Life Long Passion for Food Part 9: Puffed Pancakes

The other day I posted a picture of our Thanksgiving breakfast dish. I have made this dish on days I deemed special over the last 30 plus years. The Marlene Sorosky cookbook, Cookery for Entertaining,  is falling apart! I’ve also made her Frozen Lemon Cream served in hollowed out lemons. Marlene Sorosky had a cookware store and I had attended a class there with French chef, Jacques Pepin. What a delight he was. And during the class Danny Kaye dropped in and showed Jacques how to make these special Chinese Chicken Lollipops, made from the wing segments. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 8: Avocado Tasting

  Upon opening my box from Avocado Diva, I found two layers of avocados. You can see the box in the previous blog about avocados. Then I found a letter telling me what varieties were included and a description of each type. Also in the box was a little jewel called a finger lime, citrus caviar. There was also a card that describes heritage avocados. On the flip side were three ways to ripen avocados since they do not ripen on the tree. I had a wait about 3-4 days before I could eat any. My box included the following varieties: Reed and Lamb. She also included a couple of Walter Hole and a Gem avocado. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 8: Avocados

Taking a break from my food history and writing about avocados. Why you may ask? I got an amazing package in the mail from a woman, Brenda Cusick, who calls herself the Avocado Diva. And that she is. She can give you so much information on avocados. It’s amazing. I never knew there were so many varieties of avocados. My knowledge of avocados is pretty basic. I probably first had them in a Mexican restaurant in the form of guacamole. I’m familiar with Fuertes (not a favorite) and Hass (favorite).  When we bought our house many decades ago, we acquired an avocado tree. Until we moved here and had a tree, I didn’t know that avocados have to be picked and put in paper bags to ripen. We kept waiting for them to ripen on the tree! read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 7: Thanksgiving Stories Continued

I had written about something that went wrong in my last post. Now the getting away part. After I had graduated college, I had moved to California. I got to visit here with my cousin at the age of 19 all summer and fell in love. I went back to finish school with the firm intent to move to California upon graduating.  Luckily for me, I had two job offers. Some 17 or 18 years later I was married. My cousin had married into a large family whom I had lived with a few months while apartment hunting a few years earlier. I had wanted my cousin to come for Thanksgiving but with her came all the in-laws, too. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 7: Thanksgiving Stories

I had written about Thanksgiving but I couldn’t fit in a few stories. You know, the ones that went wrong or the ones that got away! First up is Went Wrong. I was maybe 12 or so and Mom had gone to the store. She couldn’t find white raisins, also known as Golden raisins. This was very upsetting to her. Yet she couldn’t make the stuffing without raisins so she grabbed a box of raisins (so she thought!). She proceeded to make her stuffing , stuffed the capon and then did  all the other dishes. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 6: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was always celebrated, sometimes together with the aunts and their families, sometimes the uncles from out of state and their families would join us. Mostly it was just the sisters and sometimes we had Thanksgiving for just the three of us. My mom was a very good cook. At our family Thanksgivings, we rarely had turkey. To this day, I’m not a huge fan of turkey, well, until recently, when I discovered Diestel Turkeys. But that’s another blog. What we had for almost every Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas as well was fresh capon. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 5: Holiday Cooking

Holidays always meant lots of cooking in our families. I say families because my mom had two sisters nearby and we often did joint dinners but not always.  Sometimes the out of state siblings came in as well. And Italians can be so noisy! Christmas cookies were a must. Mom always made thumbprint cookies and sugar cookies and once again, I was begging her to teach me. I remember the first thing she let me do was put the thumbprint into the cookie where the jelly would be put. She made the thumbprint cookies with nuts. I would help with the Christmas cookies. One of my aunts made these Nut Crescent cookies and my other aunt or mom would make the ricotta cheese pie. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 4: Pasta Fagiole Recipe

Due to a request on my previous post about Italian food and specifically Pasta Fagioli, this post is about how to make the soup.  I wrote about a funny anecdote about Ron first tasting pasta fagioli at my mom’s place. There is more. We stayed at my mom’s that night and the next morning, my mom asked us what we wanted for breakfast. Ron says “Do you have anymore of that soup left?”. I about fell over. Did my mom ever love that! And of course she had some soup because she cooks for a gazillion! At that point, I knew that if Ron and I split up, my mom would go with him. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 3: Abruzzo

In my last post, I mentioned my Italian mother. My grandparents came from the Abruzzo region of Italy. It’s a region to the east of Rome and part of the region borders the Adriatic Sea. My grandparents were from the mountains in Abruzzo, a little town called Castel Di Sangro. Italy has many different regions and many have their own dialect and their own food traditions. For us, it was making sauce with different kinds of meat for a very rich, deeply flavored sauce, cavatilles (also known as gnocchi), pasta fagioli, Italian wedding soup, scamorza (a cheese similar to French Raclette), ricotta cheese pie, and Italian Wedding Cake. I can’t forget biscotti either! read...