Nonna Anna's cook book - Anna Maria Sederino Borra - E-Book

Nonna Anna's cook book E-Book

Anna Maria Sederino Borra

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Beschreibung

A woman and four continents. A woman and her family. A woman and her love of cooking. These but others could be the undertitles of this precious book of memories and recipes. Family and country pictures are as fresh as the recipes that include them. Memories of travels and adventures described with exotic recipes. A particular glimpse of fifty years of life and history, observed with the wondering eyes of a child. Anna Maria Sederino Borra has the gift of simplicity and wonder, this is clear in those pages in wich she speaks, with touching delicacy, of those who are passed away. She wants to tell us, that life is life, good or bad, exciting or sad: life. So, in life, food gives strength and joy, binds men and women, feeds and allows them to get to know each other. In this convivial book, there is as much Mediterranean, as Magna Grecia! So you could say that this “recipe book” (there are  almost all recipes of excellent tradition), contains a message, a teaching, completely involuntary and far more effective: as a recipe made for those you love, such is life.

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Table of Contents

MARCH 18, 1952

CUSTARD WITH LADYFINGERS

MY GRANDMOTHER COSIMA

POTATOES AND MUSSELS CASSEROLE

ARTICHOKES AU GRATIN

BAKED ANCHOVIES

RIO GRANDE

STEWED EGGPLANT

THE LEGENDARY RESCUE

SPAGHETTI WITH GROUPER IN TOMATO SAUCE

1954 – HOLY WEEK

PASTA SHELLS WITH MIXED MEAT SAUCE

LAMB GRASSATINO

THE FARMER PEAS

1955 – THE BIG KEYHOLE SHOW

STUFFED MACARONI

ITALIAN MERINGUE

1956 – THE SUNSTROKE OF AUGUST

FAVA BEANS PUREE

THE MIRACULOUS CATCH

FISH SOUP

I, CLAUDIO AND VITTORIO

THAT WOULD BE THE WORST THING

LINGUINE WITH MUSSELS

FRIED MUSSELS

AUNT FLORA

FOCACCIA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES

AUNT FLORA’S MEATBALLS

1958 – THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODORE

MY BROTHER AND SOCCER

STEWED RAPINI

1963 – TWO HEARTS AND A WINDOW

GRANDMOTHER NORA’S SCHIACCIATINE

APRIL 19, 1965

OCTOBER 17, 1965

WATERMELON FRUIT SALAD

1966 - THE BLUE HANDS

GREEN PEPPERS IN OIL

DECEMBER 23, 1966

STUFFED EGGPLANT

1967 - A BUSY MORNING

CIRCLE COOKIES

ATTILIO’S GREAT ESCAPE

CHICKEN WITH LEMON SAUCE

1968 - THE CHRISTMAS LETTERS

TORTELLINI SOUP

GREEN SAUCE

VEAL WITH TUNA SAUCE

BAKED DRIED FIGS

1969 – THE LITTLE MASKS

CARNIVAL PUFFS

MARINATED FRIED CUTLET ???

SILVIA

WHITE CHICKEN BREASTS

A RACE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM

1971 – SILVIA AND A STRING OF PEARLS

AROMATIC RABBIT

THE FAIR MERCHANT

“LITTLE SWEET PIGS”

FRIED BALLS

FUSILLI WITH TOMATO AND OREGANO SAUCE

BAKED SEA BREAM

THE LUCKY ORECCHIETTE

ORECCHIETTE AND VEAL ROLLS IN TOMATO SAUCE)

ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI

MAY 30, 1973

MOZZARELLA IN A CAB

1974 - THE TOMATO SAUCE

TOMATO SAUCE ingredients

1975 - A GOOD COLLABORATION

EGGPLANT IN OIL

WALNUT LIQUEUR

LEMONSAGE LIQUEUR Ingredients

ONE PARTICULAR SUNDAY

HOME MADE NOODLES WITH MEAT SAUCE

VOICES OF CHRISTMAS

GNOCCHI WITH MUSHROOMS

ROLLED TURKEY ROAST

MY FRIEND RITA

HEART OF CHOCOLATE

1978 - A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE IN MOGADISHU

CRISPY FISH

BANANA CAKE

EXPLOSION OF FRESH FRUIT

THE ROMANS, THE CHAMELEON AND THE PIZZA

SPECIAL WHITE PIZZA

CORRADO’S KNEE

GOULASH WITH PAPPARDELLE Take a pound of lean meat, beef or veal,

TWO TURKEYS ON THE RUN

LASAGNETTE AND EGGPLANT (LASAGNETTE E MELANZANE) Serves 6

BAKED MEAT LOAF

SPECIAL POTATOES

THE TIME ZONE

TRICOLORED LASAGNE

CUTLETS “MY WAY”

