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Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Originated from: Somewhere in "Lost in Translation"
Occasion: Lost and Found Festivities
Contributed by: Webmaster, Mary Melfi; Image courtesy of the New York Public Library, Digital Gallery

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For mixture

Equipment needed
Machine Google Translation


Mix the first four ingredients using Machine Google Translation.

Shape into a salami log.

Wrap with aluminum foil.

Place in the fridge for 6 hours.

Slice and serve at your own peril.


Most of September was spent by this webmaster re-writing "Machine Google Translations" of recipes taken from Italian Wikibooks'"Libro di Cucina" and added to this site months ago. There were so many errors that this webmaster got quite lost in the work. Getting lost in any place in the world can turn ugly, but getting lost in "Lost in Translation" can turn into a horror story, luckily it didn't. Everyone had a good laugh (at my expense!).... In the PHOTO archives Jo Ward and Lise Marcogliese contributed a few lovely old photos taken in Molise in the 1950s. In the RECIPE archives a number of Molisani famous sweets were added by a contributor named, Maria Rosa. She noticed the recipes on the Italian internet and sent them along; they include: BOCCONOTTI MOLISANI, BISCOTTI RIPIENI CON IL MOSTO CALCONI and MBEPTIELLE MOLISANI. Also this month I had the good fortune of meeting Mrs. Portzia Vessia, an 80 year old woman from Palo del Colle, Bari who came to Montreal to visit her brother, Jerry Vessia. To my delight she was able to provide the exact proportions on how to make "TARALLI BARESI." She mentioned that when she was growing up in the 1930s, "taralli Baresi" were actually known as "taralli di olio e vino." Even though these Puglian taralli are small in size and look more like tarallini, they are not referred to as tarallini. Mrs. Vessia indicated that nowadays fewer and fewer home cooks in the Bari area are making their own taralli, and those that do them don't make the traditional pretzel-shaped taralli Baresi anymore. They shape their "taralli Baresi" into half bows or present them as bread sticks. Mrs. Vessia also gave me the recipe for the Pugliesi Christmas delicacies called: "cucinetti," (or possibly, "chucinetti"/"cuscinetti," the spelling varies). In the past these sweets were fried, but nowadays more and more home cooks are baking them in the oven. Southern Italians, like their North American cousins, are quite fearless in the kitchen -- they'll do it their way, or no way at all. The fact is fewer and fewer Italians and North Americans are into home cooking, and with good reason (Professional chefs do it better, and sometimes, their goods sold in reputable establishments can actually be cheaper than those made at home!). In any case, almost everyone in my family is a better baker than I am, but as they're not about to come to my house and bake for me, I have to do it myself. For some odd reason (Or not so odd) I prefer home-made food, 'cause I like to know exactly what I'm eating, and besides, I really enjoy playing in my messy kitchen (Best playground in the world!). This month I looked at a few old family recipes and decided they could use a bit of improvement, and not because those who handed down the recipes (i.e., my mother and my aunts) didn't do them right, it's more like I hadn't jotted down the proportions they used, right. As my mother and late aunts did everything "by eye" whatever I wrote down was always an approximation. I think I managed to finally duplicate my Zia Teresa's famous Molisani lemon-flavored pasticcini cookies which I loved as a little girl and still love. They taste just like ladyfingers, but they're much, much easier to do. This month I also tried my hand at making the now popular "Italian ricotta cookies." As no one in my immediate family ever did them, I decided to do my own take on this recipe. What I came up with satisfied me; I can't say for sure that my recipe might satisfy anyone else, but those who did try my ricotta cookies ate quite a few of them which might be a sign of success, or it might simply be a sign that cookies, all cookies, be they Italian or not, are highly addictive and should be eaten at one's own peril. That said, anything pleasurable is addictive. Even air. The air at dawn in particular -- wet, pink and magical -- that's something worth getting up for.

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