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Bean-Potato Stew from Ma’s Kitchen

It’s lovely, how I still dream of her. I’m happy to meet Ma in my dreams and celery cut in uniform miniscule squares on a well-worn wooden board and any kitchen knife. Her hands were always manicured but she never wore nail polish. Her nail length was uniform too. Like the cutting board, her hands […]

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Vinegar Peppers from Ma’s Kitchen

Late summer and early autumn usher in canning time. From tomato sauce with bright basil leaves, to fig jam and peaches in simple syrup, it’s a ritual that I cherish. A ritual I have thanks to my grandparents and mom. Mom and I are adamant about carrying forward family traditions. This brings me oddly to […]

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Ravioli Making with Mom

I often wondered if it was normal to talk about food from dusk to dawn or at least that’s what it seemed like growing up in an Italian-American home. No sooner was the morning coffee poured than we were chatting about what we would conjure up for lunch and dinner. It’s no surprise that my fondest […]

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Casatiello – Savory Easter Bread Recipe

In Italy a holiday or truly any celebration without food is unimaginable. Whether the festa (party) is at home, a restaurant or in a piazza (square), it most always includes a special meal and a customary dish. Pasqua (Easter) is no exception. At the end the 40 day lenten fast, religious processions begin as does the […]

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Bruschetta

Bruschetta with Tomato & Olive Oil

Repeat after me: brew-SKEH-tuh. Bruschetta! One thing that was much debated amongst my family on our first trip to Italy was the pronunciation of this word for toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes tossed in olive oil. I now know that the proper pronunciation involves a hard “c” sound; though for most Americans […]

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Strawberry Shortcake from Ma’s Kitchen

I’ve been eyeing strawberries at the Rome food markets for weeks. Ma (aka my grandmother) loved strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar, over ice cream or in cake fillings. She made whipped cream and fruit filled shortcake for summer parties and birthdays, pineapple for my great grandfather Domenico’s, strawberry for my cousin Jimmy’s. On the […]

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Recipes from my Grandmother’s Kitchen

Can a book of recipes capture a lifetime? My grandmother Louise, known as Ma to her family and friends, kept her recipes in a leather bound book. She hand wrote each one. She added recipe clippings from magazines which she’d take and make her own. During my last visit to Boston, I read each page, overcome […]

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