I believe I was already born with my passion for food and baking in particular. As a young child, I remember I anxiously anticipated the day before all birthday parties, when I helped my mother prepare all the treats, pies and the always impressive decorated cake. No other distraction could ever drag me away from the kitchen table, where I tasted – some might say abusively – the raw dough and dipped my fingers into oozing hot chocolate bowls, only to test and “responsibly” confirm their quality, which never ever disappointed. Besides the eating part, I also studied and doodled on my mother’s recipe books, which she would carefully handwrite and compile and are still such an absolute reference to me.

The summer holidays spent on the family’s cottage, with my granny and cousins who came from lands far far away, were a true festival for my senses! Among the most common fruits, there were plenty blackberries, passionfruits, grapes, figs, persimmons, cherries and even chestnuts as the hot summer days turned chillier. The blackberry pies and the traditional quince and apple jams were fondly remembered throughout the year.

In my teenage years, I voluntarily took over baking and decorating every birthday and celebratory cake, as well as preparing desserts for dinner parties.

In the Christmas of 2005, I started a new personal tradition. I decided to present family and friends with nothing more nothing less than what I did best – gorgeous love-filled biscuits. They were an immediate success, which I strive to improve upon every year, and not just at Christmas anymore. I must acknowledge that while my compulsive obsession for perfectionism is not always easy to tame, it may very well translate into the certainty that the goods I produce under the scope of the baking science I rigorously abide by – in which each ingredient must be added in the right proportions at the right time – come out of my kitchen looking just as sensational as they taste!

And I can only say the same about the wool softies. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed making arts and crafts, recycling materials that are constantly overlooked in our busy daily lives. To me, I guess these soft toys were the natural evolution from the cross stitch embroideries all the nice girls had to learn at an early age. I am sure they will be your kids’ best pals, although I am not so sure whether adults will be able to resist their charm either.

For as long as I can remember

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