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October, 2010
 CookiesItalian.com

NEWSLETTER 

Remember to Ask Before You Act

Hi everyone. Well it’s October once again and the days are getting cooler here in the Midwest. So it's time once again to come inside from the garden and write some longer newsletters for you.

This month I've been thinking about being helpful and trying to do something good for another person. But sometimes what we think is good for the person turnes out to be not so good.

Several years ago I had a big goldfish in my 55 gallon aquarium. Edgar was about 9 inches long and pretty big for that tank. So one summer day I thought I would do him a favor. I thought he might enjoy spending the rest of the summer out in one of the duck ponds. I knew the ducks would not bother him, so I put him out in the pond.

One thing I forgot about was the raccoons. And sure enough that night Edgar was supper for a raccoon. That incident taught me a lesson. Before you do something that you think is good for a person, ask them first. Check it out and be sure that the person you are trying to help really wants that kind of help.

Here is another example. My mother was in a wheelchair and sometimes one of her friends would come over and clean out the refrigerator for her. They would organize it their way putting some things in the back of the bottom shelf. Thinking they were helping mom, they forgot that she could not reach the back of the bottom shelf from her wheelchair. At times it was frustrating for her and she would ask the next person that came for a visit to rearrange the refrigerator for HER convenience.

So before you do something that you think is really nice for another person - or do something you think they need. It might be a good idea to check it out with them first. That way you both will be happy.

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THIS  MONTH'S  COOKIE  RECIPE 

Citrus Biscotti

Biscotti means “twice baked,” a cooking method that results in the firm, crunchy cookies that have recently become more wildly popular here in America. These cookies were eaten by sailors back in Columbus's day because they last for a long time without going bad. They're great for dunking in coffee or tea.

Makes three dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

three large eggs

1 tablespoon grated orange zest from about one orange

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from about two lemons

1/2 cup coarsely chopped shelled pistachios

 

Preheat the oven to three 325°.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale yellow and fluffy, about three minutes.
Mix in the orange and lemon zest, then the flour mixture, and beat just until blended; The dough will be soft and sticky.
Stir in the pistachios.
Let stand for five minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, forming two equal mounds spaced evenly apart.
Moisten your hands with water and shape the dough into two 11 x 4" logs.
Bake until the logs are lightly browned, about 35 minutes.
Cool for five minutes.
Use a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices.
Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet, and bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 25 minutes.
Let cool before serving

DID YOU KNOW?
Name Days are Celebrated in Italy

Buon onomastico! (Happy Name Day) can be heard on a person's name day whether the name is Giuseppe, Lucia, Francesco, Antonio, Gennaro, Annunziata, Martino, Immaculata, or Carmela. Children are often named after a saint. A person’s name day is the feast day of the saint after whom he or she is named. The name day may be of particular importance in a family who has received a favor from a saint and promised to name a child after the saint as a thank you.

Names are often changed to diminutive forms as terms of endearment. For example, Giuseppe is appropriate for a 20 year old man. And, while Peppino is fitting for a teenager (Peppone is usually used for an elderly person). A teenage girl named Maria might be referred to as Mariella, Mariuccia, or Marietta.

Names are also combined, such as Pierluigi, Giancarlo, Rosamaria. Of late, Italians have developed a flair for new names: Katiushi, Walter, Mike. This phenomenon is largely due to the cultural exchanges provided by the media and by the return of Italians from other countries to their native land.

 

Till next time - have happy days.
Thanks much for your interest in Italian cookies and Italian traditions.
Come visit us soon or send a note. http://www.cookiesitalian.com 

Arrivederci  -  Dio ti benedica

Rev. Fr. Mike

 

Copyright © 2010 Rev. Michael Librandi