The days of the blackbird – i giorni della merla – is an Italian expression meaning the coldest days of winter – specifically the 29th, 30th, 31st of January.
No one knows exactly the origins of this expression, but there are some folk legends about it.
The most famous one is about a female blackbird and her three chicks. The legend tells of how, a very long time ago, all blackbirds were white as snow and, during winter, stayed in their nests, waiting for spring to come. One year, when winter days just seemed to be over, a huge blizzard hit Italy.
The place where the female blackbird had made her nest was no more warm enough to grant her chicks’ safety. So, she decided to move it in a chimneystack. There she stayed with her babies for three days, until the cold ended.
When they came out, they discovered that, due to the smoke coming from the chimney, their plumage had turned black. From that day on, all the blackbirds were usually born black.
On a more personal note, I can’t stand cold weather as much as the blackbirds of the legend could. So, when winter comes, in addition to wrapping myself up in multiple layers of wool, as if I lived at the North Pole, I also pamper myself cooking some sweets and then eating them with a hot cup of tea.
Today I want to share with you a really quick and tasty recipe: coconut biscuits.
1 tbsp flour
40 g (1.41 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tbsp sugar
260 g (9.17 oz) chopped coconut
What you need
Bowl 24 x 11 cm (9.44 x 4.33 inches)
Baking parchment paper
Baking tray 42 x 35 cm (16.53 x 13.77 inches)
1. Preheat oven to 160° C (320 F).
2. In a bowl, mix flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and coconut with your hands.
3. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
4. Break off small pieces of dough and roll them into small balls with your hands – about 2 cm in diameter. Place balls on the baking tray, spacing them out about 1 cm.
5. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
6. Cool and serve.