9

Una vertigine: N O V E. Nove come 10 – 1. Come un passo dalla pre-adolescenza. Povero cuore mio. In men che non si dica, i giorni che sembravano non passare mai quando eri piccola piccola tra le mie braccia, si sono trasformati in anni. E che anni! Pieni di scoperte, di allegria, di dolcezza. L’ultimo non è stato facile facile. Eppure siamo sempre qui, decise a cavalcare il cambiamento con grazia e (rinnovata) gioia di vivere.

Come sempre, mi sono divertita molto nel realizzare il tema che avevi scelto per la tua festa e le scintille di gioia che si accendevano nei tuoi occhi scoprendo ogni sopresa, sono state la più bella ricompensa. Buon compleanno, cara fatina dolce; che altrettanta meraviglia possa accompagnarti a ogni tuo futuro compleanno!

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Un vertige: N E U F. Neuf comme…dix moins un. Comme, un pas avant la préadolescence. Oh mon pauvre cœur de maman. Tous ces jours qui semblaient ne jamais finir quand tu étais un tout petit bébé, les voici transformés en années. Et quelles années! Pleines d’amour, de joie, de tendresse. La dernière n’a pas été facile facile, mais nous sommes toujours là à essayer de chevaucher le changement avec grâce et joie de vivre redoublée.

Je me suis beaucoup amusée avec le thème que tu avais choisi pour la fête, cette année. Et, comme toujours, ces petites étincelles dans tes yeux au fur et à mesure que tu découvrais chaque surprise, étaient la plus belle des récompenses. Joyeux anniversaire, ma fée jolie, que tous tes futurs anniversaires puissent être célébrés sous le signe de cet émerveillement!

 

*Per la decorazione e i giochi: su internet si trovano mille idee sul tema di Harry Potter, incluso molto merchandising a dei prezzi esorbitanti. Poiché secondo me la creazione manuale è divertente in sé e credo sia importante insegnare ai bambini, con l’esempio, il valore della loro immaginazione,  ho preferito fare tutto a mano – a parte il badge « originale » Griffon d’Or e la « vera » collana di Hermione: il costume di mia figlia (una tunica improvvisata a partire da un rettangolo di stoffa tagliato in due), le pergamene (quanti fogli di carta spennellati di caffè e appesi ad asciugare per casa!), le immancabili bacchette magiche (= bacchette da sushi, decorate con della pittura dorata), il libro-mostro (la solita scatola da scarpe tuttofare, decorata con avanzi di pelliccia sintetica di un altro costume, occhi finti e cartoncino), le candele magiche (i soliti rotoli di carta igienica, chiusi con cartoncino e la pistola a colla e dipinti di bianco), il muro del binario « 9 4/5 » (risate garantite! grazie a un semplice scampolo pagato un paio di euro, dipinto con una spugna-mattoncino come stencil), il gatto di Hermione (un gatto di carta pesta per il decopatch, dipinto e poi vestito con stoffa avanzata dal costume di Chiara), i boccini d’oro (semplici Ferrero Rocher nei quali ho infilzato delle piume). Il gioco delle pozioni ha avuto un grandissimo successo; su internet ne ho trovato una versione in francese grazie alla gentilezza di questa mamma. Per la merenda: dei cupcake al cioccolato semplici o con una crema ai frutti di bosco e decorazioni in pasta di mandorle; biscottini decorati con glassa al limone, di diverse forme e colori; i ferrero rocher/boccini d’oro; una torta alla vaniglia, farcita e ricoperta di crema mascarpone-philadelphia e frutti di bosco. Et voilà! Se per caso avete delle domande su qualsiasi altro dettaglio, lasciatemi pure un commento qui sotto.

