An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, April 25, 2016

Into the Kitchen

I’ve had so much on my plate lately (work, Masters prep, my parents’ 50th anniversary party, spring break) that I’ve fallen off the culinary bandwagon; as a result, there have been too many quick meals, too many trips to the grocery store without a list, and all too little forethought, imagination, and creativity in the kitchen. Sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve …

-tried a new recipe
-cooked something that took longer than 30 minutes to prepare
-made homemade bread, pasta, ice cream, sorbet, or pasta sauce
-planned a week’s worth of meals
-organized my grocery lists
-shopped at a Farmer’s Market


And I’ve missed doing all those things. Planning meals, cooking, and setting a table that invites people to linger is a creative process for me; it’s what I like to do and it is how I give.  But now, with the boys coming home from college and schedules winding down, I have plans to …

-buy organic lemons -- lemon peels for limoncello and lemons for sorbet
-make homemade ice cream for the boys (several flavors)
-pull out my “recipes to try” file and … try new recipes
-update my recipe binder (file, purge, add recipes)
-cook homemade pizza on the grill
-keep a fruit salad and a pitcher of tea in the refrigerator at all times
-dine al fresco at least once a day (even if it’s just a cappuccino on the back deck in the morning, or a glass of wine on the patio in the evening)
-eat out: that is, make grilled panini, pack them in a basket with some bottles of San Pellegrino, and … picnic for dinner!


During the summer, I make one of these every 2-3 days

There are also some cookbooks I want to read. I like to collect Italian cookbooks, and I especially like the ones which feature great photography and regional recipes with historical background on each dish. My most recent addition is the Vatican Cookbook which I ordered solely because it’s published by the Pontifical Swiss Guard and I have a thing for the Swiss Guards (all of them). Of course, as you can see from the photo, not all my cookbooks are Italian. I look forward to reading, for example, Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy (I know she gets a lot of grief, but I fundamentally agree with her approach to food that is not only healthy and simple, but also contributes to a feeling of wholeness).

And there you have it. If you need me, or want a cappuccino or a slice of homemade pizza, you know where to find me.

"One of the very nicest things about life
is the way we must regularly stop whatever
it is we are doing and devote our
attention to eating."
-Luciano Pavarotti, opera singer

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