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Nonna's Kitchen
Tuesday, February 08TH, 2011 by
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...
Thursday, November 06TH, 2008 by
"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...
Chicken Soup
Thursday, November 06TH, 2008 by
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...
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Benefits and Tradition are in That Glass of Red Wine
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Use of Herbs
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Mustard Greens
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...
Garlic in the Garden
Thursday, September 11TH, 2008 by
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...