As a newborn I rejected my mother’s milk and challenged myself with fasting for the first and only time in my life. But that lasted long. After a week in which I survived out of stubbornness, my mother was drained both physically and mentally. She was terrified. She carried me a couple of times to the paediatric unit of the hospital I was born in. Those days we were living in Rome. The doctors took their time to visit me thoroughly, but after long examinations they could not find anything wrong with me, apart from the fact of being undernourished. Then she resolved to bring me to a specialistic hospital for children. It was the tenth day I would not eat, she told me. I have a few doubts about this, given the ridiculous discomfort I have in skipping meals!
The new doctor looked at me from head to toe and could not have given a more clever explanation to my mum about the obscure psychological reasons for closing my mouth to either breast milk or formula when he gave me back in her arms and said as final words: “This baby is perfectly healthy, but she does not like milk. She hates it.”
Then it goes that I am weaned very soon and I would ask for olives, toasted bread with tomatoes, salt and olive oil, sautéed mushrooms, baked aubergines and fried courgettes or the other way round, chickpeas hummus, beans hummus, spiced lentils, marinated tofu and then kale and all kinds of broccoli and cauliflower, braised leeks with white potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, squash, pumpkin, beetroot, kale, black kale, greens, spinach and chard, all salad leaves, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, sometimes the orange one. No, I am lucky not to be allergic to nuts, pecans, pine nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamias, almonds. And seeds, like linen, flax, sunflower. Cereals, with gluten, without gluten, may it be wheat, buckwheat, barley, spelt, bulgur, cous cous, millet (one of my favourites), amaranth, quinoa (too bitter but rich in protein). How bland would it be without all herbs and spices, coriander in particular makes me delicately awake in a second. Have I forgot anything? Do we even have to mention mangos, strawberries, blueberries, all other berries, kiwis, oranges, satsumas, clementines, apples, pears, bananas, figs (how delicious and Mediterranean!), peaches, apricots, plums, persimmon, pineapple, cucumber and melon plus grapefruit and grapes, passion fruit, avocados (great with cocoa), chestnuts, chocolate truffles…
I wish I had a thought for any of the above and their endless combinations, and when thoughts come randomly or organised, I post them here.
More about me and my interests is in my Italian language blog
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