Sunday, December 25, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Remembering Christmas seasons past... when Mom and Dad would spend a very long day at the restaurant making Cartellate for sharing with friends and family. They got going early in the day ready to make tons of the very traditional treats ... it wouldn't have been Christmas without this tradition. Anna and I decided a few years ago that the tradition, which pretty much ended when Dad passed away, should continue. We've only made them for three years, and although we saw them being made for many years, we are not quite as good at the process as Mom was. Practice will make perfect, if that is what we're after, although simply making these lovely pastries, and remembering Mom and Dad makes for a happy day, and very special memories...
Sunday, December 11, 2016
It's hard to believe that Christmas is almost here. I can't quite understand what makes the season seem so hectic, we really try to keep the whole gift giving thing to a minimum so as to not take part in all of the craziness. I am hoping that by getting the house decorated, and gifts bought, I will have more time to just enjoy the season, gather with family and friends, and do some traditional holiday baking.
Monday, November 28, 2016
It is so hard to let go of the vacation... Leaving behind family, and friends after spending such great time together. Keeping that feeling alive, for me, is best done by cooking and recreating those authentic Italian flavors. Things really taste so good in Italy... different... The Mozzarella, Burrata, Ricotta... the Tomatoes!!! Too good.. We do have good products available to us here, but, it is not the same. Driving along the winding country roads through vineyards and centuries old olive groves we saw dairies and their animals grazing on the beautiful land giving the milk that makes those wonderful Latticini. It inspires me to continue cooking the way we do and to always keep our culture alive and real. Food is beautiful on it's own, but embellishing is something I love to do... Using my Corzetti stamp to make pretty little pasta coins, or pressing fresh herbs into a Pizza Rustica makes me happy. On our day in Matera I learned about the Timbri del Pane Di Matera. Bread stamps from Matera. Little works of art, bearing the family initials or other familial symbols, which families would use to identify their bread loaf when they brought it to bake in the communal oven. I fell in love with these stamps, all made by hand, in simple or elaborate designs, carved from different types of wood. Mine is the rooster which is so symbolic of Puglia, and made from Walnut. I have tried it just a few times so far... it will take (a lot ) of practice to really get the imprint right on my loaves, pressing hard enough to see the letters without deflating my loaf. The imprint is just barely visible on this loaf. The artist who sold it to me said that it would take some practice to know exactly when to stamp my dough, how hard etc... I will keep trying, and whether or not I can get it right, it will always bring back memories of a great day in Matera with Priscilla, Nicola, Chiara, and Claudio.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I am doing my part in getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Putting together the flower arrangements... made in pumpkins that have been adorning the house for the season. The pie dough is made and I will bake the pies in the morning. Looking forward to another wonderful Thanksgiving Feast at Anna and Nicola's...