Archive for July, 2008

Lemon birthday cake

The aroma of the lemon cake I just finished baking is still lingering… tomorrow July 23 is Julia’s birthday and I wish we could be already all together celebrating her.
So I thought I’d share with you the recipe of this wonderful, versatile and easy cake and if you want you can bake your own and, in a way, be part of the celebration.

(Lemon torta with warm fruit salad)

– 1 1/2 cup flour
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 3 tsp lemon peel, grated

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, beat eggs with milk, oil and lemon peel.

Add liquid mixture to flour, mix until just blended. Pour in buttered and floured 5” x 9” pan and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

L e m o n g l a z e

Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 5 tbsp of lemon juice until dissolved. When cake is ready, poke a number of holes into it with a wooden skewer. Drizzle the glaze over it and let it soak in. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.


– 1 lb mixed fresh fruit, such as pears, bananas, kiwi, mango, grapes
– 3 tbsp butter
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 1/4 cup orange liqueur or Rhum (optional)
– 1/4 cup orange juice

Cut fruit in pieces. In a wide frying pan melt butter and sauté fruit in it over high heat, sprinkle with sugar, then pour orange liqueur and orange juice over it . Let cook for a minute, and serve immediately with a slice of lemon torta and, if desired, a scoop of vanilla icecream.

Respiro: a legend

I have read and heard many different interpretation of this movie Respiro (Breath). Here are below are two of them which express two opposite points of view.

“Respiro” is a cheerful, life-affirming film, strong in its energy, about vivid characters. It uses mental illness as an entertainment, not a disease. Do such people really live on Lampedusa, and is this film an accurate reflection of their lives? Perhaps it doesn’t matter, since they exist in this film for one and a half hour and engage us with their theatricality. Grazia needs help, but her island will not be such a lively place to live if she gets it.

Respiro was inspired by one of Lampedusa (an island near western Sicily) legends. It is the story of a young mother who was looked down upon by the townspeople who thought she was crazy because she behaved outside the rules of their small community. One day, she disappeared leaving only her clothes on the beach. As time passed, the community was left feeling guilty for having driven the woman to suicide. The legend has it that the force of prayers brought her back to life from the sea and she returned to normal life with her family.

Being woman: pictures and poem which capture the essence

Ser mujer: Being woman

Please watch these powerful images


“The church seemed doomed to failure, destined to go down to bloody death…., when the people discovered Mary. And only when Mary, against the stern decrees of the church, was dug out of the oblivion to which Constantine had assigned her and became identified with the great Goddess was Christinity finally tolerated by the people… The only reality in Christianity is Mary, the Female Principle, the ancient goddess reborn. (Geoffrey Ashe – The Virgin.)

From Amor and Psyche

…. feminine existence is almost entirely determined by the masculine world of consciousness and its values (Erich Neumann – Amor and Psyche)



Radici di vite

acqua di vita

le viti

la vita sotto il mattone

vita attorcigliata..

Roots of life

water of life

ancient vines

life under a brick.

Five red clay tiles

are missing

under the kitchen table

and there

grapevines grow,

they indicate the presence of water

deep down

underneath the dry sand.

My mother knows.

Don’t worry – she says –

roots break tiles.

There will be wine

on the table.

There is nothing

but shrines in this city.

Protectress of seamen,

and salors, Stella maris,

Maria, mare, madre.

Madonna under the water

protects us,

united at the root

under the water.

Grapevine roots grow long

and search for the water

which unites us all

where Maria comes from

and lives.



July 2008
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