Last week, when I looked at what recipes I wanted to tackle here at Mangia, Figlie, I crossed the last one off the list. That’s right, my friends, my cook-blog is complete. As I’ve pondered this day out loud with close friends, they’ve been kind enough to suggest I find a different angle to write about, to take this blog down a whole new path. That’s flattering to hear, but I never intended to write ad infinitum. Mangia, Figlie had a definite beginning, middle, and end from the start … and we’ve arrived alla fine.
But before I go, I would like to thank all those who made this blog so much fun for me. First, of course, are the members of my family, who were good sports as I relayed old stories and posted pictures on the internet for all the world to see. My mom, my aunts, my uncles, my brothers, my husband – all played a vital role in the creation of Mangia, Figlie.
Also thanks to my children, who showed great patience when I spent extra hours at the computer trying to perfect each post, and who played along when I was taking pictures before dinner at least once a week. They ate lukewarm food on more than one occasion for the sake of authenticity.
I have my guest bloggers – Dave, Nick, Ralph, Craig, Cynthia, and Elaine – to thank for sharing a different perspective now and then, and helping to fill in when I had nothing to say. And to my blogging friends and those who took the time to comment again and again, I appreciate your enthusiasm and continued support. Your kind words and encouragement kept me going when I felt I had many more recipes to share, but nothing to say about them.
Finally, I end where I started, with my friend Beth from Dirty Laundry. If I had to write a dedication for this almost-year-long effort, I would of course salute my ancestors for the stories and recipes that allowed me to create this cook-blog. But equally, I would credit Beth for the spark that lit this journey. Thank you, dear friend, for coming to Italian Bunko Night at my house a year ago and encouraging me to do this. I am truly a more complete person for putting this on virtual paper. It’s been a dream for a very long time … and now it’s a dream come true!
Early this past fall, I was reading Rachael Ray’s magazine. The issue was full of information about Italian food – chefs’ favorite restaurants, where to find good ingredients, good Italian wine. The special section ended with a piece entitled, “How to Live Like an Italian.” It was a list of DOs and DON’Ts for an Italian lifestyle, including:
“DON’T drink a latte after dinner. In Italy, that’s considered a breakfast drink. Try a shot of espresso instead…
DO stop for gelato in the midafternoon. Because Italians eat dinner late, they snack around 3 p.m….
DON’T hurry away from the table after dessert. Serve limoncello and encourage your guests to linger.”
But the one that truly caught my eye and stuck with me for all these months was this:
“DO remember that the secret to Italian cooking is sapori e saperi,
or flavors and knowledge. Find excellent ingredients
and do very little to them.”
That, to me, sounds like the perfect recipe-for-success for any great meal.
Grazie, all my friends, and mangiare bene. It’s been a pleasure to serve you.
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