Saturday, April 25, 2020

Francesca's Bakery Home Delivery //Torte e dolci di Francesca ... servizio a domicilio.

Many of you may not know that I have fear of flying and it's due to claustrophobia, I avoid closed places like elevators, subways, trains, long distance buses and just any location  which is claustrophobic.

Considering that I have not taken a plane since 1994, the year when we came back to Italy from Asia (we lived 5 years in Dhaka, Bangladesh and 5 years in New Delhi, India), you might did you get there if you had fear of flying? Well, at that time it wasn't yet so bad. I managed to get on a plane even though I was quite jittery and nervous. I really had no choice, we were going there for work reasons so I tried to handle it. It wasn't easy. My daughter was two months old so I had to take care of her, maybe that distracted me from the fear I felt. My mother was with us, which really helped a lot.

Let's start from the beginning. As you know I was born in Sicily but grew up in New York .... that's why my English is impeccable ... ha-ha.  I was still in elementary school when we moved to the States. My Russian grandmother was already living in New York. (that's another story).  When we got on the plane in Palermo I was mesmerized, but I felt a bit strange about going up in the air. Anyway, we landed in Rome, took another plane to Toronto, landed there and took another plane to New York, precisely, John F. Kennedy Airport. 

While living in the US, I took planes like there's no tomorrow. To Arizona, to Puerto Rico, to Italy, to Ireland, to the UK, to Denmark, to Sicily, to France, to the Soviet Union (as Russia was then called). I was not once afraid to take a plane. In the 1970s though, I was on a flight back to Italy from Ireland and something weird happened. The plane was shaking so much that suitcases where falling all over the place. I was a bit scared but the stewardess told me it was normal, everything was ok. In fact, we landed in Italy safely.

Another incident was on a trip back from Sicily to Rome. While in flight we almost collided with another plane. That was scary. I was terrified. My brother was waiting for me at the aiport and when my plane landed I ran straight into his arms crying from the fright I got.

Those two incidents might have remained in my mind, but I am not sure. I still didn't have any problem flying after that.  I even went to Japan, a 15 hour flight! Then from Japan to Thailand, then to Bangladesh. After 5 years in Dhaka, we were transferred to New Delhi, India. I started panicking when I found out we had to take a plane. We decided to take the shortest route possible, which was Dhaka - Calcutta, about a half hour flight. Then from Calcutta we took the train to New Delhi ... a 16 hour ride! Anything, just to avoid taking a plane!!!

Anyway, this is a bit of the story behind this picture. My daughter knows I am claustrophobic so she put me on a plane with an OPEN DOOR! Here I am delivering my cakes and bakes, anywhere in the world directly from Sicily.  

These days of the lockdown, shops, restaurants, bars, supermarkets etc. are competing on delivering food and products directly to our house. That's where my daughter got this idea. I thought it's very funny, and it suits me perfectly so I am sharing the picture, and a bit of the story behind it.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


La Maidda is a big wooden container which was used to store bread in olden times in Sicily. At that time bread was made at home, once a week. It was a feast for us children. I loved to eat the bread just out of the oven. The ovens were made of stone by the way, we didn't have electric ovens or microwaves then.

Here are some of the things you can find at La Maidda, a brand new bread shop which makes lots of delicious Sicilian bread, as well as pizza, croissants etc. as you can see from the pictures below. This shop uses SOUR DOUGH and REAL BUTTER, that is their distinguishing characteristics. The taste of bread made with sour dough is unbelievably delicious.

These days, as I'm sure you all know, we are not allowed to go out, but La Maidda kindly agreed to deliver the goodies to the house.









Tuesday, April 7, 2020



Here is a recipe for Orange Coconut Cake. It's from The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks and it's a Middle Eastern cake.

The ingredients are: 1 cup  sifted self-raising flour; 1 cup almond flour; 1 1/5 cups shredded coconut; 1 tablespoon grated orange rind; 4 eggs; 1/2 cup orange juice; 1/4 c sweet wine (I used Marsala); 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder; 1/4 teaspoon baking powder; 250 g. butter; 50 g. sugar. For the syrup you will need 1/4 cup orange juice and 3/4 cup sugar.

Mix the butter with the sugar, then add eggs one at a time. When well blended, add flour, almond flour, coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder. Mix well, then add orange juice and wine.

Spread into a 9inch round pan and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until the tester comes out clean.

For the syrup, simply boil the orange juice and sugar for about 5 minutes.

Pour the syrup on the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Butter and flour the baking pan