Friday, August 14, 2020

Dietro Front in Florence, Italy

I took a picture of this sculpture a long time ago when we were visiting Florence, Italy. Something about it spoke to me, made me feel like it was something quite unique and special.

Here I am, about 10 years later, revisiting old photographs and feeling that this sculpture now speaks to me, once again, but this time in a different way.

Dietro Front in Italian translates to "about turn", "about face", or "to turn around in the opposite direction". The artist once described his work as simply that - this statue is placed in the intersection of Porta Romana, and one womanly figure points in the direction toward Florence while the other figure points away from Florence leading the way to Rome. Simple, right?

But is his work meant to be a beautiful street sign? Or is the meaning more deep? Do we want to venture out from home and explore, while at the same time there is something pulling us, or holding us back, seeking an "about turn"?

The Florentines have given this sculpture other nicknames, including the "headache" or "unbalanced". Easy to understand, don't we all feel a heavy weight on our head or shoulders at some point in time, especially these days? But is that the focus? Should it be the focus?

Whether it is the weight of the world, or a weight of wanting to go back - go back home, or go back to the way things were, the way things used to be - the bottom figure is strong. We are strong, we are resilient, and that is just beautiful.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Strawberry & Rhubarb Galette

Summer season brings the strawberries!

My older son only likes to eat his berries "fresh off the vine" (insert emojio with a slap in the face), so when strawberry season hit in June, we went to a local farm to do some pickin'. And with that came a plethora of fresh, delicious, beautiful strawberries! But what do you do with all the bushels? Well, you eat them as nature intended, maybe make some jam, and why not try a homemade galette?!

A galette is a French word for a flat round or crusty cake-type pastry. So I started with my easy-to-do, never-fail pie crust recipe and went from there.

Next, people seem to always be mixing strawberries and rhubarb. Why? Well, first of all they grow at a similar time of year. Secondly, they both have a similarly sour-based starting flavor, but then tend to veer off in different directions, with rhubarb becoming a bit mild or bland while strawberries tend to produce more of a sweeter taste as they continue to ripen. Thus, we have a fitting marriage to the classic Strawberry and Rhubarb combination. 

Now here's the Strawberry & Rhubarb Galette recipe:

2 cups of Flour
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of Butter
1/4 cup of iced cold water

1. Combine the first 3 dry ingredients.

2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and blend together (I like to use my hands) to form a crumbly mixture.

3. Add the water, little by little, until a dough forms.

3 cups of cut-up strawberries
2 cups of chopped rhubarb
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of Water

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients together in a saucepan on top of the stove.

2. Add the water and heat over medium heat. Stirring to combine, heat for about 10-15 minutes, until you have a nice, gooey mixture.

3. Roll out your pie crust extra round and extra big, and pop it into a pie plate.

4. Add the strawberry rhubarb filling and then fold over the edges.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.