FOOD OF THE GODS!

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Zucchini Blossoms stuffed and or fried!

Its almost that time; just barely here in the United States but if you go to Italy you will likely find these baby zucchini in the farmers markets with their blossoms attached, and you’re in for a double treat: on the one hand the zucchini, which can be cooked all sorts of ways, and the other the blossoms, which are wonderful fried. The joy of spring!

This is a simple recipe for fried zucchini blossoms, they can also be stuffed with everything from ricotta cheese mixed with fresh herbs or even Italian meats…..

To make fried zucchini blossoms you’ll need:

18 zucchini blossoms

A pint (500 ml) cold water (sparkling adds a nice touch), or a mixture of beer and water

3 heaping tablespoons flour, or enough to give the batter the consistency of heavy cream — it should stick to the blossoms

An egg, lightly beaten

Sea Salt

Olive oil or lard, for frying

Trim the stems of the zucchini blossoms, remove the pistils, wash them gently and pat them dry just as gently.

Prepare the batter by combining the milk (and beer), flour and egg.

Heat the oil it needs to be hot but not smoking, you want to brown them nicely.

Lightly salt the zucchini blossoms, dredge them in the batter, fry them until golden, drain them on absorbent paper, and serve them hot.

Recipe and photos courtesy of about.com Italian Cooking and living.

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The Last Supper…

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Today I had to put a few things in the attic, and in doing so, came across a box of cookbooks. I have whittled the boxes down over the years to probably 50 or so books, not to include the half dozen or so my mother-in-law has borrowed (let’s see for forever!). I am happy to be able to lend them to her knowing that she is a great Italian cook, and they must inspire her except for the fact that she never makes anything new. Not that is a bad thing, she makes the best meat sauce (gravy to me sauce to her) known to man, woman or child!

But I digress, so I ran across a book called LAST SUPPERS If the World Ended Tomorrow, What Would Be Your Last Meal? by James L. Dickerson. 1999. It is a very intriguing idea or question. It makes one think. I believe it has a very different meaning likely to each individual asked. The book has various chapters to include Film and Television, Music, Political and Business, Sports professionals etc. It basically has a paragraph written of dialogue about the person, why or how food has shaped their life. Then it has a simple menu, some have recipes, others have a guest list include as well.

For me it is a very difficult question, to start let’s remember this is your Last Supper, so the guest list for me would be a simple one, it would of course include my wife and children, my brothers and their families, my in-laws (my father-in-law always brings a smile to a get together, you see he speaks in an Italian accent, and sometimes the way he pronounces things makes those knowing and not knowing him laugh!) my kids will also tell you his stories are the best and get even better as the event wears on and the wine and brandy continue to flow. You would think that I would invite my mother and father both no longer with us here on earth, but as this all ends after desert, I will see them shortly!

What to eat? But wait this is a wish list and completely hypothetical so I think some dinner music would be appropriate so hey I believe that Frank, Dean and Sammy would have to “swing” during the cocktail hour. For me a Dirty Grey Goose Martini with extra Blue Cheese stuffed Olives please. To snack on a antipasto tray filled with Mortadella with Pistachios, Prosciutto, Volpi Salami, Fontina cheese, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms (my mom made these and another one of those recipes I just can not replicate), and a good crusty Italian Bread.

Dinner in no particular order….

2008 Chardonnay Reserve, Carneros, Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley

1870 Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Red Blend (go big or go home! $31K a bottle I’ll take 2) France.

New England Clam Chowder from Jack’s Restaurant in Milwaukee Wisconsin (long closed I believe, I used to go with my father). Thick, creamy and loaded with chunks of potatoes and tons of clams.

Field’s Special Salad (I think it was called the Windy City Salad back in the day) from the Walnut Room (now Macy’s, but much better when it was Marshal Fields on State Street) in Chicago. It consisted of a wedge of iceberg lettuce, sliced turkey,Swiss cheese, smoked bacon, tomato and hard boiled egg served open-faced on rye with an incredible Thousand Island dressing.

Lobster tail form The Palm Restaurant (back in the day when I was in the Music business and had an expense account to the tune of 70k a year, spending money on crazy meals was the norm) The Drake Hotel, Chicago. A 5 – 8 pound tail, can you envision a lobster tail that big? You would think that it would be tuff, but it was like butter! Not sure where they got these monsters from, but they always brought an ooooh and ahhhh when brought to the table.

Oysters Rockafeller from Gibson’s Steakhouse.