*Pour la décoration et les jeux: sur internet, on trouve mille et une inspirations sur le thème Harry Potter, y compris beaucoup de merchandising dont les prix peuvent vite grimper. Pour ma part, je trouve que la création manuelle est un processus amusant en soit; aussi, j’aime l’idée de valoriser l’imagination des enfants par l’exemple, donc j’ai préféré tout faire moi-même – exception faite pour le « vrai » badge Griffon Dor et le « vrai » collier d’Hermione: le costume de ma fille (une robe ample improvisée à partir d’un grand rectangle en faux velours), les parchemins (hello les feuilles badigeonnées de café!), les indispensables baguettes magiques (des baguettes à sushi décorées avec de la peinture dorée), le livre-monstre (une bonne vielle boîte à chaussures, recouverte de carton coloré et de restes de fausse fourrure d’un autre déguisement), les bougies flottantes (coucou les rouleaux de papier toilettes, fermés avec le pistolet à collé et peints en blanc!), le mur du quai « 9 4/5 » (fous rires garantis, juste avec un drap acheté pour 2€ puis peint avec une grosse éponge en mode stencil!), le chat d’Hermione (un chat en papier mâché pour déco patch peint et décoré avec les restes des tissus du déguisement), les vifs d’or (des Ferrero Rocher + des petite ailes). Parmi les jeux que j’avais organisés, les enfants ont adoré celui  des potions, que j’ai pu imprimer en français grâce à cette chouette maman. Pour le goûter: des cupcakes au chocolat, tout simples ou avec de la crème mascarpone-fruits rouges et des décorations en pâte d’amande; des petits sablés décorés avec du glaçage au citron de plusieurs formes et couleurs; les ferrero rocher/vifs d’or; un gâteau d’anniversaire à la vanille, fourré et décoré avec un crème Philadelphia, mascarpone et fruits rouges. Et voilà tout! Si vous avez envie de connaître d’autres détails, n’hésitez pas à me laisser un petit commentaire.

 

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8

Avevo detto: 8 anni, no. Già 7 erano tanti, scherziamo?

E’ scoppiata a ridere di gusto: 8, sì!

Io: 8, no! E poi, che altro: magari 9 e poi 10? Non se ne parla

E giù altre risate: 8, sì!

Avrei potuto andare avanti a lungo, solo per sentirla ridere così, di gusto.

Ho detto: uhm ma quando avrai 8 anni, me li darai lo stesso i baci morbidi, ogni tanto?

Lei, gentile: sì, e anche quando ne avrò 9 e 10 e anche quando sarò grande, sempre sempre!

Io: Uhm, sicura? va bene, allora vada per gli 8 anni. Però…9 no, eh

E giù risate: sì, 9 sì!

E questa è la vera storia di come è accaduto che questa fatina dei boschi abbia compiuto (ben) 8 anni.

(ma i 9…immaginate, vero?)

 

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I told her: 8 years? No way. 7 were too many already, are you kidding me?

She laughed all over the place: 8, yes!

Me: 8, no! And then maybe, 9 or 10? And then, what else

On she laughed: 8, yes!

I could have gone on and on for ages, just to hear her laugh that way.

I said: tell me, will you still give me sweet kisses when you are 8?

Kindly, she replied: of course, and at 9 and 10 too, and when I’m grown-up and forever and forever!

Me: Uhm, are you sure? Well, in that case, you may turn 8. But 9…no way

She laughed all over the place: 9 yes!

And this is the true story of how this sweet bird came to turn 8 (oh my).

(but 9…well, you guess it right?)

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Quando tuo figlio – When your son

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Quando tuo figlio compie quattordici anni vuole una festa di compleanno al bowling. Tu, da buona italiana, rimani a casa a preparare un banchetto neanche venissero gli unni, fosse mai non mangiassero abbastanza. Poi senti un clamore in strada e in un attimo vieni travolta da un’allegra combriccola di adolescenti alti quanto te che bevono coca cola e oasis con la cannuccia parlando di giochi e musica online di cui capisci poco o niente. Sono tutti gentilissimi e ti dicono buongiorno signora (argh), tant’è che pensi accidenti come sono gentili, e anche calmi finché ti rendi conto che un palpabile imbarazzo li tetanizza nello sforzo di comportarsi bene davanti a te che per loro appartieni inesorabilmente alla categoria « genitore », per cui ti eclissi discretamente e te ne vai in cucina, in bagno, ovunque pur di lasciarli respirare.

