Bear N Mom Recipes - Who Was Nunny?
Nunny, my mother-in-law, was a first generation Italian lady who had a famous saying -- "Try It -- You'll Like It." You never left Nunny's house hungry and the term, "Mangia," was heard every time you visited. Nunny always had something put up or baked just waiting for you to visit her home.
Whenever Nunny found a new recipe or was given a recipe, she was never satisfied until she added something or gave it her own special blend of herbs to make the recipe her own. As the days roll on, you will delight in some of her favorite recipes as well as have an opportunity to share some of your own with our readers. In years past, this site was published at another domain but we are going continue it in today's world with blogging. I invite you to share your recipe or make suggestions that would improve or make Nunny's recipes your own.
Nunny didn't measure when she cooked and some of the recipes that we will share will have measurements of pinches and handfuls. I have converted some of those and will share them in each individual recipe.
When Nunny shopped for her recipes she had certain shops where she bought her supplies. What comes to mind is she bought her yeast from the local bake shop. She always bought $1 worth of baker's yeast for her weekly HOMEMADE BREAD baking day. A dollars worth of yeast would be equal to 2 cakes of yeast at the grocery store. Nunny bought this yeast because what people don't realize is that the dough rises faster with the yeast bought from the bake shop. The local bake shops have all gone away (the last one in the area closed in the spring of 2009) and that is a shame because for those who did not bake they were able to get fresh breads and other delights that were not made in the home.
Nunny bought her meats such as cappicola, genoa salami and supersud at a local Italian store.
Nunny frequented the farmer's markets and bought her swiss chard and other vegetables that she didn't grow from them. Nunny's garden always included tomatoes, green peppers, organo and sweet basil. Spearmint grew wild in Nunny's yard which is surprising because I have never found a recipe where Nunny used spearmint leaves.
Nunny also added to her canning by buying extra tomatoes at the end of the season to be put up for her winter cooking. It was a tragedy one winter when her entire tomatoe stock was destroyed. The shelving fell over and the jars were a total loss.
She bought her provolone cheese in a ball hung with rope from a wholesaler in the Strip District. The kids always called this cheese "Toe Cheese" because it had a distinct odor.
Again, as Nunny said, "Try it -- You'll like it !! "
Nunny was orphaned at a young age and was raised by an older married brother. As you can see she had a whole older family but she wasn't the youngest either. She still had a younger brother. They both grew up to be prominent members of fraternal organizations.
Nunny was a self taught young lady who worked very hard to gain her education. When she went through the chairs at her local Eagles Airie, no one suspected that this lady had not finished high school. Her Roberts Rules was her guide and she was a good officer and President. She was so good that she was elected to State President and was well regarded by all of the ladies of the State of Pennsylvania. Every one of her speeches was well researched and no one ever suspected that this distinguished lady didn't have a formal education. Nunny was Secretary of her Airie for many years and when she passed it was a sad day because no one would take her post. The State came and took their Charter.
More by this Author
An interview with Leonard Labriola and Labriola Italian Foods in review.
Thin and crispy Italian Pizzelles made from a recipe handed down from Bear's mother.
Old World Recipe for Croatian Nut Rolls as related to me by someone who baked these every Easter.
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