Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

We want Spring but we'll take March for now.

March brings many memories like St. Patty's Day and St. Joseph's Day

In Italian, there is a phrase that covers a description for March - Marzo Pazzo, which translates to Crazy March. The reason why it's called that is because of the unpredictable weather. There were years that Easter fell on the last week of March. Well, that put a damper on our Easter clothes.

One year, my mom bought me such a pretty vinyl raincoat. There were years that it snowed on Easter. All the young girls were so disappointed not being able to wear their new patent leather Mary Janes.

My sisters and I felt very "mod' in our new raincoats


Forty days before Easter was considered Lent. Christians would observe these days by abstaining from meat on Fridays. Sometimes I would forget it was Friday and eat meat for lunch. I knew that God forgave you if you did eat meat, but I felt guilty, anyway.

Fish was made every Friday. There were a few Fridays that my mom would prepare a tuna salad.

My mom would only buy Italian tuna in a can or jar. It was packed in olive oil. She would toss it with celery, olives, red wine vinegar, red onion, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes.  Of course, with fresh Italian bread.

Delicious tuna salad Mama's style.

Nice Italian bread to soak in all the juices...

Every little girl wore these shoes. I still wear them My tights would bunch up the same way and they still do....

I had these shoes in all colors.

Irish Soda Bread

Sift together in bowl:

4 cups white flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

 In separate bowl:

1 egg

 1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup raisins

 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*


Combine all dry ingredients in bowl. Blend well. In separate bowl, add wet ingredients and the sugar. Add to dry ingredients, making sure it is completely blended.

Dough may be sticky, but that is OK. Get dough on greased cake pan. With knife, make a cross for good luck!

Bake in 325 degree oven in center of oven. Bake for an hour and 20 minutes.

Check the soda bread after an hour when knife comes out dry, it's done. Depends on your oven.

*If you don't have any buttermilk, use milk, adding 1 tsp of white vinegar. Let stand for a few minutes, you just created buttermilk.

Serve with butter and jam.

You have to bake a soda bread...