Thursday, April 19, 2007

Italian feasts

When the last season of the Sopranos debuted recently, we celebrated with our usual Italian food & wine feast. Here is the table, waiting for the lasagna and chicken piccata to arrive.

We are so looking forward to having REAL Italian cooking on our vacation. The neighborhood we are staying in, Trastevere in Rome, is supposed to be famous for its wonderful, cheap places to eat. We have gone twice to a newly-opened Sicilian restaurant here in San Rafael, Mezzo Mezzo, and enjoyed it very much. The Sicilian food is more seafood oriented, with an emphasis on sardines. I did not order the macaroni with sardine sauce here, thinking that the ones in Sicily would be much fresher and better. Or am I just postponing it? Sardines just don't sound appetising. But I'll try it!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I made a reservation today for our next car. I have wanted one of these since I first laid eyes upon one in Paris 6 years ago.

Passover Pie

When our friends Lippy and Suz invited us to a passover seder, I immediately started thinking about what I would bring. Traditionally, we provide a 'savory sidedish' - almost always asapargus with balsamic vinegrette - to most passover potlucks, but these days, since I am still trying to become a piemaker, when holidays come up, I first think of pie. However, passover is not really a "pie" holiday. True, the pie does not require yeast or any type of leavening, and none of our friends have kosher requirements that prevent using unblessed flour, but something that bakes for an hour in the oven doesn't really go along with the spirit of the story about food that was packed up in a hurry to escape Egypt.

However, pie is very popular. And really, we were having other food that was slow cooked. So I decided to invent a passover pie recipe. I bought some almond macaroons at the store and crumbled them with some butter and cinnamon. and pressed them into the pie pan. I pre-baked it for about 10 minutes while I cut up the apples. I got some big ugly green apples at the farmers market for 25 cents a pound! I haven't seen prices like that in a long time. I filled two pie shells for $1.50. Traditional apple pie spices, nutmeg & cinnamon, but I used honey instead of sugar. Finally, I made a crumb crust with half almond flour, half cake matzoh meal. I should have used only the almond flour, because using the matzoh meal made the topping less crunchy and brown than I wanted. It looked almost white and didn't brown up like usual crumb topping.

I brought one to each seder we went to, and at the first one, we ate it as charoset, and the second one, it was served as dessert. It was a hit!