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Merry Christmas 2013

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Hopefully you and your family are all safe and sound, spending time together on Christmas morning. Or, if you don’t celebrate, hopefully you have the day off and are planning to go see a movie! We all opened some gifts, unwrapped the chocolate drop panettone I have been eyeing for the last week, and have some beautiful Christmas music playing to punctuate this fine day. No matter what your celebratory preference, I wish you all a very merry Christmas. If you are lucky enough to have a blessed life, take a moment to think of those who are wanting, and maybe give of your abundance or time to someone in need. Cheers.

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An Ancient Knife

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This knife belonged to my great grandmother on my father’s side, Angelina Minniti (1883-1954). I recently “borrowed” it from my mother on a semi-permananent basis. I always remember seeing it in the drawer as a kid, with it’s protective sheath made from cardboard and duct tape, but rarely ever saw it being used.

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Chicken Cutlets from My Childhood

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I am sure that most Italian-Americans have their own recipe for this dish, but the ones my grandmother and mother made were the best by far! Cutlets were a special treat in my household. My father would come down in the middle of the night and eat them cold from the fridge, much to our despair because that meant less (or none) for us the next day.

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Pizzarium Style Pizza

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Pizzarium Style

Fresh mozzarella, raw zucchini, and guanciale.

Pizzarium, a pizza shop in Rome run by Gabriele Bonci, has become legendary for it’s pan pizza. The dough is made from Molino Marino flour and usually has some amount of ancient grains mixed in, such as spelt or einkorn. His topping combinations are adventurous to say the least. Gabriele teaches classes on how to make this kind of pizza, and I have a post dedicated to the process. It is very easy to make. Try it out.

The duo of pizzas above were made with sliced zucchini, San Marzano tomatoes and guanciale. After the pizza’s were baked, a generous amount of fresh mozzarella and basil were torn apart and distributed. The flour used was Caputo 00.

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Polpette: Grandma Josie’s Recipe

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These meatballs, made by my paternal grandmother, Josephine, were so coveted that the family would gather by the dozens when they were being served. Josephine (Romeo) Della Vecchia came from Calabria – the southern tip of Italy. Meatballs, or polpette were common there (and still are) and simple to make.

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Spring: Strawberry Preserves

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Spring means fresh strawberries, and one of the best ways to enjoy them long after they are picked is to preserve them. I am huge fan of preserving in-season fruits. The process is really easy to do and the rewards are very satisfying.