Earthquakes and heart stopping tremors in the night!

This week my mum and uncle have come out to Italy to visit and help make some headway with the many DIY jobs in our new-to-us but incredibily old 16th century home. After a long 14 hour drive from South East England via France and switzerland and on to Italy they arrived at 9:30pm in time for a light supper and a well earned sleep but they got more than they bargained for!

As I lay in bed with a stinking cold and bronchial cough my husband had wisely decided to sleep in the ajoining room to avoid contamination and being bounced around by my continual tossing and turning but despite his best efforts he got bounced nonetheless! A little after 4am we awoke to a ripple effect of tremors which saw us both shoot out of respective beds and head for the door where we met. “It’s an earthquake right?” I asked having experienced a much smaller tremor some months earlier. “Yes but this is a big one. I think we should maybe wake the others and head to a safer area of ther house”. No sooner had the words left his mouth then the tremor subsided and we were once again enveloped by the silence of the night. Amazingly we didn’t hear a peep out of either mum or uncle at which point we decided to let them sleep and head back to bed and await for the inevitable aftershocks. Sure enough a little while later the wardrobe and bed recommenced their rattling and the house once again shook to its core.

It wasn’t of course till the next morning that we learnt about the tragic magnitude 6.0 earthquake that had hit Emilia-Romagna, claiming seven lives, injuring more and causing many to flee their homes. I can only imagine the fear of those closer to the impact zone as they were awaken from their slumber to find themselves in the middle of a real emergency situation. My bed tremors hundreds of kilometers away, albeit startling, were nothing in comparison.

And as for my mum and uncle; mum felt the tremors but having heard our voices decided it wasn’t necessary to get up else we’d have called for her, and my uncle slept peacefully through the whole drama without so much as a flutter. My neighbour said she dreamt a tremor but didn’t really awake whilst everyone else in the street compared stories across balconies.

After our heart stopping night tremors, some heart shaped cinnamon and cranberry biscuits and best wishes to the people of Emilia Romagna who will no doubt spend the next months reliving the horror and cleaning up after the quake that has destroyed some of the region’s cultural landmarks and more importantly claimed the lives of it’s citizens.

Cinnamon and Cranberry Heart-shaped Biscuits

Ingredients: 125g butter, 225g flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, pinch salt, 100g, caster sugar, 1 egg, (maybe milk or water to mix)

Preparation: 15 mins + 30 mins chilling + 15 mins prep + 15 mins baking

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and then add in the butter.
  2. Take a knife and cut in the butter before rubbing in with your fingertips till the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar and then add the egg (beaten) and combine into a stiff dough. (If too dry add a tiny splash of milk or water).
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface and then place into a polythene / freezer bag and place in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.
  5. Once chilled take out and roll out to your preferred thickness (c. 5mm-10mm) and cut your biscuits. I used a heart shaped cutter but you can use more standard circular or other shapes.
  6. Place on a baking tray with baking paper and cook at 180C for 12-15 mins or until nicely golden. Times may vary depending on the thickness of your biscuits so allow a couple of extra minutes for very thick biscuits.
  7. Once cooked, leave to cool and then enjoy!
  8. Store in an airtight container to preserve the biscuits longer.
3 Responses to “Earthquakes and heart stopping tremors in the night!”
  1. trialsinfood says:

    Must have been a frightening experience.

  2. Isn’t it so sad? I’ve never experienced even a tremor, must have been a little worrying. Still, those little biscuits sound fantastic.

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