Quando tuo figlio compie quattordici anni passi tre giorni a cucinare in ogni momento libero e lui non ti dice grazie perché non è più un bambino piccolo (ah già non te n’eri accorta). Però, lo senti ridere coi suoi amici, in camera sua; senti che ascoltano la musica e scherzano, per cui sai che è felice, dall’altra parte di quel muro, nel mondo che è il suo. E quindi, anche se continui a pensare che una parola gentile ti avrebbe fatto piacere, sei felice anche tu.

Quando tuo figlio compie quattordici anni, ti rendi conto da tante piccole cose che la sua vita si sposta sempre più in un altrove nel quale tu non sei, e del quale tu non sai ed è giusto così. E’ una sensazione strana, a momenti, tanto più quando avete passato così molti anni insieme. Eppure, vedendolo entrare in un’età di cui conservi ancora tanti ricordi, una grande tenerezza prende il sopravvento anche negli inevitabili momenti difficili. Che viaggio cari amici, questa avventura dell’essere genitori.

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When your son turns 14 he wants a bowling party with his friends. While they’re gone with his dad, you stay at home and cook for an army for fear there would not be enough to eat. Then you hear voices down the street and in a second your house is full of teenagers as tall as you and drink sodas with a straw while chatting about music and video games you don’t know much about. They’re all very kind to you and tell you « good afternoon madam » , so you’re all happy thinking « how polite they are and even calm » – until you realize they’re uneasily trying to behave « well » before you, parent figures. so you clumsily disappear into the kitchen, the bathroom, wherever, just to let them be. 

When your son turns 14, you spend three days cooking on every spare moment but he doesn’t tell you thanks for the cake I wanted/hey that’s cool/oh I love that. Nope. He’s no longer a baby ya know (just in case you didn’t). But, you hear him laugh with his pals behind his closed door. You hear them listening to music and having fun so you know that he’s happy, behind that wall. And so, even though you still think that he could have said something nice to you, you’re happy too.

When your son turns 14 so many tiny things tell you that each day his life shifts elsewhere, somewhere you don’t know much about and that’s the way it should be. Well, it’s a weird feeling sometimes. Especially when you’ve spent so much time together, for years. But, as he enters an age which you can recall, your heart fills with a whole lot of tenderness even in the inevitable difficult times. Dear friends, what a journey, this parenting adventure!

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7

E così, son 7.

Sette anni dal giorno in cui, salendo sull’autobus, sentii una punta di dolore e pensai « è ora ». E mi misi seduta, perché dovevo arrivare dall’altro capo della città, e guardando dal finestrino, passai mentalmente in rassegna se avessi preparato tutto. Prima di diffondere l’allerta, mi fermai goffamente, come a rallentatore, a fare un po’ di spesa e a sbrigare queste piccole ultime faccende, con questa punta di dolore che andava e veniva. A te dicevo « abbi pazienza, amore mio, aspetta ancora un attimo » e a me « ricordati di questo momento, prima che la tua vita cambi ancora per sempre, non perderne neanche un istante ». E tu mi ascoltavi perché solo quando ebbi messo via la spesa e organizzato tutto per la mia assenza, ecco solo allora, si ruppero le acque, il dolore si fece più inteso, la corsa in macchina, il respiro più affannoso, i dolori in crescendo da non sapere più a che santo votarsi, il dubbio, l’incertezza, la fiducia ritrovata, ispira, espira, lascia fare, le voci amiche, ci siamo quasi, l’ultimo sforzo, lo hai già fatto, ce la puoi fare, poi il mio mondo si è fermato un attimo, l’immenso irripetibile stupore, e lì eri tu, coi tuoi occhioni grandi, stesa su di me.

