NB: for some exciting announcement and news, scroll down!!
See Christiann’s post about these pancakes here.
I am riding my bike through a scenery that should feel familiar.
I have smelled these smells ever since I was a child, along the flower-lined, cobbled seaside road in my hometown. In July, the air carries scents of sun lotion, grilled sardines, and a peculiar dishwasher smell, rising at around 8 PM in steamy whiffs from the back alleys, where restaurant kitchens get more frantic than metro stations during peak hours.
As sunset breaks, and shadows elongate along the seaside walk, I slalom through tanned faces, tourists in swimsuits, kids playing soccer on the sand, people holding beers and street food, and line cooks smoking behind trashcans.
Everything seems so silent, beyond The Beach House playing in my ears.
Everything seems so silent between the pink-and-gold strewn sky and the railroad wires.
Everything seems so silent in those echoing worlds to which we feel we do not belong.
And, in that world to which I do not belong, I feel like a seagull flying through a blazing sky where nobody can reach me; like a song sung halfway through under the shower, like a missed connection, a dream soon forgotten upon waking, a wrong turn, a misinterpreted expression, an uncertain weather forecast. I am half a person, and I am royally, majestically, unrealistically out of place.
My sleep is always disturbed, as I am too busy living in a hazy daydream, and the line between sleep and wake gets as slim as a trail of smoke from an incense stick.
I am in a bubble, and I am drowning in a Beach House’s song. And my only consolation is that, sometimes, summer in here can feel like California.
I am back to Italy and, each time I come back, it feels like I’ve been back after waking up from a coma. My body is having a hard time resuming its regular circadian rhythm. My clocks have been set on EST time ever since I left New York in 2012.
I am hyper-sensitive to every detail. Every voice rings new in my ears, and every smell tingles stronger in my nose. I watch everything as if with the eyes of an alien, lost in the most beautiful of gardens.
In Portland, Everything was so fresh and crisp: the air, the people, the scenery. It was almost eerie how familiar everything felt, even though I had never been there before. Like when I set foot in New York a few days after, and it felt like I had never left. My uncle says I have a Karmic connection with America. I guess he’s right.
The morning me, Christiann and Eva returned from the Secret Supper (which you will be able to read more about soon) we made pancakes together. And I, who have not had a real friend for years until Zaira appeared in my life, immediately found again that feeling of close friendship that is only possible to experience between kindred souls. And these girls are, for sure, two of the most beautiful souls I have ever met.
Be blessed all those who experience this enlightening sentiment on a daily basis.
I cannot wait to share all my adventures through Portland, Boston and New York here on the blog. I am so happy with the posts that are about to come. This trip gave me once again confirmation that America is the only place I really feel like calling home. So, I should let you know that I am in the process of applying for a US visa.
Should the Consulate grant me one, I will move to the US in the fall.
My soul and heart are there, and I feel like I need to get them out of this endless, waking night.
And night will always come – both literally and figuratively, but I want to make my nights starlit and split in half by the Milky Way, as such vast blackness cannot bear just random speckles of light, but shall be the background on which a Pollock of thousands of stars can explode and regenerate. I’ll pray every God to give me darkness, so that I can see it not as an excuse to complain about scarce visibility, but as an excuse to see constellations, fireflies and fireworks. Be the night cold, be the night endless, but be my night always alight with glowing sparkles.
And soon it will be dark, and soon it will be dawn.
And, when morning comes, we will make pancakes.
This recipe is the result of that wonderful morning spent together at Christiann’s (and by the way, you MUST check out her studio remodel – #aesthetics).
These pancakes are some of the best I’ve ever had, for real.
Make them, and spare a prayer for my journey back home.
But first, scroll under the photos for some important announcements:
ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLing & BLOGGING WORKSHOP
With Christiann Koepke
A great chance to absorb as much knowledge as you can about all things food & blogging from your own kitchen.
To see all details and register, visit this page (or this page), or send me or Christiann an email.
Nominations for the Saveur awards are open! You can vote here. If you like my work and my photography, please support me in this important event. If you read the post above, you might get an idea of how much easier it would be for me to make my dream to remain in the US a reality, were I to win that award again. So this time I will pester you to vote for me – but do not forget all the other talented bloggers I follow and love! A few of my favorites here.
VALENTINAHORTUS ON SNAPCHAT!
I got snapchat you guys! To see all my behind-the-scenes, like how I prepare my shootings or my posts, or just to see what I’m munching on or what I’m up to, add me! —> valentinahortus
(This post is not sponsored, but results were so good – I think these brands are totally worth mentioning.)
And now on to the recipe!
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120g) ricotta
- ½ cup milk, plant or regular
- ½ cup (60g) coconut flour
- ½ cup (100g) brown rice flour
- 2 tsps baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 2 stalks rhubarb, thinly sliced
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup Dona Chai tea concentrate
- 6 fresh figs
- Add all the ingredients to a pot and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, until thick and jam-like.
- Preheat oven to high on broil. Slice figs in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and place in oven on top rack. Let figs broil for about 10 minutes, checking every few minutes to ensure they don't burn. Figs are done when they're lightly brown on top and are sizzling throughout. Remove from oven and serve; hot from the oven or at room temperature.
- Add the eggs to a bowl with the melted oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and whisk well with a fork until the eggs turn slightly frothy. Add the ricotta (pass it through a sieve for an extra smooth result, but it is really unnecessary), and mash it in the eggs with the fork. Add the milk, ad whisk again.
- Add in the flours, baking soda and salt, and mix until well incorporated, but do not overmix. The batter should be quite thick, but pourable.
- Lightly oil and heat a nonstick pan or skillet. Once hot, add a couple tablespoonfuls of batter per pancake, cover, and cook for one minute. Once the edges of the pancakes begin to set, carefully flip them and cook, covered, for another minute, or until golden brown. Repeat until you run out of batter. You should end up with 9 pancakes.
- Serve immediately.