Porterhouse Steak from Peter Luger’s in New York City. Words can not describe this steak I went there only one time in the early 90’s, I was in New York for a convention and my Uncle Jim, picked me up and took me there, he was like royalty there, a very memorable meal, with a great man. I will see him after dessert as well!

Creamed Spinach, Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce from anywhere as long as its good!

As much crisp Bacon as I can consume, I do hope that there is Bacon in the afterlife!

Lasagna (yes my mother-in-laws, you don’t think I am letting her off the hook? With all the cooking I have done for her, she owes me one last lasagna! Chicago.

Pizza. Yes a pan pizza loaded with tons of cheese and Italian Sausage, for those not from Chicago this is a serious pie! It is a knife and fork needed, no greasy, flimsy fold it in half slice., this is serious belly busting piece of pizza. Giordano’s is my favorite.

Creme Brûlée, A fresh from the fryer Crispy Cream Doughnut, real Italian Gelato, and Spumoni loaded with candied fruit and pistachios from Lezza’s in Chicago.

Punchino Italian coffee with anisette and brandy.

A bottle or 2 of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2004, France.

It’s a wonder that anyone would not explode from this meal, likely why it would be my Last Supper, thanks for the memories!

So I have to ask…. who would you share your Last Supper with and what would be on the menu?

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Easter part Duex, Greek style! Opa!

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Greek Easter is this coming Sunday, and in honor of my father who passed away February 15 of this year I am having various family members over for a grand Greek spread for 20.

Coming off Easter last weekend, I am still recovering from helping my mother-in-law prepare her Sunday Easter meal. She has a wonderful way of roping me in. Over the years for holiday meals she gets everything ready up to the point of putting everything in the oven; or on the stove then it’s up to me to take over and cook, cut, assemble and plate the meal.

It may seem like a good deal for me in that prepping everything is the time consuming part. But for me it is “go time” and a race to the finish in under 2 hours. I understand what the last 5 minutes of Iron Chef is like, trying to make everything look just so. Timing everything so it is done and ready at the same time. I hear Alton Brown resonate in my ears….3 – 2 – 1…. TIMES UP step away!

Rarely does anything not work out, I am pretty good at this game. We make a good team my mother-in-law and I; and most of the time I get all the credit for cooking the meal unless of course something does not turn out then it is her fault!

This brings us to this weekend and Greek Easter, prepping has already begun, Saturday will be assembly day, and Sunday will be cooking and entertaining then eating the fruits of my labor. I am looking forward to sitting down at the table for the first time ever as a family all together for Greek Easter. I have always celebrated Greek Easter with my Dad either cooking, or going out for the meal, once in the past 3 years I created this very same meal I will make this weekend.

It will not be the same without my dad, but to have my kids, nieces and nephew, brother and sister-in-law and a few other special guests to honor him will be special unto itself. My oldest brother will not be able to make it as he is 1800 miles away but everyone else will be seated around the table at 4 pm. We will be thinking of him and enjoying our new found togeatherness that I hope will become commonplace, in all our homes for the holidays.

For those who are wondering what is served for Greek Easter the menu follows:

Deep red colored hard boiled eggs

Scordalia- a wonderful garlicky thick spread that you dip bread and vegetables in.

Fried zucchini

Pickled beets

Greek Village Salad- tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese and Kalamata olives, splashed with olive oil and red wine vinegar and oregano

Roasted leg of Spring Lamb

Roasted lemon Chicken

Pastitsio- Greek lasagna with a creamy béchamel toping

Greek Potatoes

Spanakopita- spinach, feta cheese, eggs together in a filo crust

Fresh crispy bread

Greek Easter bread

My niece is bringing desert and I will also be making rice pudding

“Christos Anesti!” or “Christ is risen!”

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Easter Crostini

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Crostini

Crostini (meaning “little toasts” in Italian)
Crostini can be defined as anything on toasted garlicky bread slices, anything from, beans to tomatoes, cheese to my favorite chicken livers! Now I know many are scared and checking out at this point but chicken livers made well are an incredibly flavorful spread for Crostini.

I must admit that I was exposed to chicken livers at a very early age. My dad was an excellent cook, in fact he was a cook in the U.S. Navy in World War II. My dads version of chicken livers was more along the sautéed type, always for breakfast and went well with scrambled eggs. They were rich and creamy. I have incorporated much of his recipe here but have added many refinements to make it suitable for Crostini. His livers we’re left whole and his key was to never over cook them, a bit pink was fine and keeps them from drying out. In later years he would sometimes use Harvey’s Bristol Cream to finish but I think that makes them more sweet and less savory. Chicken livers, flour, onions, garlic, sometimes green peppers, salt, pepper, white wine and butter. Sorry no recipe just memory, and as I have explained before I tend to cook by smell and taste.

