My name is Jessica Montanelli, I was born and raised in the medieval town of Siena (Tuscany, Italy). Although I was mostly raised in the countryside, about 15 km away from the town, in a super-small village surrounded 360° by hills and fields (see picture below).
As a teenager I always dreamt of living in the United States, dazzled by the many TV shows I was watching in which life seemed to be perfect and happy. At 18 I decided to realize (in part) this dream, so I started searching for Italo-Americans bloggers and contact them to know if they could help me get there. Where? Los Angeles of course.
During the flight back from LA to Rome, I watched a movie that subconsciously changed my life: Julie&Julia. I didn’t know much about cooking even though I was always watching my mom, but after this movie I started cooking more and more importantly, I started appreciating food on a different level. My mom got me “The way to Cook” or Julia Child that Christmas and I started from there.
Meanwhile I was mostly concentrating on my small business of Polymer Clay jewelry and miniatures which I started in 2009, called “Jeyam Fimo Creations”. Once a week I was also teaching a Polymer Clay class to kids and elderdly.
I could never stand the thought of working for other people’s for the rest of my life, so I started thinking of a new entrepreneurial idea and I started baking. My goals went from “Opening a cafè” to “Opening a cupcake shop” to “Opening a bakery” but soon enough I figured that baking was too difficult and I was too lazy. So I started experiencing more with savory food, mostly following the guidance and recipes of my mom which has been a chef in a restaurant for some years. I then opened my first food blog in Italian but I gave up pretty quickly because I was feeling too insecure.
In 2013 I met my boyfriend and at the end of the year I moved with him (and my cat Pinkie) to The Netherlands (a leap of faith! But it went well) to follow his studies at the Conservatory. I found a job in a call center for a multilingual project, since I don’t speak Dutch, and I work there since then.
I kept cooking and my recipe books kept increasing so in 2014 I decided to open a new food blog (as escape from the menial job that I’m forced to do to earn a living), this time in English and I promised to myself that this time I would not give up; I had to persevere if I really wanted it to be my future career.
UPDATE: I stopped blogging for a while, demotivated from the lack of comments and views despite my active effort in social marketing. I almost gave up once more and after a few months of uncertainty I decided to expand this blog from foodblog to lifestyle blog. I love cooking but whenever I have freetime the thing that makes me most excited is starting new projects and I always had several hobbies: from sewing, to drawing, painting, working with clay and polymer clay, making soap, candles, doing pyrography and photography, etc. So it really made sense to use all the knowledge and skills I have and share them as much as possible with YOU.
So I am excited again and I will continue with this blog hoping that it will finally take me in the right direction.
WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:
- Cheese, lots of cheese. There’s no need to add anything else here.
- Pasta. Especially if handmade, a good dish of pasta is good for the soul. Pasta is almost sacred to me.
- The smell of summer breeze. As soon as the temperature raises, I love the smell of the air, especially in the morning and after dark.
- The sound of walking on fine gravel. I know it may be weird but I really love this sound, it relaxes me.
- Seeing new places. I love to travel and especially go to Countries I’ve never been to before.
- Walking in the nature. Theres’s nothing better than taking a long walk in the countryside. I mostly like the sunny winter days (if it’s not too cold).
WHAT I DON’T LIKE:
- Truffles. I hear they are delicious but unfortunately the smell gives me nausea so it’s a no-no for me.
- Living in the city. I know it’s practical but I need my daily dose of nature full immersion to survive.
- Monotony. Doing the same thing over and over really brings me done. I need change, I need challenges. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with my head.
- Crowds. I don’t mind it if people stand still or sit around but I hate walking in a crowd or being cramped in a small space with too many people. Ugh.