Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Break Reading - and a milestone

First the milestone - this is my 100th post (cue the confetti and the popping champagne corks), I hope I have many more to come on this blog!

Now to the book - I have not had as much time as I had hoped to read this break, but I finally finished a book last night - The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone.  This is an adult book that explores the mixture of family, food and a yearning to find out where we came from.  The author is a typical American mix of Irish, German and Italian heritage, but she has a pull toward learning more about her Italian immigrant  great-grandparents, more specifically the ravioli recipe that came with them from Italy.  She writes about her quest to find the recipe, from contacting relatives she has not spoken to in years, to traveling to the birthplace of her great-grandparents, Genoa to try and unearth what "could" have been her great grandmothers recipe.  She intertwined family stories of fond memories and of family feuds within the story of her quest to make the perfect ravioli.

This book made me HUNGRY - especially as she describes in detail what she eats in Italy - another reason why I long to eat my way through Italy!  I am not Italian, but even in my Irish American family, food has been central to our lives and I can relate to her wanting to find authenticity in what she is making.  Her descriptions of food and learning to make the food of her ancestors is so detailed, you almost feel how the ravioli dough should feel in your hands.

She provides recipes in the back of the book, and maybe in a different time (where I actually HAD time to cook) I would copy the recipes and try them out, but for now I think I just might have to settle upon finding some true, homemade ravioli in Atlanta (easier said then done).

The author has a great interview on NPR, where you can hear her making the ravioli.  Make sure you listen to the interview again after you read the book, the sounds of the dough slapping on the ravioli board will make sense.

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