So that being said (I will do my best to give you measurements) the key to Crostini is to make this a day ahead of time as the garlic and richness and the schmaltz (for all my Jewish friends) melds into a creamy goodness! I make there for holidays and it being Easter you get a gift from me.

Crostini-

2 pounds Chicken Livers
1/2 cup white all purpose Flour
1 medium Onion diced
3 large cloves Garlic chopped
4 Tbs Olive oil divided
1/4 cup White wine
2 Tsp Brandy
1 Tsp fresh ground Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp fresh ground Pepper
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 cup unsalted Butter divided
2 Tsp Bacon grease
1 hard boiled Egg plus 1 additional Egg Yolk
1/4 to 1/2 cup Real Mayonnaise
1 crusty Italian or French loaf 3 – 4 inches wide

Begin by adding a little olive oil to a heavy pan and sweat the onions and garlic on very low heat. When the onions are translucent remove them from the pan and place aside. Rinse the chicken livers and trim and discard any fatty tissue. Place livers in a dish and dredge with flour to coat both sides.

Heat one stick of butter and bacon grease in same pan as you used for onions and garlic, add in another tablespoon of olive oil, raise heat to high and sauté livers in single layer in pan. Turning often, you just want to cook them until barely pink about 5 minutes total. Add salt and pepper, and add garlic powder to livers. Add onions and garlic back to the pan and raise heat on pan and add wine and brandy. Let reduce for about 3 or 4 minutes until wine and brandy evaporate and you get a thick sauce that forms on bottom of pan. Remove livers and onions from heat and let cool 15 minutes.

When cool peel the egg and additional yolk and place in food processor along with the livers and onions. Pulse until they just start to break u and add in the mayonnaise. The egg and mayonnaise is the key here, it binds the liver and makes it vey creamy as well. Process to the consistency you like. Some people like to make there’s chunky, I prefer mine creamy, so I pulse mine almost to a paste, be careful that you do not make it to fine. At this point I place the paste into a container and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The flavor tends to build and smooth out as it sits for the day.

You will need to cut your bread into 1/2 inch oblong rounds. I lightly spread them with olive oil, rub them with garlic or use garlic powder and toast them until they are golden brown. This can also be done the night before as well. It is key for good Crostini to be crisp and not chewy.

10 minutes before you are ready to serve I take each piece of bread and place about 2 tablespoons or more of liver on each piece, make sure you have enough on the Crostini or you will just be eating toast. I like to place mine back in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes before serving. These Crostini can also be served cold, but again I like mine a bit warm.

We made these the other day for Easter, this batch made about 50 Crostini, if there is any left over the liver can be frozen.

Don’t be afraid to give this a try, I have had many people try these and say they don’t like liver but they do enjoy these as the consistency and smoothness is more a pate and very mild if any liver flavor at all.

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Easter memories….. Food of course!

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Easter memories….. Food of course!

So I always remember one particular dish my mother used to make always at Easter, not sure why only then but this was always served. She would make 2 or 3 of these, and they would always last for a few days after Easter Sunday. They would get better a day or 2 later, like most Italian leftovers seem to do.

The recipe comes from a cookbook my mother cooked almost exclusively from, in fact I think she only had one cookbook ever. It was written by Antoinette Pope and was entitled The New Antoinette Pope School Cookbook by Antoinette and Francois Pope. I was told she was a distant relative of my mom’s- but isn’t that typical of all Italians (they are all somehow related to everyone, unless of course you were Sicilian, that was like the cousin no one would admit to being related too. Nothing against being Sicilian today things are different)? Mine is dated 1961, it was originally first published in 1948 also signed by Francois Pope. It has seen better days but this book is such a great memory and it shows. It is a savory pie type dish with sausage and eggs it is called Calzoni- not to be confused with the folded over 1/2 pizza stuffed Calzone we know today.

