recent blog posts

All My Uncle Tonys

Trip Itinerary, 1995: Rome, Positano, Sicily. In 1995, a recently discovered box of 100-year-old letters belonging to my grandmother initiated a decades-long search into the lives of my Sicilian ancestors.  “All My Uncle Tonys” is a chapter from my book in...

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FIORI FINTI

  (In Italy, fake flowers, usually silk) The path of my twenty-nine-year marriage was lined with flowers. Flowers of all varieties, all colors, in vases, in baskets, and in long skinny boxes, wrapped in cellophane, sheathed in tissue, tied with ribbons, and...

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A Page from a Book

There will be a book. But for now, there are chapters. Lots of them. Some will make it. Others will not. All My Therapists 2000 “You realize, Carol, that you won’t be free until your mother dies.” Dr. Stella was the third therapist I’d been to since my marriage ended....

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Evolution of A Book – Part 2

Tramonto - Sunset in Sicily Photo by Egidio Maio, Santa Lucia del Mela 2023 There is a mystery in my family and at the heart of my book in progress. It all began here in this place of the spectacular sunset: Santa Lucia del Mela, on the eastern tip of Sicily, where my...

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Evolution of A Book

Evolution of A Book

It began like this... Recently Divorced Woman goes to Rome…you probably heard that one before. So did Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote it so brilliantly that I wouldn't have dared. And then there was that movie and how can anyone compete with that? All those chapters I had...

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A Little Boy’s Moon…

A Little Boy’s Moon…

My grandson Luke wanted to reach the moon. All I wanted to do was reach my grandson. We were in the shelter-in-place stage of the pandemic—masked trips to the grocery store if you dared, welcome mats being pulled away from front porches, and 4-hour plane rides to...

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recipes

PEAR & CHOCOLATE RICOTTA CAKE

How lucky am I to have friends in all the best places in Rome?  Daniela Del Balzo is a chef and cooking teacher whose  classes encompass all the diverse cuisines of the 20 regions of Italy, but some of her most seductive dishes are those from her native...

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SPAGHETTI ALLA NERANO

SPAGHETTI ALLA NERANO by Daniela Del Balzo of Daniela’s Cooking School in Rome   1 pound spaghetti or tonnarelli 3 medium zucchini (the skinnier the better) 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic 1/2 cup shredded Provolone Sorrento (soft provolone) 1/2 cup...

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SPAGHETTI TWO WAYS: Carbonara and Alla Nerano

There are those classic dishes at the core of every culinary culture.They look a certain way, they taste a certain way, only certain ingredients go into them, and they shouldn't be messed with. That's what I believe, and also what's gotten me into trouble with my...

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RIGATONI ALL’AMATRICIANA

The origin of this dish goes back to the town of Amatrice in Northern Lazio and didn’t include tomatoes until the Romans seized it and claimed it for their own. Serious food fights have occurred over whether or not to use onions (many Romans seem to prefer it this...

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SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS:  1 + 1 = 1

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS: 1 + 1 = 1

No matter how often or persistently we Italian food purists try to separate them, put them on separate plates, offer them at separate courses,  Americans want spaghetti and meatballs.  Together, in one giant heap  spilling out over the sides of one...

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