The Joyful Pie 

May 9th 2016

There is a reason why I have not posted this recipe before. One year ago already, I wanted to publish an up-to-date version of the “Granny’s cake”, the cake I cooked a little more that 3 years ago together with my parents the day before the operation that deprived me of a breast. But I was not ready. This cake was waiting for this moment.

How can I tell you now what happened to me during this last two weeks of “vacation”? I have no idea. And above all, I think I am simply not able to do it. I cannot simply tell it, like this… suddenly, I need to prepare you, because if I would do it you would probably think I am crazy. Well, I confess that during the last 3 days I myself felt “crazy”. I understood things that were there for ages, waiting to be understood.

But if I tell you that everyone has conflicts, you can understand right? The point is: who do these conflicts belong to ? What are we carrying with us from the birth and what did our parents leave out to us? For the first time in my life I FELT (with my heart) and UNDERSTOOD (with my mind) that I have been carrying with me conflicts that did not belong to me and by understanding this I have been able to get rid of them. The separation of my parents was not a conflict belonging to me. Next to this I understood that the love existing between parents and children is not based on the relationship GIVING / HAVING (I give you something but I expect something back), but on BEING. There is no: LOTS OF LOVE or FEW LOVE. There is just LOVE. Point.

At that point I have been able to look inside myself, with absolute clarity, and I understood that I HAVE AN INCREDIBLE VALUE. I say this with pride and no arrogance. I spent the last years of my life feeling a failure because I projected myself in my parents. Do not get me wrong, I do not think my parents are a failure, indeed, I see also their great value. The fundamental problem was that I spent a lifetime trying to solve their problems and of course the more I tried the more I failed. Obvious. How could I solve problems that were not mine, that were “outside of myself”?

This new awareness… enlightened me! Everything unlocked itself and in 3 days I understood an incredible amount of things. Not because I understood what happened in that particular situation. I UNDERSTOOD THE MECHANISM that made us act that way. And when I understood the mechanism I was able to FORGIVE. Just like that, in a moment, I could forgive EVERYTHING, unconditionally. I FELT HEALED IN THE DEEPEST POINT OF MY BODY. Here I said it, I said the word: HEALED. Yes, HEALED from wounds, HEALED from cancer. At this point, feel free to click away from here to another page, go ahead, it’s up to you. But if you CHOOSE to continue reading and following me, then you choose TO BELIEVE, because it is only believing in your dreams that they might come true.

When 3 years ago I cooked that first “Granny’s cake” I choose to cook 🙂 but I had no idea that through cooking I would have come here. But more important: in that moment I choose to believe that even impossible things can come true (to see my parents under the same roof in a peaceful atmosphere), as 6 and a half months before – when I was diagnosed with the most rare and aggressive form of breast cancer… – I CHOOSE TO LIVE. And what I feel now, in this specific moment, is also that I HAVE BEEN CHOSEN to make people understand that WE NEED TO HAVE FAITH ! We need to believe in dreams!!! Do not be afraid of you “visions” if you have some and, if you are in trouble, do not look for a solution outside of you, but inside of yourself, because it is only by finding the “node” that you can make it. And if, again, you don’t know where to start from, then just have faith because one day you’ll understand that IT HAD TO BE THAT WAY.

I BELIEVE THERE IS A MEANING, I BELIEVE THERE IS A REASON, now I can say it out loud Elisa. During the past 2 weeks I understood the WHY of my cancer, I understood the message that he sent me and I did not ignore it, indeed I honoured it. Because of this I feel healed. I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE.

And now I stop otherwise you really believe that I got crazy. I just want to conclude saying that my story demonstrated me that sorrow has sense and that it is never to late to choose for the life you want to live, it is never too late to OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE because at that point the sorrow will disappear and joy will take its place and the bigger the sorrow the bigger the joy.

And here we come, to the joy, to this joyful pie :-). Since a long time I was thinking about a “possible name” for a “possible new activity” here in the Netherlands… which one, I don’t know. Anyway, I was looking for a name, I had to find a name. So, already 2 months ago I reserved this domain: that means . This because when I think about a signature dish I think about a pie, sweet or savoury, but anyway “joyful” because: it is tasty, so it makes you happy, and its ingredients are all naturally healthy, so it makes your body also happy. But when last Friday I was looking for a name for the pie I just baked together with my mother… “granny’s cake 3 years after” or “mom’s cake”… I realised… this one was “the joyful cake” because it makes your soul happy! Coincidence or sign? You can decide…

I did not bake this cake with both parents, but with my mother only, as a sign of an eternal reconciliation. I would have liked to make it with my father as well but I should not expect too much. My journey started more than 3 years ago. I hope that my positive change will affect them as well, and since I BELIEVE that their reconciliation is possible I think it will happen one day.

