A variety of fresh fruit
A touch of sugar
Cut the fruit into small pieces.
Place in a decorative bowl.
Add a touch of sugar and heaven is yours for the asking (and if it isn't, try a different mixture of fresh fruit, or use honey instead of sugar, and if that doesn't work, it's o.k. to be disappointed, and if it isn't o.k., try fasting, that might help you remember that any fruit is better than no fruit -- gratitude tastes sweeter than sugar or honey or possibly anything else of this world.)
This month more photos from the wonderful old book, "Peasant Art in Italy," (London: The Studio Ltd., 1913) were added to this website's PHOTO ARCHIVES. In the RECIPE ARCHIVES the entire cookbook, "Simple Italian Cookery," by Antonia Isola (New York: Harpers & Sons, 1912) can now be found on this website (This book which is in the public domain can be downloaded free of charge at www.archive.org.). "Simple Italian Cookery" is believed to be the first American cookbook that contains Italian recipes. The author, Antonia Isola (the pseudonym for Mabel Earl McGinnis) lived in Rome for many years and became well acquainted with Italian cuisine. "Simple Italian Cookery" is considered a classic and with good reason. It's an amazing collection of recipes, zeroing in on Italy's most famous dishes.... This month, besides adding recipes from Antonia Isola's famous cookbook to this website, I included some of my own variations on traditional Italian recipes. Like many other home cooks I like experimenting. It relaxes me. Sometimes my experiments come out O.K, and other times I wonder why did I bother? I suppose the reason I did bother is because Italian recipes can easily be changed and adapted to suit one's own needs and budgets. Actually, that's what so wonderful about Italian cooking -- anything goes. Well, almost anything. So it's easy to put one's own stamp on an old recipe. Here is the list of recipes I had fun with (Hopefully they'll be fun to eat if anyone tries them out.): In the "Cake" category: "Mary's Apple Cake," "Mary's Strawberry Short Cake" and "Mary's Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cake"; in the "Cookies with Nuts" category: "Mary's Bianca Neve (Molisani almond macaroons)" and finally, in the "Calcioni" category: "Mary's Calzone." What is "my way" of doing any one recipe may not be anybody else's way -- that's a given. After all, the recipe for a good life includes the joy of saying, "My way is better than your way." Actually, I'm always on the look out for recipes that are better than mine, especially traditional Italian ones. I am relentlessly preying on unsuspecting home cooks who have the good fortune of having their Nonnas' recipes tucked in some beautiful box of recipes, a true treasure chest. Call me a unscrupulous recipe thief or a vigilant archivist.