This old recipe book.........

This old recipe book.........

belonged to Nonna, my Italian Grandmother, it is filled with beautifully handwritten recipes, and the recipes, in turn, are filled with childhood memories and many stories.

I love the handwriting......

I adore the chalky film on my fingers when I open the pages - left from generations of flour.....

I delight in the marks and stains that blur the ink..........


So this book now has a little blog of its own, the stories that have unfolded, so far, have taken on a life of their own, so in thinking of the Julie and Julia book, in that the book itself has a story waiting to be told.  I will release some of the secrets and attempt to do them justice.

On the inside front cover is when it all began.....

 

On the inside back cover is where this story begins....  with measurements in gallons you can see that this recipe was for providing the household with cheese...  5 gallons of milk - this would produce about 8kg of cheese...   fresh cheese and ricotta....   for daily use making ravioli, lasagne and sweet cannoli filling - all of these recipes will appear in due course.

This particular day, about a year ago, I took this recipe out to make the cheese recipe for the New Zealand Specialist Cheese Association yearly cheese awards - they have a home-craft section that I discovered in retrospect, is very highly contested.  I was in the throes of having a foodie OE..... at home.  In that I have adventures that you would normally seek out overseas, here at home.  So this was adventure number one.  

One of my favourite moments of the year....

brought about by this book and the one cheese recipe on the inside back cover....

It is going to be one of the first recipes that I post on the recipe page, but first there is a little more to tell you about the book, you may have noticed that the dusty old book had pages spilling out of it, little handwritten notes from friends, cuttings of then current magazines and newspaper, but what I like most is that all the recipes that she has gleaned from friends and family have the recipe attributed to them in the top right hand corner.....

and so you can see that this would have been my great grandmothers recipe originally from a village near Napoli....

Every so often, or as the seasons require, I am going to make up these recipes, photograph and share the recipe here, I will unfold any story that may happen as a consequence.  If I remember little pieces of history that add to the heritage of the recipe I will share them, and I secretly hope to cross paths with someone who may recognise the names that appear in the corner of the original recipe.   I am sure that some of these recipes have been handed through many kitchens before they arrived in this book.  I am really grateful that they were shared many years ago, and I would like to bring them to life.  So if you recognise a name please share  what you know ....

Tomato Sauce -  'mums'

Tomato Sauce - 'mums'

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