Archive for category: How To

Rite of Spring: Bottling Homemade Wine

Rite of Spring: Bottling Homemade Wine

  (photo: don’t be fooled by the Carlo Rossi gallon jugs, the contents are 100 percent homemade wine) As many Italian Americans can attest to making homemade wine is one of the culturally defining moments of our group.  Making and bottling homemade wine is practiced by thousands of immigrants and 1st/2nd/3rd generation Italian Americans in the United States.  The process [...]

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

A Plea to Cook at Home: Fast Italian Food

(photo: cooking at home begins with basic ingredients; olive oil is key) “By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Not a bad result for us — or the planet.” Why Don’t Americans Cook at Home? [...]

Grappa

Grappa

The Culture and History of Grappa Grappa is traditionally made from grape stalks, seeds and stems (essentially the remaining components of the wine making process) and has been around since the Middle Ages.  Grappa was understood very little outside of Italy until after the War when some mass production started to take place.   Like many Italians, my father makes [...]

Canning Tomatoes: Passato di Pomodoro (Puree of Tomato)

Canning Tomatoes: Passato di Pomodoro (Puree of Tomato)

August is prime season for canning tomatoes and this year’s Jersey plum tomatoes are outstanding!  The Scordo family purchased about five bushels of locally grown plum tomatoes and canned only passato (passato is essentially pureed tomato, in the past we canned a combination of passato and whole tomatoes).  As the site e-rcps.com points out: Tomatoes are usually preserved in three [...]

8 Tips to Make Great Pasta at Home

8 Tips to Make Great Pasta at Home

Growing up in 1980′s Northern NJ on a densely packed block full of immigrant families (mostly from Italy via Calabria) both Thursday and Sunday were special days.  That is to say, for many of the Italian families in our neighborhood (hailing from Pellegrina, Bagnara Calabra, Grimoldo, and Ceramida) Thursday and Sunday were designated as pasta days ; hence our 8 Tips to Make Great Pasta [...]

How to Negotiate With Contractors Before and During a Home Improvement Project: 12 Tips

How to Negotiate With Contractors Before and During a Home Improvement Project: 12 Tips

Like many first generation college grads, I come from a long line of blue collar workers (though I don’t like the “blue color” phrase as, in my experience, many old world “blue collar workers” are as capable and technical as the average college grad here in the US).  My father, for example, was trained as an electrician, but has a [...]

Cleaning and Polishing Granite and Stainless Steel

Cleaning and Polishing Granite and Stainless Steel

Back in February I wrote a short article on how to clean your kitchen and touched on hot topics such as floor washing, stainless steel polishing, and granite cleaning (I’m sure you’re thinking: riveting subjects!).  On the topic of cleaning granite, I suggested folks use a white vinegar/water solution to clean their granite, but I’d like to now officially retract [...]

Cheap and Easy DIY Tips to Clean Your Home

Cheap and Easy DIY Tips to Clean Your Home

(The following is a guest post from Adrienne Carlson; who regularly writes on the topic of criminal justice.  See Adrienne’s related article on DIY ways to protect your home.) Your home is probably the greatest asset you own, and when you let it run to ruin you are wasting your money in the worst way possible. A home that is [...]

How To Find, Cook, and Identify Wild Mushrooms

How To Find, Cook, and Identify Wild Mushrooms

As I’ve suggested in a recent post, I’m a dyed in the wool country man, but I live a few minutes outside of the largest city in the US!  You must be thinking: how paradoxical that this guy loves nature yet lives so close to a major urban area?  Well the truth of the matter is I value the rural [...]

How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter: 5 Tips

How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter: 5 Tips

We’ve had a cold and wet summer in the Northeast this year, so I’m not sure what the Fall and Winter seasons will bring us in terms of temperature, snow, wind, and rain.  However, I do know that a good looking garden (including grass, shrubs, and flowers) starts as soon as everything begins to die or go dormant.  Here are [...]