Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Italian Job

Growing up, two of my really good friends were second generation Italian American. I got very used to the wonderful sauces and lovely Italian influenced gardens of their homes. I got used to being affectionately called a 'mick' whenever I went to their house. If I had to endure the gentle teasing to be able to taste their cuisine, then so be it.

Naturally, I have an affinity for Italian food. Anytime, anywhere.

So it seemed natural that when the 2G's Mama arrived today with over ten pounds of tomatoes from their garden, that I would plan on having homemade spaghetti sauce for supper! The 2G's mama is very half Italian with a half of Irish but when I look at her, I see the dominant Italian coming out. I see it in Grant as well....

Several years ago, the 2G's mama asked me if I had a pizzelles press. Of course I did! If it is unusual in the kitchen, I have it....I have four spring form pans, a crepe maker, an odd assortment of layer cake pans and many molds. That's another part of Mama's Collection...All things old, odd and cool. It turns out the pizzelle maker was purchased from a garage sale from a now mutual friend of ours, Michele. How odd is that? I knew that Grant would love digging into the process and it was a great deal of flurry that he drug his chair into the kitchen to help Nana make cookies. He helps his mama a lot in the kitchen, so he knew his tablespoons from his teaspoons and was enamored with my red handled flour sifter. He looked dubiously at the finished product but obediently took a bite of the luscious concoction.

I have no idea how many pizzelles we actually made since Grant and I kept up with the maker pretty good. I would take the rough edges off so he could have a pristine cookie; amazing how rugged those cookies became! Oh what fun it all was!

Whatever your ethnic inclination, you must find a pizzelle iron and indulge yourself...
Here's the recipe we used....

(from allrecipes online by Marianne Jungels)

Pizzelles III

3 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tbls vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

in a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.

Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20-45 seconds or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

For chocolate pizzelles, add 1/4 cup cocoa sifted together with flour and aking powder, 1/4 cup more sugar and 1/4 tsp more baking powder. You might need more oil on the iron for the chocolate variety.

Tomorrow, the recipe for Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce!

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