Archive for category: New Jersey

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Scordo Thanksgiving Food Tradition My immediate family immigrated from Italy in the early 1970′s and immediately adopted the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  My parents, who lived with my grandparents, tell me the first Scordo Thanksgiving meal featured a whole turkey, mashed potatoes, and something akin to sausage stuffing.  Of course, the meal included other “essential” best Thanksgiving side dishes such as [...]

Early Summer Vegetables: Chard, Arugula, Zucchini, Parsley

Early Summer Vegetables: Chard, Arugula, Zucchini, Parsley

With our parents in Italy for the summer we’ve been benefiting from their small, yet abundant, New Jersey garden and thus far have collected many early summer vegetables:  chard, arugula, zucchini, parsley, basil, mint, and zucchini flowers.  The chard and arugula make excellent fresh salads and we combine the zuchhini and zucchini flowers to make sublime frittelle di fiore di [...]

Salad Pizza – Arugula and Margherita

Salad Pizza – Arugula and Margherita

(photo: homemade pizza with arugula salad <including red onion>) Growing up in the suburbs just outside of New York City our neighborhood had its fair share of pizza joints, including Vincent’s Pizzeria, Sal’s Classic, First Pizza Pan, Godfather II Pizzeria, Euro’s Pizzeria, Villa Rosa Pizzeria, etc.  All of the pizzeria’s mentioned made pizza in the NY fashion, that is to [...]

Linguine Fine with Zucchini and Red Onion (Linguine con Zucchine e Cipolla Rossa)

Linguine Fine with Zucchini and Red Onion (Linguine con Zucchine e Cipolla Rossa)

  (photo: linguine fine with zucchini and red onion) It’s only fitting that after posting about cucina povera that our part of northern New Jersey is hit with yet another apocalyptic event; namely, a freakish snow storm in October causing hundreds of tree limbs to crumble under the weight of several inches of heavy precipitation.  Our small New Jersey town saw roofs collapsing, cars [...]

Photos From An Italian Garden in America, Part II

Photos From An Italian Garden in America, Part II

(photo: basil, parsley, and Japanese eggplant from our Italian garden in New Jersey) Back in August of last year we posted some photos of our Italian American garden and we thought we’d share an updated series of photos from our current garden.  We recently harvested Japanese eggplant, flat green beans, basil, parsley, arugula, and chili peppers.     With the basil [...]

An Italian Kid and His Fig Tree

An Italian Kid and His Fig Tree

Growing Figs We recently put up a quick  survey on our Facebook fan page and asked readers if they own a fig tree and we had well over 30 readers respond positively!  The survey not only put a smile on my face but also re-assured me I wasn’t the only child who grew up with live Mediterranean fruit in their [...]

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 [...]

Zeppole Recipe

Zeppole Recipe

Zeppole Recipe The word zeppoli is Italian dialect for zeppola (the plural is zeppole).  Zeppoli are deep fried dough balls or fritters that can be made savory or sweet and are often made on Saint Joseph Day in various parts of Italy (made specifically as as sfinge or a cake on March 19th). Our family, which hails from Calabria, prepares zeppoli [...]

Italian Children’s Book: ABC Italiano and Learning Italian

Italian Children’s Book: ABC Italiano and Learning Italian

My first experience with the Italian language was in utero and I suspect I overheard a conversation between my mother and grandmother in relation to food (something along the the lines, “cosa stai facendo per la cena?” or what are you making for dinner?).  Post birth, I didn’t aquire English until I was five or so; legend has it that [...]

Recipe: Rosemary Chicken

Recipe: Rosemary Chicken

Here’s a simple chicken dish that I learned from my childhood next door neighbor Amelia who was originally from Genoa, Italy.  My mother prepared this dish at least once a weak during the winter months (my sister and I would jump with joy when we saw this dish at the dinner table).  Amelia had her own rosemary bush in her [...]