The book is out….

I’m still pinching myself….

Ouch…. It’s not a dream!

My book Pane, Vino e Peperoncino is out on Amazon – hurry and get your copy now!!!

  

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Nonna’s shoes

loving our history would give us an understanding of our present

What a pair of old fashion shoes got to do with this blog?
I must say a lot, especially when memories and fantasy come alive.
I been staring at this photo all morning and the only thing I could think was my Nonna Rosaria Caia and the way she used to cook for us with love. Then I remembered how in the open chimney she used to cook the beans in a terracotta pot. She would sing or tell us stories of her childhood with her mother Maria Concetta and her mother’s mother which off course I never met.

La Nonna Rosaria Caia e la zia Annunziata Caia

I just imagined them cooking around the old chimney wearing similar shoes and singing some folk song. I could almost see what was inside the big pot and that’s when I remembered …… theMorseddu……

La famiglia Martino zio Rocco, nonna Carmela, zia Framcesca, zia Anna e zio Nicola

The legend says that a poor widower was asked to clean an alley where there was a butcher shop. When she started cleaning she noticed all the pieces of meat that were left in the rubbish bin. She decided to get everything and prepare a meal for her children. She cleaned them, boiled them in water and she added many spices.

 

MORSEDDU
Ingredients:

500 g. Tripe
500 g. of heart, liver and lung, small and large intestines
3 fresh chillies
200 g. Tomato concentrate
fat of veal
bay leaf
Red wine
oregano
oil and salt

Clean, wash and then blanch tripe in salted water with the addition of a bay leaf; then cut into strips. Clean and cut the heart, liver and lung in pieces. Cut the fat into small pieces, put it in a pan on the stove and let it melt, add the tripe and offal, fry together for a few minutes; Then, pour the red wine, stir and let it evaporate.
Dilute the tomato paste with hot water and pour it into the pan, add the peppers, bay leaf and a pinch of oregano. Add salt and cook for about an hour, add hot water if necessary. When it’s ready, remove pan from heat and let rest. Meanwhile, take the pitta (Flat homemade bread), cut in half. Add to Morseddu another sprinkling of oregano, serve.
Photo and recipe of Morseddu from
http://www.larosanelbicchiere.it/morseddu/

Mamma’s Love and home made pasta

Mamma and I

Mamma and I

Growing up in an Italian family It was always the norm that food will fix everything. I went to mum and I was a bit Down, her answer was don’t worry bella I fix this.

As fast as a tornado I watched mum getting some fresh eggs from her chickens and a packed of plain flour.

IMG_4554-0

eggs and flour

eggs and flour

Without measuring she put the ingredients in her new pasta machine and she started making Tagliatelle.

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Mamma making Tagliatelle

Mamma making Tagliatelle

Then she went to her veggie garden and she got fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and onion. She fried the chopped onions and garlic, she then added the passata made with her fresh tomatoes and she let it cook slowly for a few hours

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Tomatoes and sugo

Tomatoes and sugo

Once the sugo (sauce) was ready she went to cook the tagliatelle in boiling salted water .

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Mamma cooking the tagliatelle

Mamma cooking the tagliatelle

Yes mamma’s cooking made me feel so much better.

Let’s break Bread

Fresh Bread

Fresh Bread

Bread recipe

Ingredients: 1/2 liter of water 1/2 kilo of wheat flour 1/2 kilo of flour type 0 25 grams of yeast 2 teaspoons of salt

Yeast (Maida) Dissolve the yeast in warm water and salt, pour in wheat flour gradually and mix with a fork until the mixture becomes a cream. Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for half an hour, so the dough swells and doubles.

maida

maida

The dough for the bread Add the flour type 0 and continue stirring with a fork, at this point the dough deflates but it is just what needs to happen. Knead the dough for 15 minutes, making sure that the dough is a little humid. It doesn’t have to become too dry. Add flour if the dough is too sticky.

impasto

impasto

When the dough is ready, spread flour on a baking sheet and make a round shapedloaf.

With a knife, cuta cross on top of the loaf and let it rest for 1 hour and half covered with a towel.

The oven Preheat the oven to 200c and bake the loaf for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door, then lower the temperature to 180c and cook for another 30 minutes.

Bread in the oven

Bread in the oven

Fresh bread

Fresh bread

pane e vino

pane e vino

Reggio Calabria

Reggio Calabria

Reggio Calabria

In the Ionian Gulf, the Greeks found the promised land, and founded Rhegion, a city on the coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Strait of Messina.

Scorcio di Chianalea, porticciolo e barche

Scorcio di Chianalea, porticciolo e barche

Reggio Calabria, as it is called today, is an agricultural, administrative and commercial city.

