The “Cup”

Congratulations to me! My first blog ……..

I’m going to share with you some experiences I had in the kitchen as I am preparing to publish my first cookbook “Breaking Bread in L’Aquila” pub date: April/2010. I am not a trained chef but learned first hand from the best – my grandmother, mother and my aunts. I’m first generation Italian (Calabrese) and got great “authentic tips” by watching them in action “no measuring cups or recipes!”

I also cook intuitively, by way of feel, mood, cravings and what’s in the pantry or refrigerator. Unfortunately, desserts are another story. Desserts are much more precise and accurate. Not to mention that for me, I work on one dessert recipe at a time instead of multi tasking on a few recipes (making pasta, sauce, salad all at once) – sound familiar?

To give you an example, I made amaretti biscotti over the weekend. My mother makes the best amaretti but do you think there’s an accurate measurement? Getting the recipe from my mother is like listening to a George Carlin monologue on “stuff.” In my monologue, it’s about “the cup.”

“Ma, what “cup” measurement are you referring to when I am measuring the flour”?

Her reply; “scoop the cup” (the blue mug) and make sure it’s really full on top, like a dome”. I understood as I tried to visualize ……When I measured with the “cup” description, I then put the flour in a bowl, and then took my measuring cup to measure – it would then yield to approximately 1 ½ cups. Before I can start baking, I spent about an hour writing down the recipe and re-measuring as the measuring “audit cop,” I then made the amaretti.

Can you relate?

Anyway, I think they came out fantastic, what do you think?


3 comments to The “Cup”

  • andreas.voulgaris

    Great story, and so true. Everything about meausuring and cooking is always a little more abstract with that generation…”mix it until it feels right”, and “add as much as it needs” are my favourite instructions from mom.
    All the best – I look forward to more.

  • julia

    I love the way you measure. When I got married I went out and found cups and scoops that looked similiar to the ones my mother used so that I could cook. I will enjoy your cooking blog because it sounds like you cook like me. Good luck on your blog and i cant wait to see your book.

  • red_wagon

    They look delicious!

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