FRIED ARTICHOKES (CARCIOFINI FRITTI)

COFFEE CAKE

CHESTNUT BALLS

A MAZURKA IN SINGAPORE

NOODLES WITH PEAS AND TOMATO SAUCE (TAGLIATELLE AL RAGU CON PISELLI)

LA CAPONATA

CARAMELIZED BOMB

ATTILIO ARRIVES AT 7:00 A.M.

RAVIOLI WITH STRACOTTO PIEMONTESE

MUSHROOMS ON THE PLATE

BONNET

THE HURRICANE AND THE GAFFES

SPAGHETTI AMATRICIANA

FRUIT PIZZA

1986 – EASTER IN NEW ORLEANS

MY BAKED POTATOES

POPCORN SHRIMPS

A BASSET HOUND AND A LOT OF CRABS

FISH FILLET IN CRAB SAUCE

CRAB SALAD

CRAB SOUP

PAELLA MY WAY

GIANNI AND THE CHEESE

MIMOSA CAKE

1988 – A HOUSE, A WEDDING, A BAPTISM

VEGETABLE PIE

MULTICOLOR SKEWERS

1991 - A RICKSHAW IN HONG KONG

SHISH KEBAB SHRIMPS

TROPICAL MACEDONIA

COCONUT COOKIES

THE SACRISTY

CHILI SANDWICH

CHEESE TORTILLAS

SHOPPING WITH GABRIELE

LINGUINE THAI

THE YEAR OF THE NEW CENTURY

BRESAOLA ROLLS

ARTICHOKE BALLS

LITTLE ENDIVE BOATS

LASAGNA RADICCHIO

WRAPPED SHRIMP

TURKEY BITES

NEW YEAR’S EVE TRUNK

CHRISTMAS IN DALLAS

SILVIA CRÊPES

A TERRIFIC WIN

GRANDFATHER

PAPRIKE

MACARONI WITH CURRY SAUCE

2006 – AUTUMN

ANNA PAOLA LASAGNA

MY MOTHER

EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA BY NORA

CIAMBOTTO BY NORA

2011 - THE ZAMIOCULCAS AND SENECA

GRATIN RIGATONI WITH WHITE SAUCE

PUMPKIN WALNUT BREAD

“…I wanted to find the right solution to convey in these pages my experiences… I hope it will reach your heart and your kitchen too…”

Anna Maria Sederino Borra

Nonna Anna’s cook book

An italian grandmother life stories in…

100 recipes

Copyright LATORRE EDITORE

www.latorre-editore.it

seconda edizione 2019

ISBN 978-88-98480-12-8

Dedication

to my husband Gianni, to my children Attilio, Silvia and Corrado

To my friend “Silvana” who passed away before I finished translating my book. She was a dear and most treasured friend for most of my life.

Nonna Anna’s cook book

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank my children, Silvia and Corrado that have urged, encouraged and advised me to undertake this adventure, Attilio who encouraged, designed and made the cover, which perfectly reflects the message I have sent in these pages. I thank also my dear friend Gemma Borasi for having enriched the book with her drawings full of personality and originality; Ms. Candace Locke, a very nice American lady and my dear friend, who helped me translate the book for the USA market and finally my dear friend Antonello Alberto Pivetti who helped me in the realization of this project.

PREFACE

When I started writing this book, I wanted to find something special in my memories to tell, because I think each of us is as unique as the experiences everyone has lived and, because I don’t really consider myself ordinary.

I wanted to find the right solution to convey in these pages my experiences, my interests, my tastes and, above all, my emotions.

Of course I know that this book won’t win the Pulitzer Prize, but I hope it will reach your heart and your kitchen too. Everything you’ll read was written on impulse, as it had really happened.

I Know I’ll make you smile, or be sad, but when you’ll try my recipes, I hope you’ll look back at the time I lived and felt my emotions when I prepared the meals.

My husband, Gianni now could say,

“Come on, Anna, don’t be the usual teacher!”

Or, in his ironic and grumpy attitude like Paul Newman (he looked like him a lot), and because he wanted to be involved in everything that was happening in the family, he would have said,

“Well, if you want, I’ll help you remember occasions and people, so you will not make a poor impression.”