Below is the recipe. Ricotta- Sausage- Filled Squares (Calzoni)

1 pound fresh Italian Sausage (or 1/2 pound dry commercial Pepperoni sausage)

1 pound fresh Italian ricotta cheese 2 whole eggs beaten with a fork 1 teaspoon of salt (1/2 teaspoon salt if using commercial Pepperoni sausage)

1/4 cup grated Italian cheese

1/8 teaspoon place pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Cut sausages into 3-inch pieces, and sauté about 15 minutes until well browned, turning several times. Then add water, cover skillet, and steam usage about 10 minutes. Let cool. Cut into 1/4- inch slices, and each slice into 2 or 3 pieces. (If Pepperoni sausage is used, simply slice it as for fresh sausage before combining with other ingredients.) Add beaten eggs to ricotta; then add all other ingredients, and mix well. Prepare 1 recipe basic dough for Pastry Filled Squares (p. 37). Divide it into 2 pieces, using 2/3 of dough for bottom crust and 1/3 of dough for top crust. Roll bottom crust into a 10 1/2- inch square, and place it in a lightly greased 9 X 9 X 2- inch square pan. Pour in filling, spreading it evenly. Now roll upper crust into a 9 1/2- inch square. Puncture upper crust with a fork and place it over filling. Go around edges with a fork to seal well. Brush top with beaten egg yolk combined with 2 tablespoons milk, and bake in a 400 degree oven about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand on cake rack until lukewarm before cutting into squares. This pastry is best served lukewarm or cold, but not hot. It may be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator until serving time, then reheated at 350 degrees about 10 minutes until lukewarm. Serves 8

I don’t remember my mom making this as a square, I remember her using pie plates and serving it sliced in small wedges like a pie. She also used Italian sausage and not Pepperoni.

Dough for Pastry Squares

1 1/2 cups sifted all- purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt 1 small egg beaten a few seconds with egg beater, to which add 2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup butter, margarine, or other shortening

Sift dry ingredients together several times. Add shortening, and with pie blender cut through until it looks like fine meal. Add beaten egg and milk all at once, and mix with large spoon until well blended. Turn out onto floured cloth and knead gently about 1 minute until smooth. Cut dough into 2 pieces. Chill dough while preparing filling.

Give it a try, it is different but it is great as an appetizer, savory and if you like it a bit spicy add crushed red pepper or use dare I say it Sicilian hot sausage! 20120406-165432.jpg

Gravy or Sauce?

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There is something to be said about memories from your youth, some of my fondest memories as a child revolve around waking up in the morning and smelling what we were going to eat for dinner.

When I cook onions and garlic in olive oil on the stove I can take a deep breath close my eyes and I am transported back 40 years! As a stay-at-home mom there was nothing else for my mother to do except cook she also never had her drivers license. In the spring and summer months she would watch the Chicago Cubs play, she was quite the Chicago Cubs fan (Mom hate to say it but we are still waiting for that World Series, and it may be my children writing about their memories of me long after I am gone before the Cubies win one!). Photo below of my mom in 1965.

My mom made a great gravy, yes in our house it was gravy, not sauce! She used neckbones, onions, garlic, carrots celery and tomatoes and a bunch of spices. Her gravy would simmer on the stove from the time I got up until we ate dinner that night. My mom would eat a loaf of bread when she made gravy, she would constantly dip the bread in the gravy every 30 minutes or so, to taste it. Unfortunately there is still that little secret ingredient that I just can not figure out what it is? I spoke with my sister-in-law and she informed me that she has my mom’s original little recipe box and she will trade me for my mothers meatloaf recipe we have a deal!

Okay so let’s fast forward 36 years or so…. Enter Anna- (pronounced as I say it Onna), she is my mother-in-law, and I must admit she makes a mean meat sauce, so sad I do believe she calls it sauce… I have watched her make it, I have her recipe (sort of) and mine never tastes the same as hers either, there is something about the way a Nonna (Grandmother in Italian) cooks, that just can not be duplicated?

Not to long ago, I asked what is it that you put in your sauce? She would always say just follow the directions, then one day just before we were getting ready to eat, I saw her drop a whole stick of butter into her sauce on the stove! I said “Hey what was that”? She replied “What”?, I said that stick of butter that’s not in your recipe? She would say “Well yes I always do that”! No wonder mine never tastes the same. She adds in a heart-clogging, wonderful fat finishing stick of butter! Ough Nonna!

