Thoughts on Grandma over a glass of El Coto Rioja, 2006, made from those luscious tempranillo grapes that Lisa was talking about.
I made stuffed artichokes for dinner last night, and could not help but think about Grandma Cichello. If you grew up in an Italian home, you know that life centers around the kitchen, and holidays are all about what is served at the table. Grandma Cichello was the most amazing cook in the world. She could make left overs into an appetizer, a main meal, a dessert or all of the above. Her stuffed artichokes would make a believer out of anyone.
Grandma would have been just fine on Hell’s Kitchen, too. She tasted as she cooked, adjusting seasonings along the way. And she would have had a thing or two to say to Gordon Ramsey. Not one to mince words.
To describe Grandma as “corpulent” would be a bit of an understatement. But she used that extra girth to give the warmest hugs imaginable. She would fold you in, smelling of flour or tomato sauce that had been cooking all day, or freshly fried meatballs. And she never had favorites, or if she did, we never knew. There were equal hugs for all.
When Grandma died, the one thing I took from her home was her salt container. You have to reach in and grab the salt with your fingertips. Every time I put salt in food that I am cooking, I hope that a piece of Grandma ends up in the meal.
So after I prepared my artichokes last night, I realized I had forgotten to mix in some minced garlic! WWGD? Argh! Well, Grandma would never forget the garlic. I sprinkled on some garlic powder, a miserable substitute. Then I read Lisa’s blog entry.
Note to self: next batch of stuffed artichokes – remember the minced garlic, and how about some minced jamon? Yum!