And so I decided to write the funniest, strangest, saddest or most embarrassing episodes that I have lived in 69 years of life that occurred at parties, holidays, meetings with friends or moments of everyday life.

I now live with my son Corrado in the countryside around Tortona, a little town not far from Milan, in the north of Italy.

I love my house. I like to talk with Corrado when he comes home from work. I always tell him that he will take care of me in my old age; but he teases me, saying I have so much energy that I can work harder and longer than many people, even younger than he.

My other two children, Attilio, who lives and works in Milan, and Silvia, who lives in the USA, are always in touch with me via phone or e-mail.

This allows us to receive news soon after it occurs and to keep active the fundamental bond that unites us. So here I am, at 69 years with a wealth of experience, ready to write and with my mind full of ideas. I try to focus on facts and names of my childhood, adolescence and adult years.

I still remember episodes and recipes that have been handed down from my mother, and feelings I felt when my mother and my grandmother cooked. They are still inside of me, ready to come out, along with those experienced in various trips I have taken with my family.

We loved to be close to Gianni who was abroad working on construction sites. I, Attilio, Silvia and Corrado used to join him in the summer to spend some beautiful days.

Every day he went to work, but he was always very happy to give his family a nice vacation and the opportunity to know people and places in different countries around the world.

This was important because we were a family of 5, including 3 children who were growing up and going to school.

The stories began in Brindisi, my hometown by the Adriatic Sea, in Puglia, a beautiful region in the south of Italy, and then in Tortona, a little town in Piemonte, a vast region in the north of Italy, where we moved in 1975 and where I still live.

Many others stories have occurred in foreign lands; however, they all reflect reality and represent important moments of my life. I hope to convey to you all the emotions that I have lived.

I was always pleased to have guests for lunch or dinner and I prepared good meals for those occasions. After all, I believe that life is like good meals to share with your family and true friends.

Probably some of the guests do not like all the dishes, but seeing others who, while they are eating, are happy, it gives you much pleasure because, at the end of the meal, everyone will remember what they ate and liked.

So you are happy because you have prepared it!

I love cooking and I always try to experiment with new recipes, it keeps my mind occupied. Therefore, when I’m sad, I bake cakes and biscuits while listening to my favorite classical music, Chopin and Tchaikovsky or watching the police series I like, such as CSI, Criminal Mind and The Black List, all shows with a basic premise to find and catch the bad guy.

Sometimes in the evening when Corrado returns from work, he finds me in the kitchen with two pies and three containers full of cookies, or four loaves of pumpkin walnut bread. He looks at me and says smiling,

“What is it, have you made cakes and biscuits for the whole town, do we have many guests?” Cleaning my hands, full of flour, I answer him,

“Well no, sorry, I was a little sad and I got carried away! How was your day?”

“Good, tiring, but okay, what’s for dinner?”

Thus began a quiet evening with dinner, a little TV and then to bed early, as the day after is a workday.

My brain, however, continues to work on what to do, to be committed and still have some satisfaction. I prefer to have my day busy, that’s why the thought of writing a book was materializing in my mind.

Then, one day when I was at the supermarket, I had bought everything useful for my Christmas dinner, I was in line to pay, and Elena, the lady at the counter that I had known for some years, said,

“Hello Anna, please give me some good tips for New Year Eve’s dinner, since the recipes you gave me for the Confirmation of my daughter, made a great impression!”

So I gave her two or three pieces of advice, while all around, everyone was silent and listening. I paid my groceries, so she thanked me, saying,

“Instead of saying those recipes, you should write a book. Many people impersonate writers of cookbooks, at least you really know how to cook and oh… Merry Christmas!”

I said Merry Christmas to her too, loaded the bags in my car and went back home, thinking about our conversation as I was going back home.

I’d love to write a book, but I didn’t want to write a normal cookbook, I wish I could find something very special to say in a particular way.

The final sprint to make the right decision was during the New Year’s Day lunch. I, Corrado, Attilio and his wife Rosy were at the table having lunch, talking about our commitments for the coming year.

I decided to tell them about mine, they were all excited and talking together. The conversation turned out the idea of telling my life in various episodes linked to all the special recipes my mom and my granny used to cook. We chose the title all together and I felt satisfied thinking about the adventure I was going to start.

I loved this idea very much, I couldn’t wait so, after the holidays, I arranged everything and there I was, ready at the computer trying to remember and write about all of the important moments of my life. Now these thoughts were no longer all crowding my mind. So I wish you good reading, but above all “Buon Appetito”!

