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FAVE MEMORY: This is a NEW memory, if there is such a thing! When I first moved to California (decades ago) I had never seen an artichoke & it was love at first site! Now fast forward 40 years, I’ve returned to CA. & with this move I discovered BABY artichokes....which are now my new favorites, mainly because you can eat the entire delicious thing, & they are DIVINE!!!
You can see that Dad was quite rigid about keeping a tight schedule on the farm! Well, the fun thing about rules is the exception to the rules. Dad's hard and fast rule on the farm was, because it was a working farm, not to get attached to the livestock. Well, somebody forgot to tell that fact to Oscar the turkey. Oscar was persistent and insistent on winning Dad's affection. Before long, the two of them were inseparable, doing chores together and riding together on the Gator. When Oscar finally left this life (as I recall, not due to activities related to the farm), Dad kept a bunch of Oscar's feathers and attached them to the tractor like a hood ornament.
One of my aunts made a wintery fairyland scene out of penguins constructed from hard-boiled eggs and olives for a family gathering. She put the penguins on a mirror and sprinkled fake snow around the "ice". So pretty! But my actual memory extends later into the evening of the festive event. When the extended family would gather, the four adult sisters talked long into the night. As a youngster, I had to scrounge a place to sleep and would conveniently choose the room where the talking occurred. I then pretended to sleep while I eavesdropped on the adult conversation, which usually included a discussion on how they should combine forces and open a catering business. They would map out the entire business plan, including what contribution each person would offer and criticize the meager efforts of existing businesses. What a fun introduction to pipedreams!
When this camper was new to us, we decided to pay a visit to my best friend from high school, who lived in "the city". We arrived at the campground, and the host excitedly told us that she had saved "the site with the tree" for us. ?!?!?!? Up to that point, we had only camped in forests, etc., and were shocked to discover that this city campground did, in fact, have only one tree! Well, we settled in nicely, had a wonderful visit with my friend, and I made a hearty Polish stew with apples and sauerkraut for the somewhat chilly day. All was right with the world!
Jägertee, also known as "Jagatee", is a typical Tyrolean (Austria) specialty that 19th century foresters, hunters and rangers used to drink.
Jägertee is a hot drink originally made with black tea, herbal extracts, fruit alcohol and the "Inländer" national rum.
Here is a variant recipe that is made with kirsch (cherry brandy) also popular in Alsace, France.
The illustration was drawn on paper with india ink, and digitally colorized on Adobe Photoshop.
Fave Memory! A salty-sweet and oniony appetizer on a slice of rye bread. My Ukrainian grandmother adored entertaining. Every holiday, she would make special dishes and invite the whole family and many friends to crowd around the table. Everyone talked at once! I always enjoyed the scene and the food. This herring spread is delicious, and I'm happy to have re-created it successfully. Babunya would serve it in her vintage dishes, with embroidered linens on the table. So do I!
Sorrel drink is so delicious, it has a sweet tangy flavor! This drink is most popular in the Caribbean around Christmas time. I would sit at the table and help my granny cut the top part of the flower off and discard it with the green seed. The shape of the discarded part looked like a green and red acorn. I always thought it was a fruit but it is in fact a species of hibiscus. I enjoyed seeing the whole process and helping. After boiling and then straining the juice, we would add sugar and let it sit for a couple of hours, refrigerate it. We would then enjoy an icy cold refreshing glass of sorrel drink.
The first year that I was married, my mother-in-law came for an extended visit over Christmastime. I was so wrapped up in planning the entire visit that I completely forgot to plan a "nice" Christmas meal. When we woke up, she innocently asked me what I had planned. Oops! So we spent the day making peanut butter balls, and for dinner, we had my old stand-by, spaghetti and meatballs. She was a great sport! Spaghetti and meatballs remains one of her favorite meals (whew!). Love you, Nancy!
Fave Memory (actually two)!
1. When I was little, our Italian grandparents came to visit for a week every August. Each time, Nonnie brought a HUGE tin filled with biscotti and pizzelles. Because this annual treat was just so special, we all individually snuck into the tin to steal "just one". And yet we were collectively surprised when the HUGE tin was empty after only a couple of days!
2. As a youngster, dad was served soup with every meal. We regularly make the cappalletti at holidays, but the pasta fagioli somehow fell by the wayside. My sister painstakingly recreated all of the nuances of Nonnie's recipe. I rarely saw strong emotion from my dad, but he was simply overcome when he tasted my sister's soup, exclaiming that he never thought he'd taste that flavor again. Good work, Sister!
Pesto by Rikki AsherRego Park, New York, US
I love pine nuts! The only problem is they can be expensive. One reason they are so costly is due to shortages and harsh weather changes, which effect pine trees. In a pinch: Use shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, or chopped walnuts as alternatives. Pesto is traditionally served as a sauce with pasta. It is also delicious on potatoes, rice, couscous, or spread on a piece of crunchy bread.
FAVE MEMORY: one of my very earliest memories is the tins of Xmas cookies mom would start baking in early December. Each tin would hold a different cookie- butterball, spritz, pinwheels, sugar sprinkles , cut outs & more. It was heavenly. She continued the tradition for years & years. Even as an adult, it was fun to find the tins & sneak a cookie 😋. In this Xmas pic, I got my favorite doll, my brother got a drum set with a bucking bronco on the side of it 😍. Still....the cookies were the best!! This recipe is from gramma Helen’s cook book published in 1931 & I still have it. It’s beautifully leather bound & embossed.