Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Let's Talk Italian even if I'm Irish-German

I think everyone feels they are Irish on St. Patrick's Day as they enjoy all the festivities that go with that special day.  So to I believe that everyone feels Italian as they devour the pizza, the pasta and all the other Italian foods set before them.  The people making Italian meals to their own deviations and tastes believe that what they make is as Italian as if it were being made somewhere in Italy.

Well this week I hope to give you some useful information on Italian foods.  I will also have two recipes that are out of the normal for home cooks.

I'm going to start this week by telling a story from my college days.  I believe it relates to everyone loving Italian food and having their own special Italian recipes.

Thanksgiving weekend my freshman year at school saw two follow students come visit our home.  We lived only 100 miles from school and both of them lived much further and were not able to go home for the holiday.  They came on that Friday and got to our house just in time for dinner.

My mother had made spaghetti and meatballs in a marinara sauce (both the meatballs and sauce were homemade) because there would be 10 of us around the table that night.  I hadn't told her anything about the young men coming to dinner.  Just that they lived far away and would be hungry college students looking for a home cooked meal.

When they arrived, I introduced them to my mother.  Their names were Mike Caruso and John Alioto, a couple of full blooded Italians.  My mother almost had a cow.  She was a little upset with me for not telling her that my friends were Italian.  I, of course, was not concerned because my mother made terrific spaghetti and meatballs in homemade marinara sauce.

She quickly told the boys that this was GERMAN spaghetti and meatballs as she was a full-blooded German with an Irish husband.  We all had a good laugh about it and each of them had three helpings of the food.  They told my mom that her spaghetti and meatballs was just as good as any they had ever had back home.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all can cook Italian and be proud of our results.  Look for a few Italian recipes of dishes you like or want to try some day and master them for your family and guests.

Tomorrow I'll talk about foods that are unique or special to Italians.  Many you can't find in your normal grocery store.  But I think that is part of the fun of going to an Italian grocery store or deli.  Just to remind you  I love Tenuta's in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  In fact, with our move to Rochester we are about 4 hours closer.  There may have to be a visit coming up.

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