Holidays! A week away on Giglio


True to tradition, we went to Isola del Giglio for a week (like here, and here, and here.) Every year, a great group of friends, and the same routine: a morning cappuccino (or three) looking at the sea, a swim, lunch in the garden, more reading and swimming, apertivi and a long seaside dinner. Bliss! Who’d have thought this would even be possible four months ago? No international travel for us anytime soon, so a week on a quiet small Tuscan island was bliss.


We had self-catering accomodation with lots of space, and DIY lunches in the garden every day. Delicious. Salads, fresh focaccine, slabs of cold watermelon, melon and ham. When it was our turn I made Fennel pasta bake with lemony breadcrumbs, glutenfree and regular version, with green salad. Another night I made a peach and mascarpone tart, very nice indeed. The peaches are lovely and sweet.


Yes, we always carried masks, and it was required to wear them outdoors in populated areas of Giglio, plus in all shops and restaurants of course. Not needed for the beach, if you kept your distance. Masks are just a habit now, we have lots of cloth ones and wash them for the next day. The contagion numbers are pretty good in most of Italy at the moment, which is well deserved after months of lockdown and discipline, and most people are still very careful and respect the rules. The police were also encouraging people to wear masks, in a nice way though, and there was hand sanitizer at all entrances.


Not too crowded.


Kitchen with a view. I hope you also get a little safe holiday at some point this summer.

Second time success: apple-cinnamon Swiss roll

img_20200705_121658_4It’s July already! Where has this year gone? Four months working from home, I thought I’d be baking and watching box sets and finally trying Yoga With Adrienne.  No, it’s actually been really busy workwise, in  a good way, with lots of weekend projects in the flat after 4 years away. Italy is doing pretty well now contagion-wise, but we wear masks when we go outside and are generally careful. However, it’s been really nice to see a few friends now and then, with the occasional dinner – open windows, lots of fresh air, no touching.

I even took the metro last week, to collect a long-awaited ID card. Hardly anyone there, and clear signage on blocked seats where it is forbidden to sit, to maintain distance. More borders are opening in Europe, but we have no international travel planned. A long warm Roman summer will be fine – and after Accra, it is not that hot!


Back to the cake. I started this cake a few days ago, when friends came over for a socially distanced pizza dinner. Some sad apples were malingering in the fridge, but any apple cake that requires an hour in the oven is clearly not going to happen when it’s 33C in a Roman July. But a Swiss roll with homemade applesauce, 5 minutes of baking while the oven was heating anyway for pizza… perfect! Unless you fold laundry in those critical five minutes and come back just a little too late, to find the cake burned beyond redemption.. Oh well – the guests had cold watermelon for dessert, and better luck next time. Sad waste of food, though. This time I paid better attention.

Apple-cinnamon Swiss roll, second attempt
3 eggs
130 grammes of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
115 grammes all-purpose flour

300 ml applesauce
2 tsp or so of cinnamon

I made the applesauce by peeling and coring 4 medium apples, dicing the apples and cooking them with 100 ml water until soft enough to mash with a potato masher. No added sugar.

Heat oven to 250C. Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper. Prepare a clean cotton kitchen towel with a little sugar sprinkled on. Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in baking powder and flour with a spatula. Spread this out evenly on the baking paper, and bake in middle of the oven for five minutes, until golden brown. Watch the cake, it is very thin and can easily burn.

When cake is lightly golden, turn it onto the kitchen towel upside down, and peel off the baking paper. While cake is still warm, spread on apple sauce and sprinkle on a little cinnamon, or jam of your choice. Then roll the cake together from the longest side, using the towel to lift the cake evenly so it does not crack. (If it does crack, it will still be delicious.)



Here, I rolled from the long horizontal edge. Cool before slicing.


Lots left for the next few days. Maybe I’ll make another with peaches and apricots, I bought too many and do not want to waste any.


Hope you all are safe and can enjoy a little summer too. Have a nice weekend.