My mum’s stuffed peppers

Connecting, cooking and calibrating

Connection is a wonderful concept. Think about the way you connect with people or places and at the myriad of ways you can experience, foster, establish or even break a connection.

Almost six years ago I moved to London leaving the only place and people I had truly known all my life. It was a brave step for me, a person so connected to her roots. I left with the idea of spending three months in the English capital to improve my knowledge of the language and hoping for a work experience that would enrich me before starting the final two years at university.
That’s the official version.
Truth is, I think I just needed a break. I needed to react to events in my life that had left me in peaces and the only way I found was to run away. I am a fairly intelligent person – and I am saying this without pride. However, I guess I have never been mature enough on the emotive side.

I came to London because I needed hope, I think. Clearly, I needed change.

Believe that life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain

I loved it, for me this was the land of music, creativity, freedom of self-expression. I met people who were completely different from me, different lives, attitudes and stories. I made friends and I had to learn to let them go. Especially here, people come and go, they rarely stay. Connections are brief and intense. Very few last longer and remain in your life. But they can become something else, reach a different level. I suppose it is up to the individual. For me, it was hard to accept some people would not be there every day anymore and to learn how to still be part of their life.

I came to find change somewhere outside of myself, hoping this would solve my problems. I was never ready to go back to Italy. There’s no work, I need experience I would say to myself and to others. I hate the Italian university system, I want to study in London and there go two more years. I want to come back with a good CV, something I wouldn’t be able to achieve in Italy, another two years go by, accumulating mediocre results and constantly feeling I hadn’t done enough.

In these years, I’ve explored the many levels of friendship and what connecting with people really means. I found love unexpectedly and lived it fully, fighting for it, growing up with it, feeling it deeply, dreaming with it and, eventually, losing it.

On the other side, I received the most beautiful gift life can give you: going through a journey on your own, away from home, basically alone and realising you are not. Some connections can be indestructible. I’m talking about those life-long ones: your family, your best friends.
Leaving home started a mechanism that allowed me to mend them, improve them and maintain them. Right now I finally feel closer to my parents and unbelievably grateful realising I am one of those lucky people whose relationship with their best friends hasn’t suffered the long distance – apart from missing them terribly, of course. Somehow, I re-connected to the place as well, rediscovering the beauty of those fields and streets, the air, the smells, the flavours and traditions.

I may also say I discovered myself again, abandoning preconceptions and learning to stand on my feet. Although I am just starting to re-connect with my inner self – very spiritual – the past few years have been a roller-coaster of incomparable lessons. So maybe, ironically, I did go through that experience, just on a different level.

One thing I regret is not being able to merge the two worlds together. My dream of laying the foundations of my future didn’t go quite as expected. I can only dig them out now and start again.
I am leaving, breaking the dearest connections I have ever established here, but I am not running away this time. Sometimes, simply, devi toccare il fondo per risalire.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”

A family recipe, this is a connection to winter evenings at home, the perfume pervading the rooms, my brother so excited to eat them.. Make sure you get one before they disappear. These peppers are the classic example of the fact that no matter how hard I try I’ll never make them as good as my mum does. The pictures are a variation of the recipe because I didn’t have all ingredients at hand. Here below is the original. You’ll notice there’s no set quantities for some ingredients. You’ll know when it’s enough.


2 peppers, halved and cleaned from seeds
500gr beef mince meat
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1/2 glass white wine
Tomato sauce


Real simple. Mix the ingredients for the filling and stuff the halved peppers.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and pour the tomato sauce in when it starts sizzling.
Place the peppers in the pan, pour the wine and let evaporate.
Cover and cook on low for 40′, flipping the peppers from time to time.
How easy is that?




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