Nonna Margherita Dottorelli in her kitchen, 1905Some excellent Tuscan recipes from her granddaughter, Marta Dottorelli, who refuses to be just a character in a novel made up by that writer.
Torta Soprasotta -- "upside-down-cake" One of the stories the writer spreads is that Signora Chiara did not actually make her trips in the Amazon. Beh! The beautiful Chiara (whose house I take care of) has given me a book about her travels, with the many pictures she has painted of the Amazon’s endangered plants and flowers. She may not be completely true about some little things in her life. (She hides away the new flower paintings that she makes, for example, and pretends that she does not go out painting in our Tuscan hills, where I warn her there is much danger -- but of course I have found the key to her locked drawer!) However she is a botanist molto intellectuale and knows the name of every growing thing.How do I know this? I brought her a basket of apples from the tree that Niccolo’s grandfather planted many years ago.
When she saw them, Signora Chiara recognized immediately that these were very famous in the history of our country (even more famous than I knew; I did not tell her that) -- apples that are shown even in wall paintings in Pompeii.
(I have heard about the scandals in that ancient city, but I did not say to her: Please do not tell me about this place where they make even more scandals than you make with that archaeologist down the hill! No, I said only, Taste this – eat! What do I care about these long-ago stories! Still I was of course impressed with her knowledge.