Tuesday, April 13

Word of the Day- SCOOCH!

Growing up, if there was one word in Italian (or butchered Italian) that I heard over and over, it was the word "scooch." It means "pest," or "pain in the neck" and I believe it comes from the Italian verb "scocciatore," which means to bother.

As you can see, the poor word has been bastardized like so many other Italian words, by Italian-Americans. But when you're not a first or even second generation Italian, and you pick up words from your grandparents or even their parents, it's kind of like whisper down the lane. You know how what the original version gets all twisted up by the time it reaches the last person? It's kind of like that.

It can be used in verb or noun form.

"Claudia, don't scooch me while I'm cooking!"
"Hey, don't be a scooch- I'm trying to concentrate and you keep talking."

Enjoy your butchered word of the day.

Wednesday, April 7

Sweet, Sweet Easter

Easter is always at my house with between 14 and 18 people each year. I spend most of the day before cooking. I make the traditional ham, and this year made pecan crusted sweet potato casserole and baked spinach with cream cheese topped with bread crumbs and rubbed sage. There was also pineapple bread pudding that I did not make. That was for the American tradition. Then I brought out 48 hand-stuffed shells in my home made marinara sauce and sweet sausage and my universally famous (yes, universally) meatballs. And of course a salad.
We always have some sort of pasta with a ham or turkey, we just do, whatever the holiday. So, after about two hours of cooking and then last minute preparations on Sunday, dinner was ready. Animated conversation ensued and we watched my new niece feed herself at not quite one year old. Her presence made Easter even sweeter!

Then, then, the dessert. Oh! The dessert! Peanut butter pies. Chocolate creme pie, Easter pie. Raspberry cheesecake, Italian cookies and the piece de resistance- the cannoli! Chocolate, vanilla and ricotta cheese, covered in chocolate chips- the dessert counter was a sight to behold. Cannoli is not an every day dessert in my family- it's for holidays. So everyone lines up for one. Me? I had a half of a ricotta stuffed cannoli and called it a night. It was worth the wait- the last time I had one was in New York City in October at Rocco's bakery in the village (which I highly recommend). Everyone left stuffed and happy and I have a year to recuperate before I start the cooking marathon again!

-- Post From My iPhone