potential for rainbows



Rome in June. It was hot, the air heavy with the tastes and smells of summer pleasures to come, school finished for Luca and I wrote about pasta with beans. Sicily in July. It was even hotter, scorched really, the sky hard hard blue, the sun at its most powerful. We settled into life there, dried tomatoes on the roof, took Nonna’s ashes to the cemetery, and I wrote about stuffed pie and stuffed tomatoes (not for the first time and probably not the last). Now, Dorset in August. It is sunny, but also rainy – so lush with potential for rainbows. I am drinking lots of tea, talking to pigs up the lane, and I have just written about chicken with peppers.

Only not here. I miss it here.

Having spent six weeks at our house in Sicily, I didn’t pass go, but came straight to my parents in Dorset to finish this second book. In the bedroom at the top of the house, a great plastic bag of my childhood paintings behind the bed, I am trying to loop it all together, the kitchens in Rome and Gela, and here I suppose, trying to find the words to describe the drive along the coast to Scoglitti and the smell of wild oregano (without sounding a wally). Every now and then I bash my head repeatedly on the table, or I thud down the stairs three at a time to make tea, or to double check that the chicken really does need 50 minutes in the oven, to see if something has risen, or not.

Then came the rainbow, and I picked it. I spent half an hour trying to find the most descriptive shade of yellow for chard, googling damn paint charts – buttercup, Tuscan roof tile, Sultan’s trousers, before telling myself to get a grip and call it yellow. Next Tuesday you can read it all about the chard and the chickpeas in The Guardian, it goes on-line at about 12 30. The book will take a bit longer, 40 weeks on Tuesday if all goes well.

For now, I am here, with tea, possibly in my dressing gown, typing. I hope you are having a good summer? More soon.




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34 responses to “potential for rainbows

    • In my much younger days I occasionally took the bus from London to Athens. This day I was sitting up front with the driver as we pushed through hour 19 of the interminable drive through the then still-intact Yugoslavia. Suddenly the driver threw up his arms, breathed in deeply and commanded “miriizii!” (Smell!) “We’re almost home.” It was unmistakable, unavoidable – wild oregano, and soon the Greek border was just down the hill.

  1. Lovely! Looking even more forward now to your next book. 🙂

  2. I so admire you work ethic…I find it so much easier to go downstairs ot make a cup of tea,,,and stay there…so I don’t have to bang my head on the desk. Probably why I haven’t written a set of wonderful books:)

  3. laura

    Woohoo! What a rainbow for your readers today! Most, most understandable that you have to stay away … But hooray, hooray when you come back! Hooray, hooray (hurrah, hurrah?) for the book on its way! Thank you!

  4. Dolores

    I loved your first book- and can’t wait for you to publish the second one. 🙂
    That will be found at he end of the ‘rainbow’, right ? 🙂

  5. Nice to see you back again!

    “Get a grip and call it yellow” sounds like good life/writing advice.

  6. The Millers Tale

    I too have done that colour chart thing, indeed I have colour charts bookmarked on my laptop. *the shame*

  7. Yellow is good, your writing is beautiful whether it is a Tuscan tile or yellow. Good luck with the writing, looking forward to that next book. x

  8. Louise Perreault


    Firstly, I would like to say I love “Rachel eats” , I love what you write. I also love “a kitchen in Rome” and would like to know if it is possible to subscribe. Secondly,. I am a new subscriber to “Rachel eats” and found ” a kitchen in Rome” which I also did not know existed and would like to subscribe, is it possible.

    Again, I love what you do and bringing Italy to my mailbox is special and I love it! Tk u ever so much

    Grazie mille! Louise Perreault

    • rachel

      hello Louise, thank you so much, I am so glad you enjoy reading along. Re suscribing – here should be a subscribe button in my side bar, hope that still works – R

  9. Linda Morris

    So glad Rachel to finally be reading your words of wisdom on your blog. It’s the first thing I turn to in Cook every Saturday & have enjoyed reading your first book as well as trying many of your lovely recipes. Great that you’re writing another book – another for the collection!

  10. kate

    please, tell me, what does “sounding a wally” mean? Being in the USA, I’ve never run across that saying. I tried googling that phrase but there were only 7 choices and your blog was number 1.
    Great to know you have another book coming out – I’ll watch for it.

  11. Oh, Rachel, I’ve missed your blog posts. It helps enormously that there’s your Saturday column in the Guardian every week. But still …. that’s for them, the Great British Public, rather than us, your long term followers. Hope your summer school went really well …. and looking forward to your second book.

  12. As I read this, it’s bucketing, or as we used to say, raining cats and dogs.

  13. chefceaser

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  14. fybersaptes

    Dear Rachel I grew Borlotti Beans this year especially to make beans and pasta inspired by you, I also have 25 roma tomatoes plants on the go in the greenhouse hehe. Thought that might make you chuckle Love your writing as always. Jeni


  15. Sean McCavera

    Hi Rachel

    Very atmospheric writing highlighting the verdant green contrast between Dorset and Sicily. Looking forward to the publication of the new book.

    Bruschetta on a wooden board = Sunday lunch!




    Sent from my iPhone

  16. Like everyone here I love your writing. Even when you’re scorching under a Sicilian sun it’s like a breath of fresh air. Good luck with the new book, try not to give yourself concussion and have a wonderful summer, deadlines permitting. Lx

  17. Jeannie hannon

    Why do i have to buy the bloody Guardian app to see these posts?!

    • rachel

      You don’t, sorry if this is misleading. I am linking here to the weekly articles I write in the Guardian Newspaper, something entirely separate from this blog, which I choose to share here. You do not have to download or buy any app to see them, simply go to the free Guardian on-line website. I hoped you could link from here, will check my links. Rachel

  18. Pingback: Reading List (23/8) | Philosophy and Madeleines

  19. Orcagna

    Missing the smell of wild oregano doesnt sound wally-ish – not missing it would! And yes, I’m a total sucker for it and always keep a plastic bag in my handbag…

    • rachel

      It wasn’t the missing, more sounding a wally trying to describe it. I was being flippant about writing about food and describing it without sounding a prat! handbag oregano, I love that.

  20. I can’t even blame the heat as we’ve had the best summer imaginable so it’s simply laziness that has kept me from cooking. Today I’m going to make pollo alla Romana which seems like a good ratio of work to reward. Or perhaps mañana.

  21. danielle

    marigold x

  22. I absolutely adore the style of writing. It paints a wonderful picture !

  23. Jean McLuckie

    Hi Rachel, I stumbled across your posts a wee while ago and have made many of your recipes (tomato spaghetti being a staple in our house) and have your wonderful book. I am on the way home to Scotland from my honeymoon in Italy and wanted to tell you that we spent our last day wandering around Testaccio and having a wonderful lunch at Flávio Al Velavevodetto. My new husband thought he was humouring me until he tasted the carbonara (plus day 2 of the honeymoon was spent at the Mito Guzzi museum…). Graze Mille for the words and the recipes.

    • rachel

      What a lovely thing to read, I am so happy to hear this, you chose a good time to come, this beautiful warm September. Congratulations to you both, wishing you all the best and thanks for taking the time to tell me, Rach

  24. Sarah Woodruff

    I’ve been reading some of your archives, catching up on recipes I’ve missed! Are you coming back, soon?

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