Lungomare di REggio Calabria

Lungomare di REggio Calabria

After the terrible earthquake of 1908, the city was rebuilt along with its wonderful lungomare (seafront promenade). According to the famous writer Giuseppe Verga, it was the most beautiful promenade in Europe.

Bronzi di Riace

Bronzi di Riace

The city is rich in archaeological materials excavated from sites in Calabria and Basilicata, which are important testimonies of the culture of Ancient Greece. In the collection, among the most renowned discoveries are the Riace bronzes: two large statues of Greek warriors, which depict the most classical image of Greek culture, by showing the harmony of the universe through the perfection of the human body.

pesce spada

pesce spada

The gastronomic specialty of Reggio Calabria is fish: from swordfish to solmoriglio, as well as fried anchovies, sardines, cod, stockfish, and nannata.

nannata

nannata

stoccofisso

stoccofisso

Codfish by Nonna Melina

Codfish by Nonna Melina

STOCCAFISSO Ingredients: 1 kilo of soaked stockfish 1kilo of potatoes 150gramsof olives 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce 1 red onion Basil Parsley Salt

Pepper Method for preparation: Cook the cod in boiling water for about 30 minutes, drain, dry, and cut into pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, preferably terracotta, and fry the onion and parsley, then add the tomato sauce.

Add the pieces of cod and the potatoes.

Add the basil, salt and pepper.

Cook for 30 minutes, adding a little hot water if needed.

When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the pitted olives, and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve very hot.

The Bergamot

Bergamot massage oils

Bergamot massage oils

The Bergamot was imported from the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus.

Bergamot tree

Bergamot tree

The Bergamot is the Calabrese treasure known everywhere in the world.

The Bergamot Perfume

Bergamot Perfume

Bergamot Perfume

The oil of Bergamot is essential, but they are using everything from peel to dried flowers, and the result are all products from perfumes, lotions, bath salts, drugs, dermatological products and also liquor and many others products.

Marmalade of Bergamot

Marmalade of Bergamot

Marmalade of Bergamot

ingredients 1 kg of bergamot 600g sugar method Debarked the Bergamot and blend well, add the sugar. Put everything in a pot and cook for 30 minutes. When the jam is still warm pour into jars and seal

The Magic of Christmas

Children playing with the snow

Children playing with the snow

I remember a white Christmas from many moons ago……………….. I remember when my nose was red and my fingers were frosty because the wind was strong and it was very cold outside, but it didn’t stop my cousins and I trying to build a snowman.

Fresh Pine Christmas Tree

Fresh Pine Christmas Tree

Our family would have a real Christmas tree;

the smell of new pine was fresh around the room.

Nativity photo of Caterina Longo

Nativity
photo of Caterina Longo

Also our nativity set as big as the writing desk we had. Each statue was placed with care, bring them closer to the stable each day.

Music around town photo of Giuseppe Barbaro

Music around town
photo of Giuseppe Barbaro

The celebrations would start nine mornings before Christmas, by five AM the music of the Christmas carols would be around town, waking everyone in time to be in church before daylight. The air of celebration was felt all over the small town of Messignadi.

The Joy of Christmas

The Joy of Christmas

I never asked Father Christmas for anything in particular. Thought I never asked every single year I would find a nice present under the tree.  I remember Christmas morning the first thing I would do was running to have a look under the Christmas tree with my little sister tagging along. The magic of knowing Father Christmas come to my house was thrilling.

After breakfast mamma would get me ready for church, I then wait for my cousins to come over and together we would make our way to church for the Christmas mass. Our mothers would go to Nonna’s house and get the Christmas lunch ready.

family celebration

family celebration

Lunch was the most exciting part for us kids.

We would place a letter under our father’s plates and after lunch they would notice the letter and each child would have to read it aloud and as a thank you every man in the room would give us some money.

No one was in a rush, no one had other plans, and the day was spent together by eating, drinking and telling stories. In the late afternoon the men would play a game of cards while the women and children would play bingo.

Christmas food pignolata - nzudi- pasta asciutta - carciofi-  zippole

Christmas food
pignolata – nzudi- pasta asciutta – carciofi- zippole

Yes Christmas is a time for family, though the snow is a far away memory replaced by the hot weather and the beach, the rest is the same, a day to spend with our family and be thankful of the good things we have in life.

Pignolata

Pignolata

PIGNOLATA

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
3 eggs
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup toasted almonds

Method:

Mix together;  flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat in the softened butter, add the eggs one at a time and beat.
Add the vanilla extract.

knead the dough well until it’s firm.

Pinch off in small pieces and roll them into little balls and deep fry them.

Warm the honey in a pan.

Mix the fried pieces and the toasted almonds in the honey.

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