I couldn't tell you how old I was but this is definitely one of my earliest memories. I was perched on a wine barrel, I looked down and contemplated the space between my feet and the floor, could I jump? Would I hurt myself? Or more importantly would anybody notice? I thumped the wooden panel with my heel, definitely hollow. I noticed my dad rushing towards me, but he only passed with a small smile. Through the noise and people and all the commotion stood the shortest man in the room with the loudest voice (and the best suit). His hair was carefully slicked and his mouth full of food. His very presence sent men in a spin, and women scurrying. That man was Orlando Cardamone, he was my nonno, and the room was his kitchen.
Carefully placed on my barrel where I couldn't fall, and I wouldn't be underfoot, I watched every member of my family execute and distribute meals to hundreds of people. Under my mothers watchful eye I sat and without knowing, I absorbed the energy and the passion swirling around me. It was at this time I joined the Cardamone food journey, which has swept up every member of my family at some stage.
The intention of this blog is to help you learn how to bring warmth to your table whether it be on Christmas Day or on a blustering winters afternoon. You will learn to cook slowly, gradually and with purpose. There will be quick meals and shortcuts that will organise you, nourish your family and it will make your kitchen your domain. You will take the last bite of one meal and start dreaming of the next. Without apprehension or dread - it will become your life’s passion and be at the forefront of your mind. You will learn a very important lesson: if we are to eat three times a day, seven days a week and snack excessively - do it well and savor every bite. The recipes I will post are not mine, not my mums or my grandfathers, as soon as you make it and enjoy it, it will belong to you. A tradition is something someone does well and consistently; start today and one day it will be your tradition too.
This is seriously starting to sound like '50 Shades of Food Porn'. Now that I have caught your attention, tune in next week to gather Marisa's first recipes in step one of changing and organising your kitchen. You are going to love this journey! Feel free to make any requests in the comments sections and please leave any suggestions for other readers.
What has any of this got to do with oil and houses? That came about because I was feeling extremely nostalgic. I had Nonno Orlando on my mind and I remembered a story my dad once told me. In the sixties a house in Arthur Street, Fairfield cost the same as a pallet of MORO Olive Oil. My grandfather thought it was a sounder investment to buy the oil and not the houses, he could double his money in a month! What would he do with a house in Arthur Street?! Well Nonno, the median price today of the houses is $1m and one tin of oil averages $20. Sigh! Best not to dwell on what our life would be like if we owned a row of houses in Fairfield today!
To all the people who attended Marisa's Gnocchi Making Cooking Demo on Sunday at The Tomato Smash Festival (The Fruits of Life) the quantities I promised to post are as follows:
- 1 large Egg
- 300g Hot mashed Potato
- 400 - 500g plain flour
Tip #2 How to eat Crunchy Parmesan
I received this tip this morning in the school playground. A friend made a tuna casserole last night and didn't have any Parmesan to toss through the toasted bread. But she had a tub of Crunchy Parmesan! She used it and said it was delicious!! Thanks Brooke!