Oh dear… I walked into my grandmother’s kitchen so many times, and I have seen so many tools and stuff and devices and plates and things that I was just fascinated each time, more and more … but that thing there, that iron stamp today is burning again on the stove, with both sides shaped as flowers, never thought it could be as meaningful as my Nonna describes it today… yes it was a true gem for the families that since the early twentieth century used to prepare these yellow, crispy waffles for noble families or as a gift of gratitude to the strangers who visited the houses in the province of Chieti or Pescara, L’Aquila or Teramo … everywhere in Abruzzo when you visit local families you are given a souvenir of sweetness … some families today still keep this stamp made by solid iron, hanging on a wall, nailed above the fireplace as an ineluctable sign of time, through decades of uninterrupted sweetness and fragrant creativity! I heard that some families printed the initials of the family name and mothers gave it to the future daughter-in-law, a precious gift that makes tradition not stop.
The story goes that these sweet doughs called “neole” are sisters of the softer and caloric “ferratelle”, a version probably more similar to those that today in the world we call waffles, or pancakes; they are soft and thick … or thin and crunchy, they come in two tasty versions. To be truth there are some similarities … because most of the ingredients and a good part of the production process can confuse the ideas.
My Grandmother Nonna Annina’s hands, already protagonist of the recipe of the ciambellone (read the recipe here) are working again to , and are today again teaching Marcella, the method of preparation.
The movements are sensual, the fingers of my grandma have little curves marked by many years of work, are confused with those young and delicate who today observes and lovingly absorbs the magic of homemade pastry … when I observe her movements almost symphonic, I try to photograph or record with my phone, no … I stop, I turn off the bright technology today and I let myself be carried away by the emotions that time has made intact … And it is only with my eyes, the real ones, which I can afford to scrutinize well the sinuosity of the gestures of love!