On a yellow sheet of paper i have her recipe, problem is it is missing lots of explanation, i will get it and repost, but this is typical of how a real Nonna cooks…Here is Nonna Onna’s meat sauce recipe:

Mom’s sauce

- Onions (1 medium)
– Celery (1 per pound of meat)
– Carrots (1 per pound of meat)
– Ground beef (perfect mix -ground beef, veal and pork)
3 part beef to 1 pound veal and pork She uses 5 pounds beef.
– 1 cup brandy (simmer until absorbed)
– Tomatoes (sauce, if you want chunks use crushed tomatoes)
– once done add parsley
Cook 3 to 4 hours
2 tbsp butter
4 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic

That’s it? No instructions, no sauté the garlic, with onions, carrots, and celery until translucent…. no shoop, shoop (this is the sound she makes when she explains adding this and that…. no 70%, 80% ground beef, no other spices? No wonder it never tastes the same as hers. I guess I have learned my lesson as she always askes me how to make something, I always tell her, if she knew my secrets she would not need me around any longer. She always says it is top secret and if she told me she would have to kill me!

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The Feast of St. Joseph

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The Feast of Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary is today March 19th.

In Italy it is also a day to honor Fathers. And, since many men in Italy are named “Giuseppe” (Joseph) many name day “onomastico” celebrations also take place.

A carpenter by trade, San Giuseppe is the patron saint not only of fathers and workers, but of the family, of mothers, of fatherless and orphaned children, and of the dispossessed, homeless and hungry. St. Joseph was a provider first and foremost. And so, his celebration revolves around the offering of food, traditionally to the poor.

Coming on March 19th, right in the middle of Lent, the Feast of San Giuseppe is traditionally meatless. A variety of fish, vegetables, fruits, pastries and breads are traditionally served on St. Joseph’s day among them are “Pasta con Sarde”, “Sfingi di San Giuseppe” and “pasta con Mudica” (breadcrumbs) said to represent sawdust, since St. Joseph was a carpenter.

Each region of Italy has their own unique food and desserts to mark the Feast. In Abruzzi, people eat “Covezun di San Giuseppe”, a tiny baked turnover filled with chopped walnuts and chocolate.

In Bologna “Sfrappole” are a specialty. They are strips of sweet noodle dough knotted, fried and sugared. In Tuscany, there are rice cakes for St. Joseph’s Day or “Pappardelle di San Giuseppe”, cooked noodles of ferretti (spirals) tossed in olive oil with toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs and sugar. “Zeppole” originated in Calabria, puffs filled with cream, a cherry and sections of glazed orange.

In Sicily, “Pane di San Giuseppe”, rich sweet breads are centerpieces for the feast. A symbolic dish of uncooked fava beans is set on tables to represent the legendary famine’s only available food.

So in honor of all the Fathers, both present and no longer with us enjoy your feast!

Dad you are missed, we would share a Zeppole together today, Love J.

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St. Patrick Was Italian

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Dear Readers,
It’s time for me to recycle my “St. Patrick Was Italian” column as March 17th approaches:

The first St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. was held in Boston in 1734. By stretching things a bit, you can correctly state that “St. Patrick was Italian.”
Patrick’s parents were Romans.

The Romans ruled England at that time. Calpurnius, Patrick’s father, was a high Roman diplomat living in England, but a Roman citizen.
Patrick was born in England around the year 385 A.D. Roman cities in England had shops and beautiful houses, so Patrick lived the good life for a while.

Across the sea in Ireland (Eire), things were not so good. Tribal kings were constantly, feuding, and in the year 400 A.D., a tribal king (Niall) attacked England.

He took thousands of prisoners, including Patrick, for slaves. Soon the rich little Roman kid was forced to herd pigs and sheep, just a poor little slave boy far from home.

Patrick was taken to Northern Ireland and sold to another tribal king named Meliucc. Meliucc and his family were kind to Patrick, and their children were good company. Still, Patrick (Maewyn) was alone in a strange land, only 15 years old.
He did not know the language; he didn’t know if his family was still alive. Patrick slept in a mud hut and was a swineherd.

At the age of 21, after six years as a slave, he ran away. Walking many miles to the sea, he found a ship that took him back to England. By now, the Romans had been chased out; they were no longer the rulers, and the country was in ruins. Patrick sailed across the channel and wandered through Europe, and then on to Rome, and found that by the year 410 A.D., the center of all Roman power had been conquered as well.

His past was really dead, so he decided to go back to England to think, pray and live very quietly there. While in prayer, he felt certain that God was calling him back to Ireland, to bring all those tribes together and make Ireland a Christian land.

But first, Patrick went to France and studied religion there for ten years. In the year 432 A.D., Pope Celestine made Patrick a Bishop and named him “Patricius.”
Now, Bishop Patricius sailed for Ireland. The Irish people were not interested in Christianity and tried to stone him to death.

