Growing Photography Skills at the Farm

I had the wonderful opportunity recently to visit Plan B Organic Farms in Hamilton.  I was there not to farm but rather, to take part in a photography workshop. A farmhouse kitchen might seem like an unlikely classroom setting but in the words of Elliot Erwitt “Photography is an art of observation…it has little to…

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Nonna Carmela’s Melangiani Chini

Melangiani chini, dialect for a southern Italian staple, stuffed eggplants. I have eaten countless numbers of these growing up and the mere smell of these vegetable delights turning golden brown in a frying pan conjures up wonderful memories of unforgettable moments. I don’t know of any Calabrese woman, nonna or otherwise, who doesn’t have this…

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Pasties for St. Paddy’s

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said “there is no sincerer love, than the love of food”.  His famous words could very well be my personal slogan for I am truly consumed with a passion for food that encompasses a global spectrum. While my truest fondness will always be Italian food, I do enjoy taking…

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Chiaccherie: What’s all the chatter about?

Carnevale, a time of celebration and indulgence, where masquerades and merriment take precedence and when the expression “fare due chiaccherie” takes on a whole new meaning. Many holidays in Italy are usually accompanied by culinary tradition, and Carnevale is no exception.  During this mardi gras period in the peninsula, delightful sweet, crispy strips known as…

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Must-Have Mastazzoli

If you’ve ever visited a fair or festival in Italy you have likely seen city squares crowded with banchini (booths) with vendors selling their wares or religious articles, souvenirs and regional fare.  Among them you will typically find mastazzolari selling celebratory confections known as mastazzoli (image from www.italyspecials.com) Mastazzoli, typical of Soriano Calabro (a town…

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Panettone Panini with Bauli Canada

Panettone, a classic confection of the Christmas season.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the sweet loaf, it is an Italian festive staple.  Hailing from the northern city of Milan, its name Panettone translates to “big bread”.  It is made of dough similar to sourdough that traditionally gets sweetened with candied orange peel, and…

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The Making of Marrons Glacés

Chestnuts rank highly among my favorite fall foods.  Their woodsy scent and earthy flavor immediately not only warm my taste buds, but my heart as well.  I have many fond memories associated with chestnuts, from taking in the wonders of Piazza Duomo with a warm little bag in my hands; to enjoying sweet chestnut cream…

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Preserving Memories is my Jam

To paraphrase the late Julia Child, people who love to eat and cook are always the best people.  More and more I find this to be true with some of the wonderful people I have made connections and formed bonds with.  This is particularly true in the case of my friend Joanna Sable. Hard to…

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