7 anni da quel giorno, mia fatina dell’allegria. Sembra ieri e al tempo stesso, una vita fa. Per me sei sempre quella bambina piccola, che ha pianto appena e non ha chiuso occhio per tutta la notte, tanto era indaffarata a tirare latte dal mio seno. Eppure mi rendo conto che stai diventando grande e che un giorno non più tanto lontano, non sarò più al centro del tuo mondo. Se la mia più grande gioia è vederti crescere e affermarti, confesso che in fondo a questo cuore di mamma che ti ha covato, come tuo fratello, con lo sguardo e poi nei suoi pensieri ogni giorno, fin dal primo istante, c’è anche un pizzico di apprensione di fronte a questo cambiamento. Per fortuna, esiste un rimedio infallibile, un antidoto miracoloso a questa punta di malinconia: la meraviglia di vederti ridere ed essere felice.

Per festeggiare con le tue amichette, volevi una festa sul tema della natura, tu che oggi sogni di avere una fattoria e due orti e mille animali e anche una pianta di cacao. Abbiamo fabbricato inviti a forma di fiore e, cucinando tardi la sera, quando tu eri a letto, ho impastato, cotto, decorato in segreto, come da tradizione, i dolci per la vostra merenda. Il tuo sorriso radioso e i tuoi piedini ballerini sotto al vestito cucito apposta per l’occasione mi hanno riempito il cuore di gioia.

Buon compleanno, fatina dolce,

che i tuoi giorni siano sempre pieni di così tanta gioia e magia.

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So it’s 7.

Seven years since the day I felt a tiny sting in my bosom while catching the bus and I thought « that’s it ». As I sat down because I had a long journey ahead, I looked out of the window and took a mental tour of all the things I had to take care of; the maternity carry-on, your brother’s activities and little gift, dinners in the fridge. Before telling anyone that it was it, I slowly carried my huge belly to some grocery-shopping and through all those tiny to-be-finished tasks. And all the while I whispered to you « hold on love, just a little bit longer, I’m almost ready » and to myself « hold on to this moment, before your world changes forever again, don’t miss a bit of it ». You listened to me, you know. It was not until everything was done that the pain grew stronger and the waters broke and we rushed in the car, my breathing more ad more ragged, the pain reaching its highest peak, the doubt, the fear, breath in, breathe out, you can do it, you’ve done it before, just lean in, the friendly voices cheering, we’re almost there, then my world stood still, unique incomparable wonder, meeting your eyes wide open as you were lying on my womb. 

7 days since that day, my joy fairy, my little bird. It feels like yesterday yet forever. For me, you’re always that tiny newborn, almost not crying and spending the night teaching my breasts how you want to be fed. But I know you’re growing up and, not so far away, the day will come when I’ll no longer be the center of your universe. I’m overjoyed to see you grow and become your own person, with your tastes and personality. But I would lie if I said that in this mama’s heart, who cradeled you, as your brother, each day ever since you were born, there is not also a pinch of apprenesion thinking about this. Thank god, there is a remedy. A panacea for this melancholia: seeing you happy and laughing. 

You wished for a nature-themed party with your girlfriends, you the nature-lover who wants to have a farm one day and two gardens and a hundred animals plus a cacao tree. So we made some paper flower invitations and I spent every last nights, after you were asleep, baking, cutting and decorating for your surprise sweet table, as per tradition. I might have not slept much for a few days but your radiant smile and seeing you prancing around in your homemade princess dress made my heart burst with love.

Happy birthday sweet fairy,

may all your future days be filled with such joy and wonder.

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Treize ans, ça y est, tu es officiellement un adolescent. Je dis ça à chaque fois, mais c’est vrai, je n’en reviens pas.

Treize ans. Un anniversaire au bowling avec les copains. Un gâteau arc en ciel et un goûter improvisé au parc.  Peut-être le dernier dont tu auras envie avec tes parents.