The Bishop and his men fled and found shelter for the night in a barn near the shore. The barn belonged to a tribal king named Dichu.

He thought the Bishop and his men were robbers and wanted to kill them. Patrick held out his hand and smiled, and a golden aura shone on his face.

Dichu put down his weapon, his fierce dog stopped growling (according to legend), and Dichu became the first Christian in Ireland and the barn, the first church. Patrick traveled all over Ireland. He always had a drummer with him. When he arrived at a village, the drummer would drum, and the people would come from their houses to listen to him (as in drumming up business).

Patrick showed them a shamrock, like a three-leafed clover. Patrick explained the idea of the Father, the Son and, the Holy Ghost. (If no shamrocks are handy, use the water, ice and steam idea).

Today, the shamrock is Ireland’s national flower, and as more and more tribal kings and their people became Christians, they came together to worship and be united as a country.

Bishop Patricius drummed the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea (according to legend), and built hundreds of churches. When he died on March 17 (between 461 and 492 A.D.), the Pope declared him a saint and had him buried on church grounds in Downpatrick, Ireland. In the U.S., St Patrick’s Day means party time. In Ireland, it means Holy Time.

I suggest you find and read the book “Patrick – Patron Saint of Ireland”, by author Tomie DePaola, to any “Bambini” in your life.

Children’s books illustrator Tomie de Paola, whose roots are Irish-Italian, says he first became aware of St. Patrick as a young child attending mass with his maternal grandparents.

On a side altar was a colorful statue of a saint holding a staff in one hard, a shamrock in the other. At his feet, squirming and squiggling into the plastic water, were green snakes.

Pausing in front of the statue, his grandfather would say, “That’s St. Patrick. He’s Irish, just like us.” Then, said Tomie, “I immediately forgot that I was half Italian. Every year after that, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with gusto, decorating my room with shamrocks. My brother took ‘Patrick’ for his confirmation name. My Italian father celebrated too claiming Patrick was from Italy (son of a Roman Citizen).

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So what’s it all about?

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It is time for a life change…. Not that we can change our life, but I guess it is time to make changes in my life. Things always seem to be to serious, with the pressure of our jobs, wondering what tomorrow will bring, will we survive, how can any of us afford to fill our gas tanks at $5 per gallon?

We tend to forget what life is all about, so this blog will be a celebration of all things Italian. The Italian culture revolves around food, music and family three things I love the most! Not necessarily will it be about Italian food or Italian music, but there is something about how the culture all tie together. To understand this blog you need to understand a bit about me and how these 3 things have become a major part of my life! Each weekly post will include something to do with each of the big 3 in my life in no particular order.
FOOD…. Well I am a self taught foodie, I love to eat, but most of all I love to cook! I never have had any formal training in the kitchen, but was taught at an early age how to survive in the kitchen from my Mother. I devour cookbooks and cooking magazines for inspiration. Give me a full fridge and pantry and I see a blank canvas, for our next meal. Food Network is my nightly way to lull myself to sleep, hoping I will absorb subconsciously something new to cook, prepare or a new technique.
MUSIC…. Is all around us, that tune in my head keeps me moving all day. I love all kinds of music, except Classical and Opera (I am sure I will grow to like them as well, but the library is so deep I am not sure where to start?). I grew up in an atmosphere that was all about music (future posts will clarify this), I was exposed to music every day in our home. My Father was a drummer, and then a promotion man who worked for radio stations and record company’s, thus music was a big part of my life, oh the story’s I have I could write a blog on this alone.
FAMILY…. Without family we have nothing. Something about an Italian family, they tend to have a way about them that is like no other culture. Let me clarify here and now. My Father was Greek, my Mom was Italian, I was brought up Catholic, and it seems that the Italian side struck a different cord than the Greeks. Topical of the early 60’s, ( I was born in 1964 ) my Father worked all the time and my Mom was the stay at home Mom. She raised me and my 2 brothers, as Dad worked crazy hours, it was all about Mom. I was much closer with the Italian side and seemed to see them more than the Greek side. Italian family’s seem to celebrate all the time, and no surprise here it normally involves lots of food and loud music, likely the reason Italians are so loud as they are always trying to be heard over the music and clanking glasses and plates. As I get older I truly understand how important family is.
So I welcome you into my life, my new life, to my table, my playlist and my family! In order for this to work I will need your input! What do you like, what don’t you like? Please add comments, give me ideas. I want to share, be it a recipe or a story.
Let’s have fun…. Now That’s Italian!