Archive for category: Happiness

United States Food Culture, Food Reductionism, and the Evil Chris Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen

United States Food Culture, Food Reductionism, and the Evil Chris Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen

How I Learned to Cook Italian Food and Creative Cooking Like most Italians I learned to cook by watching my mother and grandmother prepare food in their home kitchens. And both woman cooked dishes that were driven by what their mothers cooked at home (and, if I had to guess, this tradition of learning how to cook at home goes [...]

Antipasto Ideas and Why We Cook and Blog: Eggplant and Ricotta Bruschetta, Olives, Salumi, Cheese, and Pickled Mushrooms

Antipasto Ideas and Why We Cook and Blog: Eggplant and Ricotta Bruschetta, Olives, Salumi, Cheese, and Pickled Mushrooms

Cook to Blog or Cook to Live and Enjoy Life? When we cook and have friends and family over the last thing we want to do is document the process (and take photos).   This may sound sacrilegious coming from a food blogger, but it’s the truth.  For us, preparing and consuming food is not about pictures and words but rather about eating [...]

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

  (photo: examples of simple Italian food: lentil soup, fennel and cucumber salad, and flounder with breadcrumb topping) We’re at a food crossroads in America and anyone who takes food seriously in the United States should consider themselves lucky to be living in today’s culinary world.  The food universe landscape in the United States is moving from the ultra bland [...]

The Gracious Gourmet Spreads and Tapenades

The Gracious Gourmet Spreads and Tapenades

Over the last few years there’s been renewed interest on the topic of what makes people happy (or happiness studies).  ”Renewed” is probably the wrong word since humans have been chasing fulfillment and happiness since we picked up traits such as language, consciousness, and the need to write things down and keep records.  The interest in happiness I’m talking about [...]

Past, Present, and Future: An Italian Perspective on Time and “the Old”

Past, Present, and Future: An Italian Perspective on Time and “the Old”

(photo: an old door in Pellegrina, Italy)   There’s a certain comfort in all things deemed old: Old homes, old devices, old parts, old countries, old texts, old people, old trees, old clothes, old friends, etc.  The old can be defined as something not made or experienced recently and having a history (or story) or emotive quality.  An old friend [...]

Returning From Vacation in Calabria: Italian Living as Art

Returning From Vacation in Calabria: Italian Living as Art

Driving on the A3 autostrada from the Reggio Calabria airport to the village of Pellegrina (a tiny Comune di Bagnara Calabra) my mood changes instantly.  I’m greeted by a penetrating sun, flowing sea breezes, and intoxicating smells of earth.  The greeting has come courtesy of Calabria, the terra of my parents and the very foundation of my soul. Yes, I’ve been [...]

The Wheat Harvest and Memory: Returning to Calabria

The Wheat Harvest and Memory: Returning to Calabria

(photo: the “wheat harvest”; taken in Calabria and including Latella and Scordo family members) The above photo is a favorite from my mother’s collection and was taken on the Latella family wheat field in southwestern Calabria (just outside of Bagnara) during the late summer harvest, most likely in the late 1950′s / early 1960′s.  The photo includes my Grandfather (Vincenzo Scordo), [...]

What Makes You Happy: The Environment, Feeling Good, and an Italian Photographer

What Makes You Happy: The Environment, Feeling Good, and an Italian Photographer

(photo: by Piero Morello. getting confirmation on the body of water, but I believe it’s the Stretto di Messina) One of the most satisfying moments associated with the warm weather months is the immense existential euphoria or perception of sun (temperature and sight), wind (hearing and touch), and scent (smell).   Take today, for example, it’s 83°F and sunny in the northeastern [...]

The Environment and the Italian Life

The Environment and the Italian Life

(photo: beach in Calabria, by Piero Morello)   I remember the first time I visited my then girlfriend at her college campus in the state of Indiana and the thought of my lovely sweetheart in all of her collegiate glory is still vivid in my mind’s eye.  However, I also remember the vast flatness of northern Indiana (specifically, South Bend). [...]

An Italian American Easter and Happiness

An Italian American Easter and Happiness

(photos: discovered on a town street during an Easter walk with our son) One of the cocktail party fun facts I often recite is that the burgeoning field of “happiness studies” correlates life satisfaction via a few simple items, including friendship, travelling, social outings (including participating in sport), and time spent with family.  Of course, some of the non-correlative items are large [...]