This past week-end the parents of an Italian friend of ours invited us to their annual end of summer party. It’s an occasion for the extended family and friends to get together before winter starts and it, of course, revolved around food. But not just any food. Aunts and cousins from the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy came up to prepare the famous gnocco fritto.
Gnocco fritto is a fried dough that is served with cold sliced meats and cheeses. They are absolutely delicious. And addictive. And rich. Imagine eating a piece of fried dough with cheese and pancetta on top? I managed to scoff down a good 4 or 5 but I did see some people who were closer to 20. I’m surprised I didn’t see some of them passed out under the various fruit trees by the end of the afternoon (especially since there were many bottle of Lambrusco consumed as well).
These ladies started preparing the pasta early in the morning and worked straight through to late afternoon frying up pan after pan of these light and crispy gnocco.
My dainty daughters who have miniature sized stomachs managed to eat 1 1/2 gnocco. This is Nico eating his 8th (and they wonder why their little brother who is 2 years younger weighs more than them!).
I took along some mini cupcakes. The Italians thought they were the sweetest looking cakes they’d ever seen. I’m pretty sure only my kids actually ate them though. I saw many of the Italians eating the gnocco fritto with fruit salad on top for dessert. They told me it “cleaned the gnocco out of their system”.
The party took place in a lovely field with fruit trees of every kind. And 6 alpacas staring us from the other side of a fence. I think they were probably thrown at least one gnocco fritto during the party.
The time has come to start the planning, organising and decorating for my twin daughters’ birthday. And this year being the big double digit birthday means they’ll be a lot to celebrate and with a lot of people.
I went into my sewing room with plans to organise laundry and iron. This is what I did instead. Not sure if it’s going to be a pinata (all that work to be bashed to pieces!?) or a decoration to hang from a tree. Now off to organise some surprise activities for the girl’s party this week-end…
My mother catered my grandmother’s 90th birthday party last week and there were these mini cupcakes that were divine (baked by Fred’s Salon Cafe & Gallery in Halifax). There was Chocolate Pomegranate and Salted Caramel (or Apple butterscotch…dang I forget). So delicious.
I think I’ll be giving these recipes a try very soon.
I live in a very small Italian town. I think the latest population count was around 3000. Usually Halloween isn’t celebrated or even known in Italy but in our little village it is the most awaited evening of the year for at least 150 of the 3000 inhabitants. I guess the fact there are a few North Americans living here has helped the adoption of Halloween (fun fact…we are 3 North Americans with twins in this ever so small paese…something in the water?).
Halloween is my opportunity to make all sorts of delicious North American specialties for the locals to try. So far they’ve been very fond of all the new desserts. Cheesecake, cupcakes, pumpkin pies, Hello Dolly squares….it’s possible they all went to bed with a bad case if indigestione.
Black and orange aren’t my favourite colour palattes to work with so I’ve decided to use the colours that inspire me. Plus, we’re in Italy…it’s not like they know Halloween is all about dark and dreary.It’s amazing what kids can do with a few used greasy pizza boxes.