Post #45 Saturday, February 27th, 2021
Jackie and her family say “gravy.” My family always called it “sauce.” I’ve told Jackie that people in Italy call it sauce, but to tell you the truth, I don’t care what we call it…as long as it tastes good! Italian food is is my favorite, especially if I had to choose. I also like cooking it. Today I spent a few hours getting ready for a meal I’m making for Sunday dinner. So far, I’ve cooked some chicken, steak, sausage and mixed up some Sicilian meatballs with golden raisins and toasted Pinoli nuts. ( This is the first time I’ve tried this style… hope it tastes good, as we’re having company!)
Tonight I sliced some partially frozen eye round nice and thin, pounded it even thinner, and chopped parsley and diced garlic, added the Romano cheese for my filling, and put it in the fridge. In the morning, I’ll stuff and roll the beef, tie it up, brown it in the frying pan, and drop the bracciole in the sauce. Our home will smell delicious!
I used to start my sauce with chicken wings. That’s how my mother did it. But she explained that my aunt used pepperoni and my grandmother started with something else …that basically everyone creates their own recipe. I like experimenting! Last year I discovered muffuletta. It adds a little “kick!” And then, there’s the question of frying the meatballs…or baking them in the oven…or dropping them in your sauce raw! The answer is: try all those ways and see what you like best. In one of my former lives, I asked my mother-in-law the secret of her soft meatballs ( that didn’t fall apart.) She told me:bread, not bread crumbs…(And more than you think…exaggerate.) I cut up the starting -to -get -stale Italian bread before it gets too hard and put it in the freezer, so it’s always on hand.
Are you getting hungry with all this talk of food? I am! I really enjoy the whole cooking experience and sharing my food with family and friends. It’s one of the main ways that I socialize. I think it’s part of my Italian (and Irish) heritage. It’s the way I take care of people and show love. Sometimes when my family gets together, we do the whole braggiole thing. Everyone has a job. Who’s grating cheese? slicing the meat? tieing the rolls? frying the finished product? And then we eat and laugh and tell stories and enjoy each other’s company…and feel lucky!
I think I have to go now and dip a piece of bread into the pot to test my sauce…Ciao for now! Patty ✌️????