Step 1: Visit a neighborhood Italian shop and study their version of "Dolce Roma" and other well-known Italian specialties.
Step 2: As imitation is the best form of flattery, do as they do (Cookbooks help!).
Step 3: If you fail, don't try again. Step out of the kitchen, out of your comfort zone, and patronize your local Italian neighborhood shops. Enjoy the fruits of their labors.
New in the PHOTO ARCHIVES this month are images taken from the book, "Through the Alps to the Apennines" by P.G. Konody (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1911). For the complete copyright-free text visit www.archive.org. Also new this month is Antonino Lucia's lovely old photograph of his grandmother who can be seen standing on the deck of the ship that brought her to Canada back in 1959.... In the RECIPE ARCHIVES a number of traditional mouth-watering desserts and some not so mouth-watering desserts (Just because recipes are old, doesn't mean they're good!) were re-printed from a variety of cookbooks, including "Recipes of Italian Cookery" translated and arranged by Maria Gironci (London: Gaskill & Webb, 1900), "The Italian Cook Book, The Art of Eating Well, Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine, Pastries, Sweets, Frozen Delicacies and Syrups," compiled by Mrs. Maria Gentile (New York, Italian Book Co., 1919), "The Cook's Decameron: a Study in Taste, containing over two hundred recipes for Italian dishes," by Mrs. W.G. Waters (William Heineman, 1920) and Romeo Salta's excellent cookbook titled, "The Pleasures of Italian Cooking" (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1962). All the cookbooks cited are available for free at www.archive.org. Also, this month, because I had to host a number of family gatherings, I tried out some new pizza recipes -- one was topped with onions, red and yellow peppers and the other with rapini. The recipes can be found in the category, "Italian Breads & Pizzas," on this website. I can't lay claim to the recipes' originality as I simply imitated what I came across at my favorite Montreal Italian pastry shop, "Italia, La Casa della Pizza." Unlike when one is making art, originality is not a necessity in cooking (O.K., that's a mute point and can be debated). Still, imitation is the best form of flattery (especially in the kitchen). Home cooks love nothing better than being asked for "their" recipes. It's seen as a sign of success (Do as I do and do as I say, and all will be well with the world.).