Nonna

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Nonna's Kitchen
Tuesday, February 08TH, 2011 by admin
Nonna's Kitchen Everybody in Italy has a grandmother whose cuisine they remember fondly. It is not only nostalgia, Italian grandmothers were artists in the kitchen. Driven by the needs caused by poverty, or by the strict adherence to traditions, grandmothers' dishes always had that special extra. In this section you will learn about the inherited wisdom passed down by nonna – the Italian grandmother. Many of us have one and the simple things she does to make her food taste so good, have been passed down for generations. From cooking to the herb garden, learn a little about the folk wisdom...
Coffee
Thursday, November 06TH, 2008 by admin
"Dark as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love." Such was the respected opinion of Charles Maurice de Talleyrands when asked to describe a perfect cup of coffee. For a while, it appeared the tea bag was going to replace Coffee as America's favorite hot brew, or at least give it a run for its money. Tea houses were springing up all over town; tea pots and tea paraphernalia were popular items at the local gift shop and tea boutiques. But things began to change when "Starbucks" came along. The coffee shop began to replace the tea house in popularity. The irresistible aroma...
Chicken Soup
Thursday, November 06TH, 2008 by admin
Chicken Soup The cold virus is among the world's most prevalent of wintertime diseases and its symptoms are among the most stubborn to cure. Just about all of us have suffered from the effects of a winter cold. Three quarters of the people in the United States have at least one cold a year.  The remedies to treat these symptoms range from antibiotics, antihistamines and analgesics. There are many alternative medicines used to treat the common cold. A wide variety of these medications and treatments include healing philosophies, approaches and therapies. In my family, the cold virus was...
Tomatoes
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
San Marzano Tomatoes Gardening hint: To keep the slugs and other pests away from young seedlings, grandma sprinkled the area around her tomatoes with cayenne pepper flakes. If grandma loved garlic, then it could be said that she worshipped the tomato. Her homemade tomato sauce bubbled on the stove like an eternal volcano. The familiar and mouthwatering aroma of her sauce permeated the kitchen and welcomed us to her home. There are many things that link me to my past, but few rekindle memories as quickly as the smell of tomato sauce simmering on the stove.   Back then, we didn't know that...
As we raised our glasses high, grandpa's words sang out over the dining table, "Salute' per chinto anno," his deep, rich voice as hardy and pure as the red wine he held in his glass. "Good luck, for a hundred years," his dinner guests echoed back. I remember how my grandfather's face beamed with pride at these joyous occasions and how our meal never began until each family member had repeated the traditional dinner toast and sipped from our small glasses of red wine. Wine was always a part of our family's holiday meal. And, like most Italian-American kids, I was introduced to its flavor,...
Parsley
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
Italian Parsley Many years ago, I paid my Italian grandmother a last visit. On that day, she insisted I take home some seedlings from her bountiful garden: a piece of this, a smidgen of that and a handful of her finest sunflower seeds. She searched carefully through her garden for the perfect seedlings, uprooting several oregano, chamomile and rosemary plants, including the bitter rucola. Every plant, that is, except her bountiful parsley. It was Nonna's belief that to transplant parsley would bring bad luck. She believed that an unmarried woman who transplants parsley is destined to become...
Use of Herbs
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
Fresh mixed herbs- parsley, basil, coriander, mint, fennel, bay leaf SAGE GARGLE: to soothe a sore throat grandma steeped three or four dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water for about ten minutes. While the tea is still warm, use as a gargle to treat canker sores add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon to the tea. 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water also makes an excellent throat gargle. BASIL TEA: Grandma brewed a soothing beneficial tea from her basil leaves. Like Hippocraties, she belied sage and chamomile were among the universal remedies. To relax a nervous stomach , Grandma added a...
Mustard Greens
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
Mustard Greens My Italian immigrant grandparents came to the Almaden Valley during the great migration. They were prune ranchers, cherry growers, farmers and cannery workers. The cuisine they prepared and enjoyed was essentially food grown on their land. Much of what they harvested they ate or preserved. Their favorite food, and the one they held in highest regard, was the valley's wild mustard green plant that grew freely in orchards and along the hillsides.   Mustard greens correct name is Brissica rapa, a member of the Cruciferae family which includes cabbages, broccoli, and turnips. It...
Mint
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
Mint Just hearing the words "fresh mint" on a warm summer day and my mind conjures up the southern symbol of hospitality, a lengthy sprig of green mint submerged in frosty tumblers or icy silver cups of cool mint juleps.   Later, when the cold weather rolls around and the holiday season appears, mint becomes part of the warm and comforting holiday meals. Mint will change its look and adapt itself to the coming season when it will be used dried or frozen to flavor and garnish pork roasts, vegetables, jelly sauces, jellos and creamy desserts.   Mint has its last harvest in the fall, this...
Garlic in the Garden
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by admin
Garlic The principles in creating a good garden are an inviting entry, something to focus on and a continuity of form. My Italian grandmother spent most of her days tending a garden that supplied all of these elements, and yet she never read a garden manual, never joined a garden club and, as a matter of fact, never read a home and garden magazine. And yet, to visit her garden was to visit a small part of paradise. Grandma used her inborn heritage and instincts when creating her sprawling gardens. It was with these same instincts that she decided what she would grow. For eye appeal, the...

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