Archivi del mese: ottobre 2011

Torta segreta alla Nutella

S. dice che se apri la dispensa dei bicchieri di una qualunque cucina italiana, senza distinzione sociale o  geografica, ci troverai almeno un bicchiere della Nutella, spesso disegnato. La Nutella in Italia trascende tutto. Ma pensa se un giorno aprissi un cassetto della scrivania e saltasse fuori un esercito di vasetti di Nutella…  A questo mi sa che neanche S. sarebbe preparata.  Questo è quello che è successo a me.

Quando ho lasciato Parigi, ho buttato via undici bicchieri della Nutella (tre li ho tenuti, c’erano sopra i Peanuts, il che li ha salvati anche dal recente trasloco Anglo-Sassone. Letteralmente: dall’Inghilterra alla Sassonia).
La Nutella costa pochissimo in Germania, un euro circa il barattolo da 400 grammi in alcuni supermercati. Nei negozi vicino a casa mia però, la Nutella non c’è: siamo bobos (bourgeois-bohemien), radical, liberal, o come vuoi da fare schifo qui, mica scherzi, in pratica puoi solo comprare patè di noccioline cresciute in libertà e che non hanno subito traumi alla raccolta: kill me now.

Eppure noi per una ragione misteriosa ci ritroviamo con cinque o sei vasetti di Nutella pieni da smaltire.  Orso la guarda con terrore: speriamo che non lo sappiano i vicini.  Io non la posso mangiare da sola tutta questa Nutella (No, tu non la puoi mangiare e basta, risponde Orso, unico uomo che possiede il segreto del mio peso). Così, decido di fare quello che tutte le persone di buon senso fanno quando si trovano di fronte ad un problema: ne ho fatto una torta.

In questa torta non ci sono né uova né burro, perchè la Nutella fornisce tutto il grasso necessario alla preparazione (il che in effetti dà da pensare)

200 g di farina
50 g di Maizena
1 cucchiaio di cacao amaro (o una bustina di preparato per cioccolata in polvere, altro ingrediente altrimenti bandito dalla mia dispensa: è una vita difficile)
mezza bustina di lievito per dolci
80 g di zucchero
300 ml di latte
200 g di Nutella

Mescolare in una ciotola la farina, la fecola, il lievito, il cacao e lo zucchero. Se usi il cacao in polvere invece del preparato per cioccolata allora forse dovrai aggiungere dieci grammi di zucchero.

Scaldare la Nutella a bagnomaria. Questa è la parte più bella, guarderei il cioccolato sciogliersi per ore, come si fa con la lavatrice (forse devo riattaccare la TV. Ma ancora, che diranno i vicini?). La Nutella si trasformerà in una crema liquida, lucida e bellissima.
Unire il latte versato poco a poco (perchè così è più facile amalgamarli) e mescolare. Versare il latte nutellato sul composto di polveri, lentamente, perché si formano facilmente grumi.  Versare il composto in una teglia imburrata e infarinata e  infornate nel forno già caldo a 180° per 45 minuti. La torta è pronta per innumerevoli colazioni, ed il vicino alternativo non farà che domandarne ancora.

Naturalmente la mia è una supposizione, non l’ho offerta a nessun vicino.


An ordinary day

So, how was your day today? Well, it was not exactly today- it was two or three weeks ago- but nothing I write here is entirely true, remember?

Not too early in the morning I wake up in a sunny Leipzig. I wave good-bye to Orso with very humid eyes: we’ll see each other again in two weeks. And we are only ten days into the European commute that we like to call a marriage.
In Plagwitz I pass by bike by the most beautiful care-home I have ever seen: I wonder whether they accept residents under 30… because I’d definitely love to live in one of the apartments with the view on the canal. I get to work (yes, it is funny and -forgive me for the word- cool, but I’m still making  a job out of telling stories) crossing not one but two parks: I could definitely get used to it. But there is no time.
I get my lunch from a Syrian takeaway, hipster German style: a lot of vegetables and less fat. I’m still not used to it.

I smell the garlic sauce and the grilled chicken and I turn back two years in time: I am in Place Monge, Paris,  and feel that loneliness that does not feel like being alone.

I also think about how uncomfortable I am with the past and what it is all about. Orso says that I always behave as if I was on my guard when I talk in the past tense. I should dig the reasons why but basically: I don’t feel at ease because it’s about another woman, most of the time a girl, I don’t particularly like now.

On my way to the train station I miss the right tram and I have to get on two others trying to make up for my errors: a lot of stress while dragging a too big pink suitcase.

I learnt how to force myself to sleep on transports so the train journey from Leipzig to Berlin passes quickly. Everytime the train goes through  Lutherstadt Wittenberg I can’t help wondering whether Luther’s theses were 95 and everytime I reach home -wherever it is- I’ve already lost interest. Or maybe I don’t want to spoil the only passtime that does not make me sick on transports: having conversations with myself and digging my memory about useless information.

Off the train I jump on the bus to Berlin Tegel airport and hit all ankles I can find in the small corridor of the bus with my too big pink suitcase . I don’t do it on purpose and I am -even if I bit sleepy- pretty so I am forgiven rather easily. Yes, life is unfair.

I get to wait for my flight in the best lounge of the airport: and yes, it includes free food and tv. This is all thanks to Orso, who’s not a billionaire banker but he knows his way through airline promotions like no one.

My plane is the stereotype of a flight to London:  loads of skinny ties and Blackberries. Anyway, finally I have a copy of the Independent on my lap and I hope that the flight is calm enough so that I can read instead of spending my time recalling all the names of dog breeds I used to know when I was nine.

At Heathrow airport there is a bus waiting for me, and I can finally eat my Leipzig-made sandwiches and think about how many German regions I can remember: coach trips really make me sick. Two hours and a definitely different landscape later I am back to the very unlikely place  where exactly one year ago I decided to go to turn my life upside down (and therefore create another past version of myself I would feel uncomfortable with, I guess).

I walk home, I need some fresh air and the Southern coast of England is fresh on a late summer evening, even cold actually, but I put some extra layers on before the passport control at the airport: it’s not the first time I make this complicated trip. It is actually the last one, I think with relief and a point of regret.

Bike-tram-train-plane-coach and then… my own feet: it took so many different transports and now I am in bed with a fluffy raccoon (that’s really another whole story, that of the raccoon -a soft-toy, not a living animal).

In bed I read the French translation of a book on the life-changing trip to Italy of a famous German who lived in Leipzig as a young man: I drift into sleep thinking I am not doing anything new (well, except for the company of the fluffy raccoon).

I know, this post is very private, more private than you’d want it to be, more private than I -and certainly Orso- would like it to be. But my life had overtook my writing for a bit, so I thought that writing had to strike back and take whatever was there.

By the way, I forgot to ask, how was your day?