the reef is missing.
By the time I came back from the walking to praia do Golfinhos what it was a diversified space with ponds, sand and rocks has become a whole normal beach. The sea (the tide) took over.
5 Chapadão. At 15 minutes walking from the village (heading south) there is a very special lookout: a big system of terraces going flat but steep to the sea.
I went there to enjoy a nice sunset watching the ocean. Obviously, the sun is going to set behind your shoulders but this is the little compromise you need to accept when special places in the world are facing Est.
The last decade has begun with two mourners that have struck me deeply. I’ve being followed by that cloud of bad feelings during my whole twenties. I can’t say they were horrible; better than the teens, for sure. Many things had happened, including moves, delusions, achievements, and doors slammed in my face. At the beginning of my young life I was a teacher of righteousness. I was good at being in advance in everything, especially in time, in reasoning, in reaching a goal. The ambition that always moved me did not even allow me to be competitive, to look around and compare myself to others: there was no time for these stupid things. I was good at doing many things and I expected the world and its inhabitants to reward me with their graces. This has never happened, especially from its inhabitants, who, despite having studied them long and wide, continue to cause me an immense discomfort and make me feel the need to go to lick my wounds in solitude more often than expected. I remember the times when I used to say that hard work would be rewarded. I have a word for those who still believe in it: “bullshit”. Just bullshit. What is rewarded is when you decide to fuck it all and decide to break through the door that has always been slammed in your face or write on it “Fuck you”, turn and walk away. Those are the finest satisfactions I have ever taken: me, my personal growth and the times when even if the world shows me how unjust it is, I look at him with my glittering eyes and tell him: sooner or later everyone slams the useless baby toe into the useless corner somewhere, somehow. I grew up in a wonderful place where despite the people I love are always there to wait and show me their affection they often have been the ones to make me suffer the most, with their prejudices and their biases. My mother is the exception. Despite her atavistic negativity, that is the result of ages of watching corruption, bad politics, mafia, and all kind of usurper exploiting us since many centuries, I believe she comes from a parallel universe: her mercy has always misguided me. She can do something I’m trying to do since a longtime now: “Do not bring rancor.” When I was little, except for my closest relatives (which are very special in this) every time I was curious about something, I was answered: “What’s for?” That, translating intonation and Sicilian sarcasm, means “let it go, it’s hard, you’ll probably won’t make it, this is not for you. ” Honestly, I think it is a miracle that I came out as I am from such an ineffective environment, devoted to the impossibility and poor ambition. I am astonished less and less, because in the rest of the world it does not work that way and, since I’ve lived in the rest of the world, I tend to forget the bitterness of an uncle or a relative who “stifles” your abilities. I promise myself that I will smile every time that this will happen in the future rather than get angry. As far as I am concerned, it is ten years that I’m getting all that I want, for terribly contorted and disgraced ways, and I do not think many can say the same. I can, aloud. I have always had very few money and earned with a lot of effort, but this did not stop me from appreciating the slowness of real travels, the struggle for survival and the “barefoot” conquest of what freedom, happiness, knowledge were for me. The difficulties did not stop me from pointing my finger on a globe and saying “I’ll go there” and do it in reality. In my homeland it is always said “no”. It’s an interlayer! Even when we agree with someone we say “no” to intervene. It is amazing how much this attitude for years transmitted makes you become an exile if you do not want to accept it or one of the many “sad” being if you accept it. This mystical impossibility (which in Sicily makes people answer to you questions “no, it can’t be done” and even if you ask why it is not possible to solve that problem, especially bureaucracy related, they answere “because it is so”) made me so angry that I started to denounce my hometown problems with complains that nobody has ever listened to. I started to cure myself with travels, music and moving in a very special city like Turin, which has given me friendships I can swear will last forever. Thos special human beings took me by the hand when my anarchy began to overwhelm the bigots around me, they taught me the beauty of the “blurred edge” while my “sunny” attitude was only admiring the “bright” side of things, they showed me that it is not necessary to hide myself only because I’m a bit different. Then, It comes about the international friends who have helped me understand that the world is mine, and that love has infinite shapes, apple-shaped, home-shaped, sometimes grave-shaped, sometimes shapeless. Since then, since I only know how to make shabby shapes and chaotic things, I decided that I would have given so much love, free love, row love, fine love, in fact, inform love. Whenever I am tempted to judge a behavior or a choice of life I will ask myself a thousand times if it is not the case to learn again and to accept a new existence shape among my limits. I wish everyone to be free, to love without being “choked”, to be gentle and to send what makes you sufferto the hell, like I did yesterday that I quit my job! I’m going to build new dreams for the next decade, I know already they will be a million …