May 25, 2008 Newsletter

May 25, 2008  NEWSLETTER

A friend of mine just completed writing a book on Christian Leadership. In his book Owen talks about the leadership role of parents. I found the following in the copy he gave me for review. With just a few minor changes, I thought it would be a good meditation for Father’s Day. Here’s the copy with the changes I made for this newsletter.

A Dad’s Power to Shape Lives         
When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you hang my first painting on your office wall
, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you bake my favorite cookies for me, and I learned that little things can be the special things in life.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you take a meal to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you give of your time and money, to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I learned most of life's lessons, that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
          When you thought I wasn't looking ... I looked at you and wanted to say,“Thanks for all the things you showed me when you thought I wasn't looking.” 

FATHER’S DAY COOKIE SPECIAL Father's Day Cookie Assortment

A nice two dozen gift assortment for dad. This assortment includes our new Italian wine ring cookies, the favorite hazelnut chocolate chip cookies, rum balls and the crisp anise-almond biscotti. Your order needs to be in no later than June 7th and will be shipped the week of June 9th  in order to arrive by Father’s Day. $22.50 plus shipping.  For more info and to order CLICK HERE


Last week Laurine and Bill’s youngest daughter graduated with honors from college. To celebrate this happy family event they baked cookies with Karen’s graduation photo on them.  These were a great hit with the guests. The little kids were a bit confused at first - - “Can we really eat Aunt Karen’s picture?”A few of the guests have already ordered photo cookies for their upcoming big events. In a few weeks I’ll give you all the details and some photos. Imagine the possibilities – weddings, birthdays, baptisms, engagement parties, business meetings (your latest product on a cookie), even your pet can have her/his picture on a cookie! And they are very good to eat – Yum!


Pignoli Biscotti (Pine Nut Biscotti)
Since I like pine nuts and lemon and I like dunking biscotti in strong coffee, I really like these cookies. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

2/3  cup pine nuts
2  cups all-purpose flour
¼  cup yellow cornmeal
¾  cup sugar
1 ½   teaspoons baking powder
¼  teaspoon salt
3  large eggs
2  tablespoons lemon juice
2  tablespoons grated lemon zest
1  egg white – lightly beaten

- preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
- line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- toast the pine nuts in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes (put them on a pie pan) – remove and let cool
- in electric mixer bowl (use the paddle) mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt
- add eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and beat on low speed until it’s all combined
- by hand fold in the pine nuts
- remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly
- divide the dough into 2 equal parts and shape into 2 logs, each 12 to 14 inches long
- place the logs 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and brush with egg white
- bake for about 25 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly browned
- remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Leave oven temperature at 325 degree F.
- Slide the baked logs onto a cutting board. Using a long serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into ½ inch slices
- arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheets
- bake the biscotti for 5 minutes on each side
- transfer the biscotti to wire racks and let cool completely

- store the biscotti at room temperature in airtight container. They will keep for about 1 month.


Friendship is very important to Italians. Amico and amica (friend) usually refer to close friendships; il conoscente or la conoscente are simple acquaintances. L’amico is always ready to offer you an espresso coffee or beat you to the ticket window to pay for a movie. Il miglior amico and la migliopre amica (best friend) are always treated with respect by the members of the family. The expressions E` il mio ragazzo and E la mia ragazza are used when talking about a close relationship between young people who are dating without any serious commitment. They become fidanzati (engaged) when an engagement ring is exchanged and wedding plans are outlined. Il compagno di classe and la compagna di classe are classmates. Friendship is still deeply revered inside and outside the family. It is important poter contare sulla famiglia e su una buona amicizia (to be able to count on the family and on a good friend).

To the Italian, a friend is family. In some respects, a friend may be more trusted and respected since the friend is carefully chosen, unlike the family member, who is related by birth. Friendships are lasting and quite often carry on into old age. It is only when one does some disgrazia (harm) to another that a friendship is severed. The “forgive and forget” code is applied in many cases; however, it is juxtaposed with the principle that one may forgive, but never forgets.

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. 

Arrivederci  -  Dio ti benedica
Rev. Fr. Mike

Copyright © 2008 Librandi