MARCH 18, 1952

I was 7 years old and, as usual, I snooped through things, especially those prepared by my grandmother Cosima and her cousin Marina, who was very close to our family. My mother Eleonora was walking up and down the room, much weighed down because another member of the family was going to be born. I hoped it could be a little sister. My little brother Vittorio, three years old, was in the study with my father, Corrado, so I was free to look at baby things. All around there was a good scent of baby powder and soap.

My grandmother kept saying to me,

“Anna, please, go play somewhere else, don’t you see we’re busy!”

But I continued wandering and snooping around, so she said to me,

“Anna, go upstairs to Aunt Flora and ask for some “intrattieni” (it means “entertainment”), I need it. At that time I didn’t know what was it.

When I think about it now, I laugh and I wonder why I didn’t understand the real meaning of that word, I thought it was a thing and not a way to keep me busy and far from my house. Was I perhaps simple or did I trust my relatives a lot? Maybe I was just a 7 years old girl!

Anyway I went upstairs to my nanny Flora, she used to live on the second floor of the building, and knocked on the door. When she opened it, I immediately told her,

“Nanny, grandmother said if you have a little “intrattieni” for me, she needs it because she is helping mom to prepare everything for the new baby.”

“Hello Anna, she said, come in now, I’ll see if I have it, but first do you want to help me make ‘The Custard with Ladyfingers’ that you like so much? After we finish, we will look for the ‘entertainment’ together. “

She whipped the eggs with the sugar, the flour and the milk, then she started mixing the cream with a wooden spoon, always stirring in the same direction and with regular movements. I placed the lady fingers in a plate, wet them in strong coffee and waited for the moment that she poured the cream on them. At the end, I loved to lick what was left in the pot. She put the plate on the table to cool and went into her bedroom, then she came back to the kitchen and said to me,

“Anna, go home now and tell grandma that I don’t have any more ‘entertaining’, I’m sorry, maybe another time.”

Back home, I saw that everything was in order, Aunt Marina and grandmother were in the kitchen talking and my mother continued to pace the room.

She was with a lady, I had never seen before, my grandmother called her the “levatrice”, she was the midwife who, as they walked, spoke to my mother softly and calmly.

That evening I went to bed happy, because I had in my mind the dessert we were going to eat the next day and because I liked being with Aunt Flora. I remember that if someone asked me the classic question,

“Whom do you like best Dad or Mom?”

I replied,

“Aunt Flora!!”

The next morning, barely awake, I rushed to my parents’ room and saw a little something next to my mother with a lot of black hair. It was my sister Francesca.

CUSTARD WITH LADYFINGERS

(AFFOGATO ALLA CREMA PASTICCERA )

Ingredients for 4 cups custard

10 egg yolks

12 T. sugar

10 T. flour

a little grated rind of lemon

4 c. whole milk

30 Lady Fingers

½ c. black strong coffee

a little extra sugar

Beat the egg yolks with sugar until they become soft and frothy, add the flour and continue to work, stirring in the same direction,

(this was my aunt Flora’s tip,

for the best custard),

if the mixture becomes a little hard, soften with a little milk.

Mix until you get a creamy mixture without lumps, add all of the milk little by little to dilute the mixture,

then add the lemon rind.

Put the cream on the stove, on moderate heat,

mix always in the same direction (that you must not change)

until the cream thickens.

Decrease the fire and keep stirring

to make it cook well for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, after you have prepared the lady fingers in an oval dish,

moisten them with coffee,

take off the lemon grind

and cover with the cream,

let cool and refrigerate.

It should be served accompanied by a glass of Port Wine or Lemoncello.

MY GRANDMOTHER COSIMA

The memory I have of my grandmother Cosima is of a strong woman, authoritarian and severe. She was widowed at 39 years by my grandfather Ettore, a captain in the army, who died during a nocturnal patrol in the late ‘30s.

She found herself alone with four children to raise and the only one who could help her was her sister Maria, who was married and childless.

My grandmother was always dressed in black and with V-neck blouses. I don’t ever remember having seen her with a heavy blouse or a wool turtle neck sweater.

But the most obvious thing about my grandmother was the size of her breasts. You cannot imagine how big they were. Just think that Attilio, my two month old son, often felt asleep on them, lulled by her!

She was a woman who took good care of her children and all of her grandchildren; she was a great grandmother, a faithful Catholic woman and a good cook.

