Buon Compleanno a Me!

” It’s my birthday, I can eat the real whipped cream icing before anyone dare get near this cake!
Zia Giuseppina regales me with tales of yore. She speaks the village dialect so understanding everything is a challenge but great fun.

Happy Birthday to Me!  The family rallied to create the perfect birthday party for me.  What made it perfect?  Great food!  Great conversation – that I only understood 40% of! Great tales of yesterday.  Great hopes for tomorrow.

Primo Piatto – Annarita and Carmela’s “to die for” ravioli. Recipe will be up soon – think fresh, natural and yummy.

Primo piatto was ravioli that was so “sono buoni” that I want to take Annarita and Carmela back to the United States with me to just feed me the ravioli.  I’m going to create a special section to post Carmela’s recipes – they are all a touch of this and a toss of tantalizing!

Lamb cooked in just a wee bit of the hard stuff – mouth waters thinking about it.

Secondo Piatto?  Why it could be nothing less than my absolute favorite meat – roasted lamb.  Jack absolutely hates lamb but tasted Carmela’s and asked for seconds.  She added a secret ingredient – booze!

Carmela sautéed some “from the market onions” in olive oil from husband Mario’s trees, tossed in some salt and a little water. The fave disappeared in minutes.

Yes, we had a vegetable too.  Right now fava beans are in season and incredibly plentiful at the market.  But who needs to go to the market – so many people grow fava beans that they give away baskets full.  Think tons of zucchini in the summer finding its way from your neighbors garden to your back porch. I must admit, I never had fresh fava beans before – only dried.  Since Zia Vittoria gives me a basket every few days, I too have been experimenting with how to cook them.  (I made a fantastic batch the other day with apple, cinnamon, onions, red pepper and – well I don’t remember – I just threw in what ever was handy.)

Diets be damned.  How can anyone say no to a vanilla cake with layers of real whipped cream, nuts, chocolate and bits of heaven.  My family in the states is full of artistic types and it never ceases to amaze me to discover that our family in Italy has the same artistic characteristics.  As Zia Giuseppina is constantly saying to me – “we are of the same blood.”

This New York Bakery worthy cake was created by Rossella and Giusy – under Carmela’s watchful eye of course! (Rats – I had to share.)
Quanti anni hai! Non lo so – there are too many years to remember!
I thank each and every one of you for a perfect day.

You know, today is my special day.  I am just going to eat, drink and then go to the piazza and do it again.  So long – see you domani.

12 thoughts on “Buon Compleanno a Me!

  1. I’m a huge fan of fresh Fava Beans. In fact, I was inspired by your mention of pasta and fava beans to create my own version for dinner last weekend. Delicious Orchards usually has fava beans in the spring and I’m hoping the farmer’s market will have some eventually. It’s a well known fact that there are no calories in birthday dinners.


  2. GAH!! I shucked and ate the raw fava beans with Carmela and Zia Giuseppina when I was there too! I hope your day was nothing short of magical! Happy Birthday to the best Auntie a girl could ask for! xoxo


  3. Buon Compleanno a yo! and would love taste that yummy looking cake! plus the Rav recipe, what a meal! Beautiful photos.


  4. Diets be Damned! What a GREAT book title! Booze makes anything better. Glad you had a great birthday!!!


    1. Jonathan – your are absolutely right “Diets Be Damned” is a great title! While I’m here I want to work on a memoir about finding my family and that could be the perfect food road in. This morning I was up at 6:00 A.M., did yesterday’s laundry by hand, put on the caffé, sat down and checked the blog and now I will cut a huge slice of the fabulous artisan bread and slather it with fresh ricotta – “Diets Be Damned”!


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