About Choses Tendres & Me

The Hour-Hand of Life – Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance, and of innumerably many intervals, during which at best the silhouettes of those moments hover about us. Love, springtime, every beautiful melody, mountains, the moon, the sea – all these speak completely to the heart but once, if in fact they ever do get a chance to speak completely. For many men do not have those moments at all, and are themselves intervals and intermissions in the symphony of real life.

This favorite aphorism of Nietzsche pretty much encloses what has become my personal philosophy. I do my best in recognizing and making the most of those moments aiming to live a life consisting of innumerable and frequent significant moments with not so long intervals between them. Very often the poetry lies just in front of our nose in everyday life, but we don’t even notice it. I find simply sipping my tea slowly, making the most of its warmth and perfume from a favorite cup, to be a beautiful and practical metaphor that I do my best to apply in shaping my life, making the most of every moment, “sipping” it slowly, concentrating on the beauty that can be found in it.
Only this moment is life, so let’s try to slow it down, make the most of it and inhale it deeply with all our senses turned on, like it were the most sumptuous rose of May.
Leonardo da Vinci believed that refining sensory awareness is the key to enriching experience. I totally agree with His highness genius, and try my best to focus on sharpening the senses, consciously.
Sharing here some of the things that heighten my senses, wishing to heighten yours as well and to add some happy feelings to life.

About Me

My name is Hanna Fridriksdottir. I’m an Icelandic singer, vocal trainer, pianist and food writer living in Italy. I have four big passions in life: music and gastronomic affairs….. & cats and the sea. When I say gastronomic “affairs” I intend basically everything that embraces culinary things in various contexts. I’m not a cook, but I like to cook, or let’s rephrase that: “I love to cook”, and I love even more to get nicely surprised by some extraordinary dish combination or ingredient. That happens quite often for my great joy and inspiration, as living in Italy is a constant tastebud adventure. The variety of the ingredients, local products and recipes can be overwhelming, as the beauty of the country itself and its profound culture and traditions. All the splendid and colorful food markets, are then a special chapter that fortunately remains an integral part of every city and small town. There you can shop local products, and grocery shopping in Italy is resisting as very traditional type of activity.

Italian cuisine holds a very special place in my heart and the explosion of it’s different flavors, (at times simple, at times complex) and colors, continue to capture and astound my taste buds and senses (as visitors and non-visitors around the globe). For Italians, food tradition is really a matter of the heart and they’re quite passionate about their food culture. That is maybe the most beautiful thing of it all, and what makes Italian gastronomic culture so fascinating and easy to love.
During the past two decades I’ve written quite a bit about Italian food and culture both for the Icelandic newspaper Morgunbladid as for Icelandic magazines, and for a big part of that period I was in charge of recipe development and creative publicity for distributors of Italian food products in Iceland. Amongst other important “foodie” works was editing my beloved mother’s (Jóhanna Sveinsdóttir 1951-1995) cookbook “Hratt og bítandi” in year 2000. The book is unfortunately (and fortunately) sold out years ago, but I will share with you bits of it on Choses Tendres (of course in English translation as the book was published in Icelandic).

About Choses Tendres

The name of Choses Tendres, came to me through a text of a french song I was recording a couple of years ago, Jean Lenoir’s “Parlez-moi d’amour”, where the first line goes: “Parlez-moi d’amour, redites moi des choses tendres”. Reflecting on those lines I realized that “choses tendres” is exactly what I want to hear and what I want to tell (not in the way intended in the song though). What definition one makes of a chose to be tendres or what tender really means in ones heart and mind and what makes a thing tender, is of course a personal matter. In some way though it seems always refer to the softness of the heart, mildness and love, or as Bill Withers puts it so well in the first line of Tender Things: “Sweet and tender things are so much nicer than silly games. Softness makes it easier to smile.” Choses Tendres is my sharing place through visual storytelling, recipes, music & articles. Sharing of tender things; places, art, music, food & wine, culture, that special cup of tea and the many many things that enrich my existence. There is of course an emphasis on Italy and Italian food culture.

Trying to describe the emotion or bouquet of an olive oil, or the difference of the sound of the waves of various seasides as well as the sensation they leave on your skin and soul, making that pasta sing, conveying the wine maker’s deep joy and gratefulness bringing the sunny autumn grapes safe to the winery, and trying to capture the beauty of a cat’s soul with my camera and pen, will be amongst my tasks.
As regarding the recipe part, they can be from friends, family, a trattoria, chefs or “classics” from the Italian – or other food traditions (my Northern origins Sometimes revisited by me, sometimes not and sometimes mine. But in this case, as in all other categories, my aim is to share the beauty e “bontà” (meaning goodness in Italian) already out there, adding a piece of my heart to it and doing my best in creating a convivial atmosphere. Buon appetito (in a broad sense) and Choses Tendres to you all.

How to contact Choses Tendres?

You can leave a comment after each post or use the contact form. I do my best to respond to all messages and appreciate your interest.

All photos on Choses Tendres are by me unless indicated otherwise, and are protected by copyright as other material on the website.