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Occasionally Dad would have to work out of town for the weekend. Since he didn't consider pizza a "proper" meal, the first thing that my mom, sister, and I would do is get a pizza from Genii's. Then we'd bake and decorate cupcakes all night long while listening to music (Mom loved disco!) and dancing in the kitchen.
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).
Fave Memory! The year I turned 2 my parents bought a piece of land in the countryside about an hour and half from where we lived. For a decade before they built a home the 8 of us, plus dog, would pile into our station wagon and drive out of the city to picnic in our new found piece of paradise. 70's classics like potato salad and wagon wheels, my Mom's famous jello mould and deviled eggs rank among my fondest memories. The mere sight of a Coleman thermos or a slice of her lemon pie takes me back to those summers with the smells and sounds of the forest, the movement of woodland animals and insects, the time of the long shadows, the richness of the summer sky.
Fave Memory: Twelve years ago, I took a trip to Switzerland for 10 days. I still remember the absolutely amazing food I got to experience. What's going on with those Swiss dairy cows? All the dairy I tasted was out of this world. I couldn't eat American-made cheese for months after I got back. My very favorite thing was the yogurt. I tried many flavors, and having lemon yogurt with muesli was like eating a creamy lemon pie for breakfast. And the chocolate! The cheese tarts! 10/10 highly recommend a visit.
Fave Memory for the October HandPicked Design Challenge:
This whimsical scene is a tribute to my cat, Jill. Jill is 17 years old, but still incredibly spry and a big food lover. Our family has lots of funny memories of Jill trying to steal bread and desserts from the kitchen. Since she can't have those things in real life, I've created this fantasy scene where she can have a whole buffet of sweets to herself. This illustration was created using watercolor, gouache, ink, and digital media. My mom Shelley created the lettering in ink.
"Fave Memory"-My Mum loved to bake, when I was a child I can remember after tea she would wheel her orange trolley in from the kitchen which was full of cakes she'd made. Just thinking about her Viennese Swirls takes me right back to childhood. The colours are how I remember our house at the time.
My favorite memories of my childhood are of riding around on scooter and mopeds with my family in India. I was the youngest so I always got to ride standing up between my dad and the steering handle. My most favorite nights were those when my dad would come home from work and my parents would take us to eat street food. There is nothing like eating from a Lari(stall), specially when it comes to Pani Puri. Each puri is stuffed by a man behind the counter, not wearing gloves, and handing it over one by one. Puris are crunchy shells, that are stuffed with spicy black chana and potatoes. The stuffed puri is then dunked into pani, minty water. As you try to fit the whole puri in your mouth, some of the pani inevitably leaks out form your mouth. Eating a pani puri feels like a flavor explosion. It is truly a magical experience and worth taking the risk of eating from a street vendor.
memories can be sights, sounds, smells or feelings. my greatest food memory of grandmom schiehle is the giant coconut cake that was the centerpiece of a picnic every year. layered yellow cake and vanilla icing smothered with coconut. their backyard swooped down into a huge hill with a massive tree at the bottom. those too loom large in the memory. all were legendary. we’d race down the hill on picnic day. one year i ran right into the branches of that tree. i can still remember sitting in their bathroom having my face cleaned up from the cuts. still remember the smell of the soap. i envisioned this abstract paper sculpture, the cake transitioning into the hill. elegant and quiet. i asked my extended family, but unfortunately no one had preserved the original recipe. it will forever live in our memories though. American Greetings, please click on my name and look at my other paper sculptures too. thanks ! joanne.