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Cookbooks, Cookbooks in Context, Il Cucchiao d'Argento, Italy, Timeless Recipes

Why One Italian Cookbook Only Uses Butter


Let me take you on a journey through Italy’s olive groves. 

We’ll start beyond the boot, across the strait of Mesina in Sicily. You’ll step sweating out of a broken-down dilapidated car and follow an old man in a newspaper boy’s cap up a dirt road. He’ll tell you in a dialect that seems more Arabic than Italian that here olives are grown up to 700-800m above sea level and this year alone they have grown olives on 160,000 ha.

You’ll look at the stout twisted porous trunks and the patches of yellow grass surrounded by dirt and wonder at the wealth of olives weighing down the branches to near breaking point. You’ll fix the car and continue. Across the strait in Calabria the rolling hills and huge olive groves continue. 

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Italy, Timeless Recipes

Why you should cook + Lemon Risotto


Some days aren’t yours. From day in to day out, nothing is yours. Your monitor’s glare seems to complement the words that run through your head all day. “You idiot. You jerk. You followed your dreams and where has it left you? Poor, unhappy and extremely aware of how bleak your future is in comparison to the 20 or 21-year-old faces that see you only as an e-mail address or as a means to get what they want.” Continue Reading

Il Talismano della Felicita, Italy, Translation Notes

Direct Translation: Chicken Liver Spread


For six people, take three or four chicken livers and carefully remove the gall bladder with a paring knife, remove the pieces of liver that will be found in the intestines. Start cutting these livers and chop them until they have been reduced to pulp. Also chop a big bunch of flat-leaf parsley and cook each ingredient in a pan with a little butter. As soon as the livers are cooked – something that should happen almost immediately- add two pieces of washed garlic with the knife blade. Season with a pinch of pepper (salt isn’t necessary because of the garlic) and sprinkle 1/2 a tablespoon of flour over the mixture, soak with one or two tablespoons of broth or water, Continue Reading

Cultural Musings, Italy

Cultural Notes #2: Why cashmere is worth the price

noun_82222_cc“You have too many clothes” the boy said as I tried on my 10th outfit for our date. “I want to look good for you” I said, rather pathetically. It took six more tries before I found something that satisfied  me. Later, I began pulling out clothes from his closet. Four items of clothing had been bought in the last year; I had bought them all. In my own closet, 5% of my wardrobe is more than a year old; nothing is more than five years old.

Why is it that I cycle through my wardrobe so quickly? What is it that allows me to throw away so many clothes so frivolously? Could it perhaps be jealousy, a desire to be someone that I am not? What inspired you to buy the last piece of clothing that you bought? If you’re anything like me, someone probably caught your eye and made you want to look as good as they did.

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Il Talismano della Felicita, Italy

Recipe #3: Chicken Liver Spread


What do you do when you have been at work for 12 hours straight, have promised your boyfriend dinner, and you have nothing in the house but chicken liver from the bolognese sauce you made last week? Why make chicken liver spread of course! I think this dish might go down as one of my biggest failures on this blog. What with the amount of pictures that were taken and how many hours were spent trying to figure what exactly what “trace verdestra” and “ridurli in poltiglia” mean, I think we ate at 11PM. But when you first start a blog it’s as much about the failures as it is the feats so posted it will be! Here is the recipe for my rather failed chicken liver:


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