She loved the season’s first fruits, which she bought daily at the fruit and vegetable market in Brindisi. She was very fond of our weekly date at the cinema, where she took me often because she loved to see a good film.

It was she who gave me the passion for the cinema, because I was the oldest of her grandchildren, so I often went with her.

Her favorite American actor was Tyrone Power and, among the Italians, she loved Amedeo Nazzari. Among the films seen with her, I remember very well “The Long Gray Line” and “Children of No One”.

Sometimes we saw the movie twice in a row and, back home, Aunt Mary, always complained about the expensive movie ticket or about being left alone home all afternoon. For me and my brothers, especially for my sister Francesca, who lived with her for several years, she was a great grandmother, stern but caring.

She could do many things, embroidery, crochet and she was particularly good in the kitchen because she was a gourmet cook.

Even being diabetic, so she couldn’t eat everything, she did eat the things she liked, saying,

“So what, the doctor does not see me now!”

The things she was very fond of were mushrooms, cod fish and all spicy and hot foods.

Her favorite dishes, which she often cooked for us, were “Potatoes and Mussels Casserole”, “Artichokes with Black Olives”, “Baked Anchovies“, all typical of my home town of Brindisi.

These preparations have been handed down from mother to daughter and finally to me. Among these, I still prepare the potatoes and mussels casserole and the grilled artichokes. I love them both!

After dinner, when I have guests who compliment me for the good meal, I always say that these dishes were the most delicious dishes my grandmother used to prepare. She usually said,

“When you have dinner with family or with loving and sincere friends at the table, you don’t get older”

I still remember all her recipes and her wise teachings.

POTATOES AND MUSSELS CASSEROLE

(TAIEDDA DI PATATE DI COZZE)

Ingredients

Serves 6 people

3 lbs. mussels

4 large potatoes

3 onions

10 cherry tomatoes

¼ c. pecorino cheese

¼ c. parmesan cheese

5T. extra virgin olive oil

½ lb. rice - parboiled - for the variant with rice

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the shells of mussels with steel wool in lightly salted cold water.

Peel the potatoes and the onions and slice both into a bowl.

Add a little salt and pepper, parsley, sliced tomatoes, 2 T. oil, half Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses,

stir and let stand. If you can, open the raw mussels, collect their water,

otherwise you may open them in a pot on the fire, but do not overcook them.

Filter the water of the mussels and eliminate one shell,

put all the mussels in the other shell on the bottom of a baking pan with 3 T. oil,

without leaving spaces between them.

Put some of the mussels’ filtered water in the potatoes and also on the mussels.

If you like to add the rice, put it between the mussels and raw potatoes, 1 handful per person.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the water from the mussels,

adding up to a maximum of 1” from the bottom of the pan,

sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and the parmesan and sprinkle with a little oil.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 370° until the potatoes are cooked and au gratin.

Use the remaining liquid to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry.

Serve not too hot and

Bon appetit!!!

ARTICHOKES AU GRATIN

(CARCIOFI GRATINATI)

Ingredients

Serves 4 persons

4 medium artichokes

3 cloves garlic

chopped parsley

Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses

salt and pepper to taste

breadcrumbs

5 T. olive oil

black pitted Greek olives

fresh lemon juice

Clean the artichokes, remove hard leaves separate the stem, cut into slices about 1” thick and put them in water with fresh lemon juice.

In a bowl combine the cheese, breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and parsley, then mix well. In a rectangular pan with 2 T. oil, arrange the artichokes in layers with the prepared mixture.

Then top with the remaining mixture, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and the black olives as garnish.

Drizzle with oil and bake at 400° until the artichokes will be tasty and very crispy.

BAKED ANCHOVIES

(ALICI RACANATE)

Ingredients

Serves 4

2 lbs. fresh anchovies

½ c. breadcrumbs

½ c. cheese

2 cloves of garlic

Oil oregano

parsley salt and pepper to taste

green pitted olives to decorate

Clean the anchovies, depriving them of the head and tail, open them in half and remove the central spine. Mix the bread, cheese, minced garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.

Take a round baking dish and put a little oil and a bit of the mixture,

place the anchovies in a radial pattern and spread with a little mixture, make another layer and continue until you will finish with the mixture.

Spray with oil and add green olives.

Bake in preheated oven at 380° for about 30-40 min

RIO GRANDE

Sometimes I think back to Rio Grande, to my childhood summers between 1953 and 1960, where we used to go after school finished.

