Saturday morning, 9am, I was sleeping and the phone rings. Its Rocco and Mommy. We three- way call all the time. Usually I have no idea what is going on.
"Jen, what are you going to make for Nonna's?" Rocco says. No "hello."
I think to myself, what day is it? It isn't Sunday, is it? I'd been out late the night before.
"Yeah, what are you going to make?"
"I don't know. I just woke up."
"You have this fancy blog, and you make all these fancy things, and you don't know what you are going to make at Nonna's tomorrow?"
At this point I feel cursed for having food obsessed Sicilian blood.
Then Mommy, who is non-Sicilian and the only one with common sense in our family, chimes in, "Leave her alone, Roc, its Saturday morning, she doesn't have to make anything for tomorrow." Thanks, Momma!
There's not much point in me making anything because Nonna, who is 89, runs the Sunday Dinner show. Pasta with red sauce is always on the menu made with fresh tomatoes. Some fried eggplant to top it. Not complaining.
Mommy made her special breaded shrimp with parsley.
There were like 9 other side vegetable dishes, a cauliflower and string bean salad, a lettuce salad, olives, cheese, and loaves and loaves of bread. I focused mainly on sopping up sauce with bread. And then eating a second bowl of pasta.
I made this orange cauliflower I picked up in Union Square. All I did was roast it with salt, pepper and olive oil. Thats it. Rocco could not believe that story.
"Did you fry this cauliflower, Jen G?"
"No, Dad. I roasted it with salt, pepper and olive oil. 450 degrees."
"This is good. Is there garlic in here?"
"No just cauliflower."
"Wait, did you fry this?"
This conversation continued longer than I can write without having a mental freak out.
I also brought a spiced quince brown butter cake. I got the recipe from Zen Can Cook blog. I am really having a hard time getting used to quince. The aroma of quince, or in Sicilian pronouced cutuna (coo-tune-ya), is remarkable. Something went wrong with this cake, but my parents insisted it was delicious and accused me of being falsely modest. It was just not right. Tasty, but not perfect. I think I just added too many quince pieces and it didn't cook evenly so I had to keep it in the oven and it dried out a bit. I am hard on myself, but never modest, gawd fahbid!
I think I need to get back to basics with quince and start out by poaching or baking it. Then I can take on making baked goods out of it.
My brother Mike paid us a visit with his cat Ziggy. Ziggy is obscenely obese and has an extra thumb which makes him more raccoon than cat. He scavenges for food and is known to open cabinets and pull plates of food off the table. My brother had to put a lock on his refrigerator because Ziggy can open it. Ziggy likes to get onto the table. Nonna hates this. She has no problem smacking him to make him get off the table. She's a total animal abuser. There he is, ready to eat a whole loaf of bread. Can you see his "hand" resting on Nonna's cane?