Sunday, June 1, 2014

Proud to be an (Italian) American

On Facebook I joined the site 'The Italian American Page'.  Since this is my heritage I can get engrossed in the information put out there by this group.  Today was a long list of ... You know your Italian if.  I fell into most of the listed items.  I had a good laugh.

One of the points was, ... if your uncles were named Louie, Frank, Anthony, or Joe.  I had three of the four.  No Frank that I can remember.

This brought me to think about my grandmother.  Almost as wide as she was tall -  with a big comforting chest.  When she hugged you, a kid felt protected.  Her hair was silver and fell to her waist when it was let loose from the tight bun.  She worked in a factory sewing men's suits.  Her house was cluttered and a layer of dust was a friend of hers.  But, could that woman cook.  From scratch, every day.  Weekends were special because she made home made ravioli every Saturday.  I was there, along with my cousin, Nardine, just about every Saturday.  We sat by her side in the kitchen rolling a small piece of dough over and over while we talked to Grandma and giggled with each other.  God only knows what our personal conversations consisted of, but I'm sure we didn't want adults listening in.  Grandma was OK to hear.  She never repeated a word.

I learned a lot from grandma.  I didn't think I did.  I carry on her tradition of cooking with fresh ingredients.  I even make my sauce with her recipe.  Only thing is I didn't know it until my cousin and I were recently talking.  She gave me grandma's sauce recipe.  I make it the exact same way.  The meatballs, too.  I big batch them, then freeze them.  All of hers were eaten around the huge dining room table during Sunday dinner.  And, yes, every one of us was present.  Uncles, aunts, cousins.

I wanted to learn how to make ravioli a couple of months ago.  I watched a video on yootoob from the Jamie Oliver collection.  The chef had to be Italian or the ravioli would not be authentic.  Jamie has an Italian chef from Italy so I copied his recipe after watching the video a few times.  The measurements were European so I found a conversion chart.  The recipe for the dough is simple.

1 egg
1/2 C flour (add more if needed)

That's it.  Roll the dough out very thin on a floured surface. Very thin.  Fill with cheese or a filling of your choice and you have a delicious fast food meal.  I froze some of the ravioli ( I also leaned how to make ricotta  cheese) and ate the rest fresh.  So delicious.  This is enough for approximately 12 ravioli.

This blog is named after my grandmother.  A common Italian name for a not so common woman.  She rocked.
A bag of frozen home made meatballs ready for action.

1 comment:

  1. Okay... so I had to smile... There are MANY fond memories of my grandma's kitchen, In my case, German. It wasn't ravioli, sauce or meatballs, it was what my other Grandmother referred to as "dough balls". Mum saved bread crumbs from stale bread, mixed them with egg and a tiny bit of milk, we'd form them into balls that she'd first deep fry and then boil. Those "knadles", as she called them, were served with roasted meat and gravy. I was a terribly picky eater as a child, yet those were YUM! I loved (adored) time in the kitchen with her, and because of her, waste nothing and cook mainly from scratch. German... Italian... same thing. :-)