It was a beautiful beach, with a wild valley shoreline in Brindisi, a large bay with white sand, bordered by a rocky promontory overlooking the Adriatic Sea and a big beacon that dominated the coast. There we spent the summertime from June to late September.

My mother had a property from a maternal aunt, a bathhouse named Brento, which she ran with the help of my father Corrado and Uncle Antonuccio. Antonuccio was a great handyman and husband of Aunt Flora, my father’s sister. I remember that, around Easter time, we used to go there to check the condition of the cabins and the large rotunda, which was damaged by the cold, by the winter storms or by the north wind. While my father and uncle were checking everything and deciding what action to take, I, my brother Vittorio and my sister Francesca, used to play on the sand dunes. We loved to run free with the wind whistling through our hair, waiting for the moment of lunch my mother had prepared for that occasion.

From Easter on, we went almost every Sunday to Rio Grande to monitor the restoration work. Before the beginning of the bathing season for me and my siblings, it was a treat to play free without being called by our parents.

In early June, all was ready to welcome swimmers, who have booked a year in advance. We settled into a large cabin my father had built in the back of the cabins. There we spent the whole summer in the utmost freedom.

I remember we spent all day in bathing suits and the only supervision we had was by Maria the lifeguard, a true sentinel, who never lost sight of us, especially when we swam. She was the person in charge of the hot sand bath, a special care very much in vogue in those days, which consisted in lying into a hole, with the whole body covered by hot sand, leaving out the head and staying there for 20 minutes. This treatment was very good for the bones and for all kinds of arthritis.

Maria used to prepare the holes the evening before, as we often ran along playing hide and seek. She arranged it well because everything had to be ready the next day, depending on the bookings of the day. In fact, about noon, when the sun had warmed up the fine sand, she covered the people and put an umbrella over their head and a towel around their neck. The bath took about half an hour and at the end, each person had to go in his own cabin to lower the body temperature before bathing in the sea.

We kids were very intrigued by this ritual, but what interested us most, was that Maria was so busy that we could be free of her supervision, of my mother’s supervision and my father arguments and punishments that he used to give us when we got into some trouble.

I loved the large swing placed in the playground, I used to go on very fast, sometimes I went close to the children lined up waiting their turn, saying to everyone,

“Stay Away! I am the owner’s daughter, now it’s my turn!”

Many mothers often complained and my mother scolded me, but after a few days everything went back as before. I loved the period in which there were many clients, so I had occasions to find fellow playmates.

However, I preferred the month of September, when we had the beach all for ourselves, because it was not very crowded and because often the sea was rough and stormy with large foaming waves. It was a breathtaking sight.

From those years I remember many good dishes which my mother and my grandmother used to cook, but above all I remember very well a plate of vegetables that Maria the lifeguard used to cook and that I really liked “Stewed Eggplant”.

Cooked in that way, they were so good that even I put it in my sandwich.

STEWED EGGPLANT

(MELANZANE AL FUNGHETTO)

Ingredients

Serves 4 people

3 lbs. large eggplant

2 cloves garlic

1 red chili pepper

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt

bay leaf

parsley

Wash and clean the eggplants, cut into cubes (not too small) and put them in a bowl with a little salt.

In a pot with oil, when hot, fry the garlic (whole), then add the eggplant after you have drained the water and salt, gently pat dry with a paper towel.

Let them fry on medium heat with the bay leaf and chili pepper.

If you do not like chili pepper, you can replace it with a pinch of black pepper. Cook them, until the liquid is absorbed, add a handful of chopped parsley.

Serve hot or cold, as you like.

You can also use them with the Farfalle pasta, cooked al dente topped with fresh pecorino. This is an excellent first course.

THE LEGENDARY RESCUE

 

During the years spent in Rio Grande I remember one year in particular, the one about the legendary rescue made by my mother.

In September, there weren’t many swimmers, the work had slowed down and everyone was more relaxed, especially my father.

My mother used to wake up very early because she liked to walk early in the morning along the edge of the waterfront.

Sometimes, after I woke up, I ran to her and, while we were walking on the beach, we talked about many things.

One morning, it was eight o’clock or so, a strong north wind was blowing and the sea was rough with high big foaming waves. There was nobody on the beach and the smell of the surf was very strong.

My mother used to walk along the shore to breathe the air so healthy and full of a strong smell of salt: she loved the sea.

I can still see her with the flared skirt, pink and black, and a black T-shirt with V neck, she looked like the American actress, Ava Gardner, same dark hair, same black eyes walking barefoot on the beach. I loved to walk next to her eating a sandwich.