Treize ans. Des chaussettes en boule à droite et à gauche. Des vidéos sur Youtube que tu nous montres. Une année scolaire un peu rock & roll, rattrapée sur la toute dernière ligne droite.  Des bonnes rigolades. Des blagues. Un corps d’adulte qui commence à se bâtir.

Treize ans. Des hauts, des bas. Des bas, des hauts. De nouvelles interrogations, des doutes.

Depuis quelque temps, quand tu vois cette pauvre maman visiblement larguée,  tu t’arrêtes un instant et me dis, avec une tendresse infinie, ne t’en fais pas, maman, je suis un adolescent, c’est normal. Mon gentil garçon.

Joyeux anniversaire mon grand,

tu es beau et on t’aime.

PS ne t’en fais pas non plus si parfois je perds le fil;

je suis juste une maman, c’est normal.

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Thirteen. So you are officially a teenager. I know I say it every time, but this time I truly can’t believe it (ha). 

Thirteen. A bowling birthday party with your friends. A raimbow cake. An improvised snack at the park, maybe the last one you’ll want to share with your parents. 

Thirteen. Your orphan socks lying around. Youtube videos you show to us. A rather rock & roll school year, which you’ve managed to succeed at the very end. Teasing and laughing, a lot. An adult body in the making. 

Thirteen. Ups and downs. Downs and ups. New questionings and doubts.

Lately, when you see this poor mama completely at a loss you pause for a moment and very kindly say to me: don’t worry, mama, I’m just an adolescent, it’s normal. My gentle boy. 

Happy birthday my teenager.

You’ve beautiful and we’re proud of you.

PS don’t you worry either if I sometimes lose it,

I’m just a mama so it’s normal, you know.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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e una dedica speciale alla mia

che mi ha trasmesso il gusto e il piacere di creare in cucina!

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Happy Mother’s day to all mothers

and a special dedicace to mine

who taught me to love experimenting in the kitchen!

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Questa è la mia versione leggermente rivisitata delle meringhe che ci preparava mia madre quando eravamo bambini. Per renderle colorate, basta semplicemente suddivire le chiare già montate a neve con lo zucchero (50gr per ogni chiara) in tante ciotoline quanti colori volete ottenere e immergere in ciascuna un bastoncino con una punta di colorante gel (attenzione, cominciate piano se volete un effetto pastello). Usando delle sacche da pasticceria (ma anche due cucchiaini vanno  benissimo), crete poi dei mucchietti di chiara ben distanti sulle teglie ricoperte di carta da forno o sugli appositi fogli di silicone e infornateli a 125° per 30 min., poi a 100° per 1 ora. Le meringhe devono essere bene asciutte, per cui verificate e eventualmente lasciatele qualche minuto in più, finché non vi sembrano cotte al punto giusto. Poi spegnete il forno e lasciatele raffreddare prima di tirarle fuori, se potete. Buon appetito!

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This is my try at the meringue recipy that my mother used to bake for us when we were kids. In order to make them colored, simply divide your batter of egg whites whipped with sugar (50 gr for each egg) into several bowls. Then slightly dip some gel color into each one (take it easy if you want them pastel). With several pastry bags (but two spoons work fine as well) create some well-spaced meringues on your non-stick paper or silicone mats and put them in the oven for 30 min. at 125° then for 1 hour more at 100°. Try and see if they are thoroughly dry, if not, leave them a little longer. When ready, switch the oven off and leave them inside until cooled, if you can. Enjoy!

Ps Pour nous, familles bilingues, ce serait sympathique que ce genre de fête ait lieu le même jour dans tous les pays. Mais non, ces messieurs ayant dû penser que ce serait trop ennuyeux, en Italie c’est aujourd’hui, mais en France, c’est le 25 mai. Donc on fera notre petite fête en famille à ce moment-là. Affaire à suivre dans une semaine.

