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#16: Re: Traditional recipes Author: DaveFerroLocation: Auburn NY PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:02 am
I told my mother about the Strofulli post, but she did not understand the word. Only when I described it to her did she say "Oh, 'troful'!" As I read the recipe, she commented at every other ingredient with an "Uh-huh," then "Yeah," "Umm-hmm" along with a nod and smile. I expected her to go on about her version of this but instead said she never made it herself, but got them from her sister's friend who was Sicilian. So struck out on another recipe and a Molisana version.

My relatives like to clip off the beginnings of words and sometimes the endings, as in the Strofulli -> 'troful' example above. At one of the websites for her mother's hometown (also my grandmother's - as they were sisters) of Sant'Elia a Pianisi, there is an article by Prof. Colavita describing the dialect. This is in Italian, so the accents marks in the examples were not translated well using Babel Fish. However, Sophia has looked at it and says she understands what they are doing. Many different influences contributed to the dialect, like other areas of Italy: Oscan, Etruscan, Greek, Latin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Austrian-German, and others.

My mother keeps her recipes in envelopes and just placed in the leaves of multiple cookbooks and takes a while to find anything. I offered to put them at least in categories, but she knows how to find them, eventually.

She has recipes for the usual types. With her 3 sisters, she made the 'bones', fritte (the thin ones twisted into a bow and sprinkled with honey and powered sugar), white ones with marmalade (vanilla icing with a silver candy bead on top), chocolate with more chocolate icing - 'corrected' with some whiskey. Aunt Ida made the ones that were twisted and iced. My favorite was the fudge and nuts rolled in pastry, topped with chocolate and colored sprinkles, and cut at an angle. My cousin Rochelle made these, learning from her mother (my godmother), Francie. Not sure whether grandma taught them this. Naturally a ton of cookies were made for weddings, my aunts gathering a napkin full to take home, even though they already had some. Maybe because they were too busy to eat any while cooking.

One day all four (Nanette, Carrie, Ida, and Gracie) were at our house making fritte and I put a tape recorder on top of the refrigerator. Usually the kitchen was avoid in case we might be put to work. I know about stirring the polenta. This time it had to be done quickly to keep out of their way. Each sister had a specific job: one to mix the dough, one to roll out and cut it, one to deep fry and another to drain on paper towels, the last to put the honey and sugar on. Sometimes the tasks would switch, giving each a break. One common thing was the noise: very loud (sounded like yelling to us kids - now that we are older, we understand it was hearing loss). My mother protested this description so I said, "Well, you were talking very loud and arguing, saying 'This isn't how we do it' and 'What do you mean? Ma always did it this way' 'No, she didn't' and 'Yes, she did - don't you remember?' and so on." My mother said "Well, that's half the fun."

I've been trying to transfer the tape to the hard disk but having some trouble with the connectors. As soon I get a good digital copy, I will post some of it.

Enjoyed the postings and will share with relatives; might even try them myself. My mother has recipe clipping for Double Chocolate Cake that uses no shortening but is delicious. This is from the clipping exactly as printed.

Blend following ingredients:

Mix with following:

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp. soda (baking, I suppose)
1 tsp. salt

2 cups water
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 tsp. white vinegar

Pour mixture into ungreased 9 x 12 pan. Blend following ingredients and spoon on top:

8 oz. softened cream cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Sprinkle chopped nuts on top (optional)
Bake 45 minutes at 350 deg.

She's going to make one for a get-together at my cousin's this weekend. It's a favorite over there.


#17: Re: Traditional recipes Author: CaroleLocation: Valtellina - Near Lake Como PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:38 am
That sounds like a promising recipe Dave - I must try that one.

I loved the bit about all the 'home' recipes stored in envelopes in the cook book - I'm just like that... various cook books, each with my (or other peoples) home recipes tucked inside. Often when someone asks me for a particular recipe that I know I don't have, I'll ask older Italians here if they have 'it' - and invariably their filing system is the same as your mum's and mine..... Smile

I'm very good (I bet your mum is too) at 'organised chaos!' peep

#18: Re: Traditional recipes Author: DaveFerroLocation: Auburn NY PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:39 am

My mother's method of filing extends to the freezer and is always asking me to find something in there. I put all the like items together: sausages, franks; any pork including for sauce - next to other sauce parts like beef; whipped topping on top of the ice cream container. Vegetables in the door and so on. One foray by my mother and everything is scrambled and I have to take everything out to find whatever she was looking for. I want to get some wire stands to make it easier, but that has been vetoed.

One question for Italian family members who are the designated dishwashers at holidays: Is it an ancient custom to make sure there are at least one or two utensils in each pot or bowl? Every time I get through the glasses, dishes, silverware and then grab the pots, I think "Finally, just a few things left."

Then I find the spoons and forks - not all in one pot, but distributed among all of them. Just when I thought I had finished the silverware.


#19: Re: Traditional recipes Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:16 am
Oh Dave..I hear you about the dishes! I don't have a dishwasher so I have to do them all by hand. I find utensils everywhere..

#20: Re: Traditional recipes Author: Tiger965Location: Melbourne ,Florida PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:57 am
Thanks for sharing your recipes. I like making the Struffoli's at Christmas too, a nice Tradition to pass down. It reminds me of when I was younger, when my family went to my Grandparents house at Christmas, my Grandparents made them. We've had a macaroni dinner early, and dessert later in the evening. Smile

#21: Re: Traditional recipes Author: ElevenLocation: New York PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:57 am
LOL Dont even talk about washing dishes. With hubby and myself, 3 kids and spouses and 13 grandkids..we total 21. We are all together for thanksgiving, which we do in the traditional way...with a nicely set table..etc. Without counting dessert (we use paper and plastic for that), we use 3 dishes/bowls per get thru the meal. The dishes dont all fit in the I wash what doesnt fit. I used to be able to wash everything left, pots, dishes, goblets, etc...but back begins to hurt after a I switch jobs with someone else and dry them. Not only do I find silverware in pots and bowls..but, there always seems to be a goblet or glass turning up..when I thought I was done with them.

We used to have this in my house...but 3 years ago, had to move it to my daughters house, since she has more room. I still buy all of the food, tho. My daughter has 2 fridges and a we have no problem storing cold things..but, I think she could use another stove and another Last year, we made 2 turkeys. One had to be cooked by my other daughter.

#22: Re: Traditional recipes Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:27 pm
Well, my oven has been broken for the last three months now (but who was BBQ Season) and my husband doesn't think I need a dishwasher (in all fairness, there is no room for one) so if you are offering second stoves and dishwashers feel free to send them my way...

lol lol lol lol

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