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Showing posts from April, 2017

Cucina Conversations: Taralli all'Uovo

I recall reading the words of Laurie Colwin that have resonated with me and in turn influenced this post. She wrote, ‘No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers'.  I have been recipe testing these taralli in the last month from a hand written list of ingredients with vague quantities and an incomplete list of instructions to follow; a recipe belonging to my late mother in law, not written by her but by a friend whilst learning to make them. Those who have been reading my blog know that documenting and preserving our family recipes has been my aim from the onset of this blog. I hope that these recipes will also inspire the next generation to create their own versions of dishes, and to add their own flavour and style. It is therefore a cook who has now past - my mother in law whose recipe I have chosen to draw from and the advice an…

Wild Harvest: Marmellata di Fichi d'India (Prickly Pear Jam)

Although not a fruit grown in my parent’s current back yard, it is one that I recall in the back garden of our Victorian single fronted home in Melbourne. The distinctive cultural contrast was evident through the homes facades and what was growing in the back. Whether it was a fig, olive, or nespole tree or a prickly pear cactus, I am certain we weren't the only Italian family in the street with these unusual fruits growing in our front or back yards. Who would think that this ugly, spiky fruit from an invasive succulent plant known by its scientific name as opuntia vulgaris mill or in Italian ficho d'india, would eventually be seen and sold at markets and in fruit shops today.
Once considered a pest in Australia, it is now promoted for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties; treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and even hangovers. It is said to be high in amino acids, fiber, B vitamin, magnesium , and iron.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the first …