A little mermaid birthday party

Six ans. Six fois que nous avons fabriqué des petites invitations pour ton anniversaire. Je n’en reviens toujours pas. Mais voilà, c’est fait; des photos le prouvent.

Tu voulais être une petite sirène, alors nous sommes allées choisir les tissus ensemble au Marché Saint Pierre. Puis j’ai imaginé le décor et le buffet tout autour. A chaque fois c’est pareil, je décide d’en faire moins puis je me laisse prendre la main car, pour tout te dire, je m’amuse vraiment beaucoup. Je me suis demandée, d’ailleurs, si ma maman s’amusait autant quand elle organisait nos fêtes d’anniversaire. Il y a plein de choses comme ça qu’on ne découvre que quand on passe de l’autre côté du miroir, tu sais…

En tout cas, te voir virevolter dans ton déguisement, danser et rire heureuse avec tes copines m’a rempli le cœur de joie. Joyeux anniversaire ma petite sirène jolie, ne grandit pas trop vite quand même d’accord?

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Six. The sixth time that we’ve handed out invitations for your birthday party. I still cannot believe it. But we did, it’s on camera.

You wanted to be a little mermaid so we went fabric shopping all the way to the Marché Saint Pierre. Then I’ve imagined the sweet table and party decoration accordingly. I had wowed to myself to do less but- guess what – I ended up making a lot because, well, it’s so fun. By the way I found myself wondering if my mother had so much fun preparing our birthday parties. There are things like these, you know, which you only guess when you step on the other side of the mirror…

Anyway, seeing you parading so proudly in your new costume, laughing and dancing with your friends just filled my heart with joy. Happy birthday my sweet little mermaid. Don’t you grow up too fast, okay?

* Le buffet était composé de: cake pops à la vanille version méduse et petit plongeur; sablés au citron en forme d’étoile avec du glaçage royal blanc et violet; cupcakes à la vanille façon mer des tropiques; petits poissons en chocolat (achetés tout faits); une génoise vanille-fraise façon Château de sable de la sirène. Et un mini aquarium de fortune, juste pour le clin d’œil!

* The sweet table was made of: vanilla jelly-fish/little-diver cake pops; lemon sugar-cookie stars with homemade white and purple icing; vanilla tropical-sea cupcakes; (store brought) fish chocolates; a vanilla-strawberry sponge sandcastle birthday cake. And a fake little aquarium just for fun!

Six

Six ans ce soir que tu es arrivée dans notre famille.

Ma toute jolie. Mon nouveau-né fille.

Six ans que tu égaies notre quotidien avec tes rires et tes chansons.

Je n’en reviens toujours pas.

Mais tu m’as assurée que tu me donneras toujours des bisous tout mous.

Que tu seras toujours un peu petite, c’est vrai maman.

J’étais un peu inquiète, tu vois, que tu deviennes très grande tout d’un coup.

Mais non alors, heureusement.

Belle journée d’anniversaire, ma toute jolie!

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Six years that you’ve come into our lives.

My lovely newborn little baby.

Six years that you brighten up our lives with your smiles and laughters.

I still cannot believe it.

But you’ve told me that you will always give me soft kisses.

And you will always be a bit little, it’s true mama.

I was scared that you would grow up, all of a sudden, you know.

But I’m relieved then.

Happy birth-day my sweet (baby) girl

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Et dimanche, on fait la fête avec les amis: alerte aux sirènes et aux tritons!

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Come Sunday we’ll party with your friends: watch out for the mermaids and the tritons!

Un gâteau spécial – A special cake

Il y a des jours comme ça, qui vous apportent des belles surprises, totalement imprévisibles. Des cadeaux du haut, entre vos mains. Quoi dire, sinon merci?

Semaine dernière, une copine a demandé à Gabriele qu’il apporte un gâteau fait par mes soins comme cadeau d’anniversaire. Avec un smiley en déco. Il s’est carrément mis à m’aider aux fourneaux. Et m’a sauté au cou quand il m’a vu le terminer, à onze heures du soir. Je suis sure que je l’ai rarement vu aussi heureux et fier, en sortant pour l’anniversaire avec la boîte à gâteau. Du coup, j’étais drôlement fière, moi aussi.

