May 31, 2020

“Vogliamo che qualcuno si prenda cura di noi? Prendiamoci cura di chi non ha nessuno. Ci serve speranza per il domani? Doniamo speranza oggi… Non possiamo chiedere all’umanità di stare unita se noi andiamo per strade diverse. Allora preghiamo gli uni per gli altri, sentiamoci responsabili gli uni degli altri.”

“We want someone to take care of us? Let us take care of those who have no one. We need hope for tomorrow? Let us give hope today… We cannot ask humanity to be united if we go our separate ways. So, let us pray for each other, feel responsible for each other.”

~ Pope Francis, May 31, 2020


Meme by K.C. Green


I had intended to write a cheerful post today, with tips on teaching yourself a second language. Unfortunately, as the weekend unfolded, that mood felt inappropriate and reminiscent of the above well-known internet meme.

I felt emotionally exhausted, frozen by the overwhelming sadness and surrealism of it all and had no idea if anything I was capable of doing would be of any help at all.

I’m not Catholic, but the sentiment Pope Francis expressed today in his first address from his apartment window since the quarantine was a timely reminder: If I need a little hope, someone else probably does too.

Then I recalled an article I came across the other day about a recent discovery made just outside the city of Verona: an almost completely intact Roman mosaic floor from a 3rd century villa, long-buried and unearthed from beneath a row of vines:

The recollection served as a hopeful reminder: you never know what beautiful surprise may lie below the surface of what is currently apparent, waiting to be revealed:

This world is many-layered. Kindness, love, decency and hope may not be visible under the noise and images we are witnessing today, but that doesn’t mean they have disappeared. They’ve just been temporarily covered over. Hope is still there, underneath it all. Get digging.

“Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.”
~ Herman Melville


My recipe for Goat Cheese Sugar Cookies was recently requested by a friend.

Goat Cheese Sugar Cookies
These scrumptious cookies need no eggs. The goat cheese flavor disappears, resulting in an absolutely delicious, rich and tangy-sweet cookie, bursting with citrus flavor. No one will guess the secret ingredient. Use soft, spreadable chèvre-style goat cheese for this recipe. It’s like cream cheese but more tangy. Always use organic or other pesticide-free oranges for zest, to avoid ingesting pesticide residue.


1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)*
3oz of soft, chèvre-style goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one organic orange
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
*Note: add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter

For rolling:
1/4 cup organic sugar
mixed with
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and goat cheese together until smooth. Mix in vanilla and zest.

In a smaller bowl, stir together baking soda, baking powder and flour (add a pinch of salt here if using unsalted butter in recipe).

Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir together to incorporate.

Cover bowl and chill in fridge for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F

Remove dough from fridge. Form dough into 1-inch sized balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press down with three fingers to flatten balls slightly and create a circle shape.

Bake for 8 to 11 minutes. Let baked cookies stand for one minute, then move to rack or foil-lined counter to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen (26) cookies


2 Responses to “Speranza”

  1. Jordania

    Beautiful! Felt this post down to the core of my soul.

  2. Astrid Kastenberg

    Gina. Thank you for this simple and beautiful post!!! I loved seeing that tile floor uncovered! Amazing! Gave me hope to your point of things under the surface.

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