Friday, May 31, 2013

Worth the Wait

I am finally getting around to posting pics of a marvelous dinner at my pal Laurie's house. She is a busy lady with 3 teenagers so there is not always time to slow down and appreciate a wonderful glass of something while cooking a great meal. I am fortunate that every once in awhile she'll give me a buzz and we create together in her professional home kitchen. Who doesn't love to see a great KitchenAid mixer, copper pans, a big bubbling pots of pasta water, certainly no one I know ! I had been meaning to post this long ago but wanted to get the name of the book where the recipe came from and when I got it I completely procrastinated before typing it in to the old computer. 
The recipe comes from a book called "Italy the Beautiful" by Lorenza Di'Medici.
If you ever run across a copy buy it if only for the pictures, truly a sumptuous read !
We made homemade ravioli with pumpkin filling and a sage butter sauce. To die for ....The filling is roasted pumpkin, pecorino romano cheese and wait for it... crushed amaretti cookies. Yummmmm. A simple sauce of browned butter sauteed sage leaves and a dash of cheese as a topping completed the delicious meal. Do yourself a favor if only once in your life, grab your kids, your husband or a friend  and make homemade pasta. Have some Prosecco while you are making it. It's well worth the effort.

Preparing the pumpkin for roasting
Cut into manageable pieces and roast until tender
The amaretti cookies
Brendan helping by smashing the cookies in a plastic bag

Making the pasta dough
filling on the rolled dough

The filled raviolis
Finished with the sauce

That special drink Prosecco, OJ and St. Germain !

Friday, April 5, 2013

A New Junkanoo

Recently I had the good fortune to travel for well over my 30th trip to Nassau. Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas, located on New Providence Island, the 11th largest of the Bahamian Islands.
Many of you know of my fascination with all things pirate. Nassau was inhabited primarily by pirates until 1718 when many were expelled by the first Royal Governor and Fort Nassau was built for protection. In fact the Colonial Hilton in downtown Nassau was built on the former site of one of Blackbeard's homes.
 Junkanoo is a festival and celebration of Bahamian culture where groups/tribes parade through Nassau with elaborate homemade costumes and playing cow/goat bells/ drums/whistles and horns.  Junkanoo is believed to have developed from the days of slavery. The influx of Loyalists in the late 18th Century brought many enslaved people who were given three days off at Christmas, which they celebrated by singing and dancing in colorful masks and costumes, traveling from house to house, often on stilts. As you will see, many of the original costumes were made from whatever materials available including paper and sponges. Junkanoo nearly vanished after slavery was abolished but the revival of the festival in The Bahamas now provides entertainment for many thousands of native bahamians and visitors each year. 
Some of my family members visited the Junkanoo Museum this year to learn more of the history and see how it continues today.We were educated in rituals, marched, played instruments and were inducted as true Junkanoo's at the end of the ceremony. So from one of the newest Junkanoo's,  Please enjoy some of our photos.
Queen of Hearts headdress

Early original costume made from paper

Early original costume made from sponges

Newer costume on display

Madison in her headdress

Maggie in headdress

Joan and Barry in very tropical headdresses
Tyler in massive Samurai headdress and prop swords

Katherine  in headdress

Tori in her headdress
Display of costumes from multiples festivals

I could get used to this !