, ,

As we prepare to say Addio 2021, we continue to face uncertainty and frustration with constantly changing recommendations and regulations. In my last end of year post Reflecting on 2020, I wrote about examples of kindness and human resilience despite the global pandemic. A lot of the things I wrote about in that post have not changed…but there is one huge difference since 1 year ago.  Now we have vaccines!  There are still COVID cases, but they are fewer and those who are vaccinated are not getting as sick.  Things are slowly improving, even if it sometimes does not feel like it.  I no longer feel like an extra in a bad science fiction movie, where everything in the world is upside down…well, not often anyways.

One of my friends gives me a figurine for my Christmas village every year.  Last year was the masked toasting couple, shown in the photo between Tiny Tim and Eliza Doolittle. She added the little latex masks.  They are cute, but I did not plan to have them in my village again. If all goes well, they will be unmasked next year! This year’s figurine is a snowboarder, so that is already progress.

Starting in May, I took on extra work as a COVID immunizer. It has definitely been a positive, rewarding experience.  You can read about my experiences in post #4 below.  As a result, the # of blog posts I wrote this year decreased.  I average 2 posts per month, occasionally 3. May 2021 is the only month since starting this blog in April 2014 that I published 0 posts.  Several other months I only published once, so I need to get writing next year! The good news is that 5 posts from 2021 are on my top list, so at least someone was reading the ones I did write!

WordPress keeps end of year stats which I love to share because they are so interesting*.  In 2021, Un po’ di pepe had over 13,000 views from almost 100 different countries!  I would love to visit all of of them!  The top posts of 2021 based on the number of views are listed here, in case you missed any of them.  Lots of links are included!

#10 Tiramisù  The history of Tiramisù and my recipe, published for Giornata Mondiale del Tiramisù-World Tiramisù Day. Tiramisu'

#9  La Trinità di Masaccio is on this list again! When I first published this art history lesson in 2018, it did not get much love.  Last year, I discovered that it comes up as the 1st listing after Wikipedia in a Google search! This explains the steady trickle of views over the last few years. I also suspect it is on some reading lists for art history classes in the US, because a lot of views were referred from the course websites of Santa Monica College and a high school in Pittsburgh! How cool is that?  Didn’t I say the stats were fascinating?

My quick sketches of the vanishing point, perspective lines and triangular composition. The colour image is my entry ticket from 2004!

#8 In My Kitchen, Summer 2021 ‘In My Kitchen’ is a monthly blogging group hosted by Sherry in Australia. Check the post for the link.  I join in a few times a year.  For the second year in a row, I missed my kitchen in Puglia due to the plague and pestilence of the global pandemic. This post documents my summer kitchen adventures at home.

#7 100 years of Insulin During my career as a Diabetes Educator, I have taught thousands of families how to give insulin. This life-saving therapy was discovered in Canada 100 years ago, and I happily share the story of its discovery with all of you. Canada Post stamp from April 2021.Canada Post Stamp commemorating the discovery of insulin

#6a 6th place is a tie. Grano Arso a Pugliese gastronomic tradition that honours the resilience of our contadini ancestors. Grano arso is also the subject of my first non- diabetes related publication! There is not a lot written in English on grano arso, which explains why this 2015 post comes up 5th on Google search.

#6b Internment of Italian Canadians I am always amazed at how little is known about this time in history when it was a crime to be Italian.

#5 Napoli Street Art I absolutely love Napoli a perfect place for self-expression since the last few thousand years.  Join me on a graffiti/street art tour in the Centro Storico. This 2020 post comes up 4th in Google search.volto di Sophia Loren Napoli street art

#4 Reflections from a COVID Immunizer This post is based on notes I kept about what people said to me while working as a COVID immunizer.

#3 Limoncello Ricotta Cookies This 2018 post is on this list for the first time, and a lot of the views were referred from Pinterest!

#2 L’Arte sa Nuotare  made my top list again! During my 2019 trip to Firenze with Isabella we were on constant lookout for street art by Blub, the talented artist who plunges famous works of art underwater. This post also comes up 2nd on a google search, after the artist’s own Instagram page.  Spread the Blub love- read more about Blub in Blub a Napoli. Putto Raffaello Firenze street art Blub

#1 Italiano per Ristoranti-How to Pronounce your Restaurant Menu, this handy Italian menu pronunciation guide has been #1 every year except last year.  In a google search for ‘Italian pronunciation guide restaurant’ and ‘Italian menu pronunciation’ it comes out as the top suggestion! Molto cool! This post is available as a 6 page downloadable PDF via a link at the end of the post and was downloaded 44 times this year.  Someday, I will expand and turn it into an ebook. Speriamo! If any of you have experience publishing ebooks and can give me some advice, please contact me!

Bruschetta (broo.SKET.tah)

I also published my first ‘interview’ post this year.  I interviewed Diana Iuele about her study of Italiese, our italocanadese hybrid language.

Grazie mille to all of you for continuing to read and follow Un po’ di pepe.  I would love to hear which post/s you liked best, and what you would like to read more about in 2022 on Un po’ di pepe.  Let me know in the comments.  Looking forward to writing more cose interresanti /interesting stuff in 2022.

Tanti auguri a tutti i lettori di Un po’ di pepe per un 2022 piena di, pace, gioia, buona salute e sicurezza Wishing all readers of Un po’ di pepe a 2022 full of peace, joy, good health and safety!

 Virtual baci e abbracci, Cristina

Refer to Italian Christmas Vocabulary to make sense of my seasonal greetings!

*Note…WordPress’ method of collecting stats is odd.  The newest post counts as a ‘Home page’ view until the next one is published and I am not sure how much this changes the results.