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Fave Memory (of my husband and in-laws).
Seriously, I love my mother-in-law. She raised five kids as a single mom while working full time. However, seriously, who believes that their kids LOVE soggy cooked spinach and eggs, dotted with bits of cheese? OK, I would love the cheese and today I would eat the spinach, but not as a child!
AGLIO E OLIO and The Feast of Seven Fishes- Fave Memory
Christmas Eve has always been my favorite family holiday. The night was always filled with anticipation for what was yet to come. The holiday was just beginning!!
Christmas Eve is also The Feast of Seven Fishes, my favorite Italian Food tradition.
As relatives argued the true meaning of the seven fishes, a parade of seafood would hit the table. Seven different kinds of fish were required for the event. There was mom’s beloved filet of soul, schmelts (tiny filets of fish lightly floured and sautéed), shrimp scampi and sometimes clams orreganato. We no longer had Nana’s, Baccala or Eel, which had been banished from menu by the late 70s. But, we still had more choices then you could possibly imagine! Preparation started weeks in advance, procuring the finest seafood and freshest produce.
But, by far, my favorite dish was the Pasta. Every Christmas Eve, mom served her bowl of steaming hot spaghetti called Aglio E Olio (the bowl actually said Spaghetti on it) to her eagerly awaiting family. (Eye-ya Oy-ya) as it was pronounced in our best southern Italian dialect, is a savory sauce made with garlic and anchovies and garnished with fresh parsley. Mom coaxed magic out of a few very humble ingredients to create a silky sauce that was comforting with a big bold and nutty flavor. Not for the faint of heart- with all those anchovies-it was the Umami of your dreams!
We always knew that we had to save room for our next six courses!! But, our bellies kept getting fuller as we continued to slurp our way through this year’s batch of Aglio E Olio!
I’m sure the rest of the dinner was just as delicious. But, I guarantee you that as we were clearing the table and setting out cookies for dessert, we were already thinking about next year’s Christmas Eve Aglio E Olio (or at least leftovers, if there were any).
This is something my dad usually makes when I visit him. My parents are divorced so this was such a treat when he cooked this for me. When he was young, he had to go to the compulsory army service. This is the food they usually made because it was easy and cheap. Over the years he has adjusted it to his liking and has shared the recipe with me, but I never can't get it to taste the way he does it. However, every time I eat this whether it is made by him or me, I'm reminded of my dad and all those weekends I spent with him.
Fave memory. I was born near the American Air Base in Aviano and when I went to kindergarten an American soldier, father of one of my schoolmates, dressed as Santa Claus and gave small gifts to all the children. I received a decoration for the Christmas tree and my first candy cane (mint flavor, I will never forget it!). I hadn't seen or tasted one before and it was love at first sight and even now that I'm an adult, candy canes are for me the symbol of Christmas. Thanks again Santa Claus with fake beard and military boots ..
Having bagels on Sunday has always been a ritual in my family for as long as I can remember. My dad would pick up bagels at our local shop. He always reads the newspaper while enjoying his bagel. As our family grows and expands, we've added more toppings and fixings when we get together for Sunday brunch, but the ritual always feels the same to me.
A vegetable Tagine was my family Birthday meal, my mum and sister would get every pot and pan out in the kitchen and spend a day cooking an epic traditional Lebanese Tagine inspired by our Lebanese family friend. Growing up in a family of 8, food was the center of all our family time, sitting at a very loud but happy table with everyone talking over each other and eating incredible meals that have been made with so much love. Now going on my 32nd birthday, a Tagine is still my birthday request with the beautiful flavors of cumin, lemon, and garlic, hearty vegetables and coriander. Now as an adult with my own house and family, food is still the center of our day, and you know when the Tagine makes an appearance its a special occasion.
Biancomangiare is a typical treat of my little and colorful Sicily. It's a poor sweet, quick and easy to cook but very very tasty.
Still today I remember the smell. My home smelled like milk and vanilla. My mom has no head for sweets (she just loves eat them!), but with the Biancomangiare she was able to gain my brother's mouthfeel and mine, making us to think she was an amazing pie maker and storming the medal "What a Godness!" :)
Today the recipe passed down to me and every time I'm enjoying this cake I go back in my mind to that kitchen that smells of milk and vanilla and I'm a child again.
This is my mom recipe, probably the only one she gave me!
Not because she's mean, but because she doesn't really love cooking.
In fact calling it recipe is a big word!
It's more about putting this ingredients together till having a nice dough, unless add more flour or milk
But anyway this was my first (failed) cooking experiment and also my final arrive
Create something based on what there's in the pantry, always with a smile on, and adding love as secret ingredient
I watched her making this cake so many times.. but never in the same way and never failed! and always asking how is that possible?
The perfume of this cake, a mix of apple sugar and cinnamon, bring me direct at childhood when dad, just back home, were turning the face of a heavy working day into a happy smile just smelling in the air that the apple cake was in the oven!
Even if I worked in many pastry shops, this one is the only cake I'm not able to reply because every time I try to add some perfections in it and that end just to ruin it!
If you'll try to make it, you'll ends out with a really good cake but believe me: nothing compared with my mum's one!!
My Fave Memory from my childhood years in South Africa is sitting under the Almond trees in my Gran’s garden drinking tea, chatting about our day and eating home made jam tarts. My favourite part of this tradition was after we’d all drunk our tea Gran would read our tea leaves! I thought she was magic!
Fave Memory - Every year growing up and still to this day, my Mom makes butter cookies in the shape of Christmas Trees for the holidays. My sister and I loved helping to make these cookies, from adding the food coloring to toping them with colorful sprinkles. And of course, getting to twist and press out the dough onto the baking sheets. I decided to let the cookie press take center stage since it's such a fun old kitchen gadget :)
This cookie recipe has been passed down in my family for generations and is a favorite amongst us all. I remember being a kid and making these in the kitchen with mom. It was always my favorite time! My sister and I got to help AND eat the leftover dough out of the bowl. It was the best! It is also one of the many reasons baking these cookies remains my favorite food memory today.