J’ai fait des gâteaux qui étaient sans doute beaucoup plus jolis et élaborés, mais celui-là, et la mine heureuse de mon enfant, je ne suis pas prête de l’oublier.

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There are days which bring you unexpected happy surprises. Gifts from above, straight into your hands. Nothing more to say than thanks.

Last week a girlfriend of Gabriele asked him a cake by his mom as a birthday present. With a special theme. He even joined in to prepare the batter. And he threw his arms around me when he saw me finishing the frosting, late at night. I think I’ve rarely seen him so happy. And proud, when he was leaving for his girlfriend’s party with the cake carrier. I was so proud too.

I’ve surely made some far more refined and elaborate cakes, but this one, and his glowing figure, won’t be easily forgotten.

Douces fraises – Sweet strawberries

Un petit gâteau pastel improvisé, pour dire au revoir à la belle Naomi.

 Des fraises bien mûres, du lemon curd, un glaçage à la gelée de groseilles.

Et beaucoup d’amour, bien sûr.

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A small improvised pastel cake in order to say (a sweet) goodbye to Naomi.

 Ripe strawberries, lemon curd and red-currant-jelly frosting.

And love, of course.

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Pour le gâteau, j’ai misé sur une valeur sûre en utilisant à nouveau cette recette:

Gâteau blanc (mais pas tout à fait) à deux étages via Whisk Kid 

225 g de beurre/margarine, à température ambiante

466 g de sucre

5 blancs d’œuf à température ambiante

2 cc de vanille ( ou pas, si vous utilisez du lait soja vanille)

375 g de farine

4 cc de levure

½ cc de sel

355 ml de lait/lait de soja à la vanille à température ambiante

Allumez le four à 180°. Beurrez, farinez et chemisez le fond de vos moules; si, comme moi, vous voulez réaliser un petit gâteau de 15 cm, juste à deux étages, vous en aurez assez pour en faire un deuxième pour les goûters de le semaine. Autrement, vous pouvez: en faire un petit mais à quatre étages, en faire un plus grand à deux étages, faire une demi dose…à vous de voir.

Mélanger la farine, le sel et la levure. Battre bien le beurre avec le sucre. Y ajouter les blancs, un par un. Ajouter la vanille, si vous ne mettez pas de lait de soja vanille.  Puis incorporez le lait et la farine, en alternant, en deux fois. Divisez votre préparation en deux ou quatre, selon ce que vous avez décidé de faire. Faites cuire pendant 20-30 minutes selon la taille (ou plus si vous utilisez un grand moule). Une fois vos gâteaux prêts, laissez-les reposer quelques minutes dans le moule sur une grille, puis retournez-les et laissez-les refroidir (tandis que vous lavez et réutilisez les moules pour votre dernière cuisson, si nécessaire).

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No risks taken with the cake as I used this recipe again:

Two layer white cake (but not really) via Whisk Kid   

2 sticks (226 g) butter/margarine, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla if you don’t use vanilla soy milk
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk/vanilla soy milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how your cake pans: if, like me, you want to make a small 9 inch two-layer cake, you’ll have enough batter to bake a second cake for the week’s afternoon  snacks. Otherwise, you can bake a 4-layer 9-inch cake, or  a 2-layer wider cake. Or just divise the ingredients by half. It’s up to you.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla if you don’t use vanilla soy milk and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts. Divide the batter equally among your pans and bake for 15-20 minutes each (or more if you use a larger pan). When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip and let cool completely (in the meantime, wash your pans and repeat the operation, if necessary).

