Mangiasti? is an Italian recipe book born out of the social challenges we all faced during COVID-19
I am looking back over the past few months and I can’t believe how much has changed in such a short time. Mangiasti? has taken me through some sad times but also some memorable and rewarding ones. The generosity of my hard-working and supportive publishing team, the contributions and lovely feedback from all its members and the ongoing support of family and friends who joined me on my journey, will be cherished forever. This ‘team effort’ to get through the Covid-19 global pandemic, in 2020, is a time that history will never forget.
In these difficult times, we all banded together, in the name of friendship and community, to bring our daily ritual of cooking and sharing to a whole new level. No longer were we just cooks or home-keepers, we became recognised and appreciated by all who shared our passion. The same can be said for all the ‘essential workers’, among them teachers. I had my home-schooling to attend to and my ‘respite’ was to get into my little kitchen and start cooking! I learnt to make all those things I feared were too difficult, thanks to the members.
It all began with a simple idea one morning. I was in my first days of lockdown and was so relieved that my food supplies were reasonably adequate. My Italian upbringing taught me to have ‘the essentials’ on hand – in my spare fridge in the garage and on the shelves. I began to wonder about the chaos in the supermarkets – where things like the staples, flour, pasta, sugar, to name a few, were flying off the shelves. My experience in putting a few ingredients together
for a meal over the years would come in handy. There was no panic, not even for the toilet paper (that will never be lived-down) being hoarded by the herds phased me!
Who could I help in this situation and how could my skills be useful to anyone who needed them? I had very little knowledge or experience in social media but one person came to mind, Michelle Colangelo. She was involved in several social media groups and I liked what she posted, so I messaged her. It was 8:57 a.m. on the second of April. Today, seven months later to the day, we have yet to meet! We have messaged each other and have spoken on the phone and our friendship and grown as we both shared a vision that has become ‘Mangiasti? 2020.
She liked the idea and since then we have bounced off each other like two little school girls! At once she got onto it, putting up the page, deciding on a name, then another, getting the logo, inviting people in … and within a few hours our community was bursting at the seams!
The founding members invited their friends and as people heard about our page, it grew from a few hundred to thousands and as this is going to print over eight thousand members have graced our pages with their recipes, comments and occasional ‘thought-provoking’ pokes!
We are so proud that people love our page as much as we do. They defend it like a lioness defends its cubs and enjoy the freedom our page brings, in a safe, supportive community. The team promptly takes care of any issues that pop up, allowing me to concentrate on getting on with the many facets of producing our memorable book, which is more than just a cookbook.
I wish to thank and acknowledge the people who helped me to prepare for this, for the SBS radio interview (in Italian), for saving and posting recipe files to PDFs, for being involved in our special themes, our Virtual Party nights, our queries, our page in general. To be involved in this community, with so many beautiful stories and precious recipes, I feel so blessed.
There is so much I could write about this experience – one that we all share in this world-wide pandemic. The anxiety and frustration I felt were curbed by being involved in such a caring group of people, sharing my passion and humble approach to life. I was inspired by the many people who showed me that anything can be done if you really want to do it. It encouraged me to make bread and improve on it each time. It allowed me to make mistakes and get the advice and reassurance I needed to try again. It gave me a go-to cake ‘that cake’ which is so quick and easy to prepare when I need one in a hurry (like tonight) as I prepare for my family dinner tomorrow night, after such a long time. I want to thank you for being a part of our Mangiasti? family and encourage you to try these recipes that have been provided by people like you – homemakers who cook with love and passion. The stories and recipes are a testament to the spirit that lives on in us all. Buon appetito and enjoy!
Always in stock. “Printed On Demand” in Australia by Intertype