Few days ago I felt the energy of the universe reactivating itself for me. I felt like it stagnated for years and years, perhaps millennia, but now we managed – together – to break the chains that held us into the cave. Finally we can go out and look at the sun, that beautiful big warm sun. WE ARE FREE.

Two nights ago I couldn’t sleep, I was crying and thinking… wow, it is really a beautiful story! I always dreamed to make one day a recipe book, but now I know I want to write a narrative book or a mix between the two :-). If, while reading this post, you felt an emotion, I invite you to follow your heart and get in contact with me.

In the meantime, however, I leave you the recipe for this pie that reflects my “new style”: 100% wholemeal and sweetened with only fresh and dried fruits, no animal fats or proteins. In any case be aware that it contains many sugars, there are at least 2 kg of apples in there! So, as I always say (to myself), try not to exaggerate. Today, however, a little bit of extra sugar does not scare me anymore … I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE, not even of the sausage! 🙂

Ingredients for the base:
ca. 450-500g wholemeal spelt
17 g cream of tartar (1 bag)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
4 spoons of “my apple butter”
1 teaspoon cinnamon
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pinch of salt
1 spoon of olive oil

Ingredients for the filling and decoration:
ca. 1200 g of organic apples
ca. 1 cup of raisins
ca. 1 cup of dried cranberries
1 spoon of “my apple butter”
1 abundant teaspoon of cinnamon
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 apple for the decoration

Ingredients for the “apple cream”:
ca. 2,5 kg of apples
ca. 1,5 litres of water
3 cinnamon sticks

Procedure for the “apple cream” (I was inspired by Ivy, you can find her recipe* in Italian here):
.I deprived the apples of the core but I did not peel them
.I cut the apples into chunks and put them into a large pot with about 1 litre and a half of water
.I added 3 cinnamon sticks and let cook for about 4-5 hours (do check that it does not stick …!)
.when the water evaporated, I let it cool, then I blended it
.I conserved it in the fridge for about a couple of weeks

*the main difference is that I always use cinnamon with apple because I like it and because it helps contain the blood sugar spikes


Procedure for the base:
.I poured the wholemeal flour, cream of tartar, vanilla essence, salt, lemon zest into a bowl and mixed everything together, then I added 4 spoons of “my apple butter”
.I started to knead with no much success
.my mother took my place and together we decided to add one spoon of olive oil; she managed to create a nice and smooth ball
.we wrapped it into plastic foil and we let it rest

Procedure for the filling:
.my mother cut the apples in chunks , taking out the core but not the skin, the she started to bake them in a pan with one table spoon of “my apple butter”
.after 8-10 minutes she added the raisins and the cranberries, one table spoon of cinnamon, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and she let it cook until the juice was evaporated

Final procedure:
.my mother already though about the decoration, so she kept a little part of the dough aside
.she rolled out the rest of the dough and she laid it out on the baking tin
.we took out the exceeded dough and we poured the filling inside
.my mother cut the apples in thin slices and cooked it for few minutes in a small pan full of water in order to soften them
.then she rolled out the extra dough into 3 thin and long “tongs” and she laid the apple slices as below (1):


.she folded the “tong” along the long axis, then she rolled it up (2,3)
.we disposed the roses and enjoyed making a stem and some leaves
.we baked it for approximately 30-35 minutes at 180 degrees


This cake sealed a deal amongst people that promised not to hurt each other anymore and to live according to canons of love, peace, freedom, trust and mutual respect. By cooking it together with my mother I reconciled with her. After cooking it we shared it. Today I share it with you to tell you – again – to have courage and NEVER loose hope, because it is just believing in your dreams that you can realise them. I wish you many many positive dreams…

Time approximately 1 hour preparation time, approximately 35 minutes baking time

Difficulty medium

Prevention and DIANA diet If you want to know more about the diet recommended by Cascina Rosa (National Cancer Institute of Milan) for women who have had breast cancer, click here (only italian). This diet is anyway suitable for all the people who want to adopt a more healthy lifestyle that will help prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases.

bye-bye salsiccia is also on facebook and very active on Instagram, please follow me for inspiration and recipe/opinion/experience exchange and if you feel like… spread the word!


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