Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mangia, Mangia ....no talk!


I love food; good food – a simmering pan, pots boiling, or an oven roasting a meal that has everyone anticipating its first taste. The home-cooked meal ultimately brings everyone together. It never fails if I cook they will come; my son, daughter, or my husband will visit the kitchen just to see what’s cooking.  This love of food and home-cooked meals come from my Italian upbringing. I grew up Italian; my dad, his three brothers, sister and parents came to America in 1954, my dad went back to Italy in 1956 to marry my mom. She came to America leaving her family in Italy.  I have two sisters and nine cousins altogether we were twelve and all of them were my first friends. This is who I played with and who we visited and who visited us, this was my family.  I guess we were having play dates before they were called play dates.  My immediate family lived in a five room railroad apartment in Ridgewood, Queens.  The building housed 5 more apartments.  Our family lived on the third floor and in the apartment below ours lived my Nonno (Grandfather) and Nonna (Grandmother).  My family throughout the years preserved their own food. In the winter they made sausage, before Labor Day they canned their own tomato sauce; my mother cured olives and bottled them.  My dad cured prosciutto a sweet ham.  Uncle Joe made his own wine and still does.  My mother on special occasions made fresh pasta.  I knew the difference between cavatelli, gnocchi and how manicotti is made by the age of ten.  Nonno had a garden he grew tomatoes, basil, strawberries, cucumbers, string beans and of course long hot Italian peppers.  Among the vegetables stood proudly a peach tree and fig tree which was covered every winter.  In this garden were a couple of beautiful rose bushes that my Nonna took care,  I remember walking along the edge picking and eating strawberries and Nonna holding a rose; she would take a petal fold it around her finger then pop it on her forehead which made me and my sisters giggle.
The twelve Grandchildren came from five families; my dad, his three brothers and one sister. All together it would be twelve adults and twelve children of course the younger ones were born when I was closer to my teenage years.  I remember  on occasion we would have Sunday dinners at my Grandparents  apartment it wasn’t always everyone  but because we lived upstairs we always had our Sunday meals with Nonno and Nonna whether it was the three of us my sisters and I or  additional cousins visiting every meal my Grandfather without fail would always start the meal with;
“Mangia, Mangia…..no talk!”  And we would laugh yet followed his wishes!  At times one of the cousins would also say it and again more laughter at the table! 
Mangia, Mangia ….no talk; is not only about the food I grew up with, and the family I shared it with. It will be my opportunity to nourish you about my love of food.  My senses come alive when I replicate a meal from my childhood and share the memory with my own family today.  I was a Foodie before it became a word meaning food lover. I was exposed to so many delicacies such as a hot spicy anchovy paste that was so yummy on Italian bread, and homemade prosciutto.    I believe that because of my positive experiences around the dinner table as a child I developed a somewhat sophisticated palate which has opened me up to trying new things, experience so many wonderful cuisines, and confidently cook a meal for my husband and two children or host a cocktail party for twenty friends.  To me it’s all the same whether I am cooking a dinner for four or preparing a party for twenty each time it has to be good quality food and it has to be delicious.  The task at hand must be enjoyable and easy.  It shouldn’t be stressful but almost peaceful after all I am cooking to nurture and taking care of my family and/or guests.
Mangia, Mangia…no talk; is my way of honoring my past as well as bringing the same optimistic familiarity to my own dinner table today! So join me and say, “Mangia, Mangia….no talk!!!!!!

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Shopping List - April 24,2016

Vegetables/Fruit Bananas .49cents a lb. 1 bunch Tomatoes .99cents a lb. 4 or 5 Eggplants 1.39lb get three String Beans @ .99 cents a pound Avocado @ .99 cents each (2) Mangoes 2 for $3.00 (2) Bag of Eastern Potatoes $1.99 Limes and lemons Mini Cucumbers 1.99 English Cucumbers 2 for $3.00 Romaine Hearts 1.99 Deli/Bakery Pretzel Chips Feta cheese Hummus – Boars head 2 for 5.00 (1) Pita flat bread (Greek) Meat Chicken Cutlets 3.49 a pound Chicken Kabobs 3.99 a pound Dairy/Frozen Mozzarella Shredded Cheese $2.50 Plain Greek Yogurt or Tzatziki sauce (deli) Ricotta Cheese Biazzo $3.99 Almond Milk 2 for 6.00 I need is 1 Grocery One box of Orzo Coffee $4.99 Cups Paper Plates 1 can of Tomato Sauce - small can One bottle of Balsamic vinegar Cereal –General Mills 1.99

What's for dinner - W/O April 24,2016

Dinners This week April 24, 2016

Sunday

Chicken Kababs – Greek Salad and Orzo

Monday

Fusilli with Ricotta Cheese- salad and Italian bread

Tuesday

Chicken Cutlets-Salad- Green Beans - French-fries

Wednesday

Eggplant parm – salad and rolls to make sandwiches

Thursday

Peppers and Egg Frittata – Rolls and Salad

Friday – Tuna Salad – fries- salad - (green)

Saturday – Fun night – could be take out, homemade pizza, Mexican (homemade) Deli-Meat quesadillas, grilled cheese and soup – or Diner style cheeseburgers. Until next week’s flyer

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