Le fourrage

Je voulais quelque chose de frais et printanier, donc j’ai utilisé un reste de lemon curd que j’avais surgelé il y a quelques semaines (expériment réussi haut la main!) avec des fraises coupées en rondelles. Pour un gâteau comme le mien, il vous faudra: une barquette de fraises de 250 g, dont vos garderez les plus belles pour la décoration. Ensuite, quelques cuillères de:

Lemon curd via Sweetapolita

4 citrons bio

2 œufs + 4 jaunes

200 gr. sucre

60 gr. beurre/margarine à température ambiante

Râper les citrons bien lavés pour obtenir 2 cc de zeste. Presser les citrons pour en extraire 160 ml de jus. Fouetter les œufs avec le sucre et le jus dans un bol en métal qui pourra ensuite être placé au bain marie. Ajouter le beurre/margarine coupé en cubes, ne pas mélanger. Transférer le bol sur une casserole d’eau frémissante et mélanger constamment jusqu’à ce que le beurre ait fondu et le mélange soit ferme (10 min. environs). Ajouter le zeste hors du feu, verser dans un bol et couvrir avec du film au raz de la surface. Laisser refroidir puis mettre au frigo. Se conserve très bien surgelé.

The filling

I wanted something fresh and spring-y, so I used some lemon curd I had in stock and sliced strawberries. For a cake like mine, you’ll need 250 g ripe strawberries, of which the nicest will be used for the top decoration. Then a few scoops of:

Lemon curd via Sweetapolita

4 lemons (or 6 Meyer lemons), preferably organic

2 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks

1 cup sugar (200 g)

4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small even cubes

Wash lemons really well and using a zester, remove all of the coloured portion of the peel from the fruit (not the white pith–it’s bitter!) into a bowl or onto a piece of wax paper. Repeat until you have 2 teaspoons (30 ml) of the zest. Slice the lemons in half and extract as much of the juice as you can until you have 2/3 cup (160 ml) of the strained juice. Get your double boiler ready by filling a saucepan with 1″ of water, then placing a metal bowl on top of the saucepan. You will need to ensure the bowl fits snugly into the top of the saucepan and that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water (important, or your eggs will cook). You can now remove the bowl and continue with making the curd. Whisk the juice, whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the bowl until smooth. Add the butter cubes to the bowl, but don’t stir. Heat the water in the saucepan over low heat until it simmers (not boils) and place the bowl atop the rim. Stirring gently, but constantly, cook until the curd has thickened and all of the butter has melted and is incorporated, about 10 minutes (this can vary). Strain the curd over a bowl using a fine-mesh sieve and then stir in the zest. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly against the curd and chill for at least 3 hours.Very good once frozen, as well.

Le glaçage

Pour couvrir ce gâteau, ma version personnelle de glaçage mascarpone/philadelphia aromatisé, qui pour l’instant est ma préférée (parce qu’on ne change pas une équipe qui gagne!). Il vous faudra:

250 gr. de mascarpone

150 gr de Philadelphia

gelée de groseilles

cassonade (ou sucre blanc si vous n’aimez pas sentir les grains de sucre)

Bien mélanger le mascarpone et le philadelphia puis incorporer deux ou trois cuillères de gelée et une ou deux de sucre. Ajuster selon votre goût. Garder le mélange au frais avant de l’utiliser. Recouvrir le gâteau avec une spatule, décorer avec des fraises et des sucres dorés et remettre au frigo…

The frosting

To cover this cake, I’ve just adapted my own mascarpone/cream-cheese frosting recipe (because it’s my favourite so far and you don’t change a winning team!). You’ll need:

250 mascarpone

150 cream cheese

red-currant jelly

brown sugar (or white sugar if you don’t like the crunchiness)

Cream the mascarpone and cream cheese together until smooth. Add a few scoops of jelly and one-two spoonfuls of sugar and beat in. Adjust to your taste, store in the fridge. Cover the cake with a spatula, decorate with strawberries and gold sprinkles and keep refrigerated…

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…jusqu’au moment de vous régaler

entre amis/en famille/en amoureux

…until it’s high time to enjoy it

with your family/friends/lover