I'm Tamsin Hickson, I live on an olive farm in Le Marche in Central Italy with my husband, sons, father, cats, dog, chickens, ducks (until Christmas).

recipes

  • Hot chocolate sauce chocolate-syrup

    My mother made this for us when we were children and my children often ask for it. Some people like it so hot that it melts the ice cream instantly, others like it eaten out of the fridge in cold rich spoonfuls ladled over their ice cream. I advise teaching the children to make it [...]

Italian

  • Vernaccia vines

    Up in the mountains, (an hour away if I’m driving or 35 minutes with Aldo at the wheel), is the small town of Serrapetrona. The smallest classified wine producing zone in Italy, they are justly proud of their Vernaccia, which they have been making since the 1400′s. Vernaccia was the first Le Marche wine to [...]

making things

  • Elderflower cordial elderflower

    When the poppies are out it’s time to order the citric acid to make elderflower cordial. Every year I go through the recipe with our local pharmacist, who takes some convincing that I really want THAT MUCH citric acid. I’ve not yet found an Italian home recipe for a drink that doesn’t contain alcohol, [...]

Keeping time

churchmogJasper took up the piano last year and I took these photographs while he was at his lesson this week. Mogliano is empty on weekday afternoons between lunch and five, and the misty February air and the echo of my footsteps gave the town an eerie, timeless feel.

This year I decided to take up the piano again.  I think of myself as having recently given it up so it was startling to realise that my last lesson was 37 years ago. I wondered whether this explained my struggle to keep up with the metronome as I massacred a Bach prelude; after all Jasper has been whisking through Scott Joplin with the metronome without difficulty.  But after a few weeks I downloaded a metronome app onto my phone, thus revealing Jasper’s musical flexibility, in adapting to our old metronome’s moody beat. time

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