Whenever my son is anxious he asks “where is home?” I don’t know how to answer that, so I feed him instead. I have tried to explain what home is and where it is. I have taught him his address, and I have convinced him that even though we all head off to the grocery store, or even Italy every once in a while to work, we always come home. I have obsessed over why he asks me; has he already moved too much, do I work too much, is he too young to be in school? I don’t think that there is an answer. When he asks me again and again, I hug him, and then I start to cook. If he is ever truly lost and lonely somewhere, and he can’t make sense of where he comes from or where he belongs, I want him to remember, when he takes a deep breath in, the steadiness of a slow simmering sauce, or the warmth of a hot buttered biscuit. I want him to long for the sweetness in deep red strawberries with cream. When I cook for him, I cook to give him a home.
Ferd loves sausages, and I love to make them with white beans and escarole. Buy the most basic sausages with the least ingredients possible. Just really good meat and a little salt is what you are looking for. Put them in a pot of boiling water, that has a little red or white wine it, along with a garlic clove. Simmer them for about ten minutes, to get them cooking, and to remove some of the fat. Meanwhile, you can either use cannellini that you have soaked the night before, and then started on a simmer with a sprig of thyme, a garlic clove, and a spill of olive oil, or open a can of cannellini, and rinse them really well. In a large saute pan, heat up a little of your best olive oil with four cloves of garlic that have either been cut in half, or sliced very thinly, depending on whether or not you want to eat the garlic, or pick it out. Give the garlic some color, and then add your well washed escarole. Cook the greens until they have wilted, and add a little salt, and the beans. Drizzle with olive oil, and set aside. Wipe out the pan, add a tiny spill of oil, and add the sausages. Brown on medium heat, on both sides. Serve on top of the greans.
Slice up a pint of strawberries, and mix in a quarter cup of sugar with a little orange or lemon zest. Beat (if you can find organic use it) a pint of heavy cream, only until it looks like soft sour cream. You don’t want it to be too thick.
Rub a half of a cup of chopped cold butter into two cups of flour, one Tablespoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt, and a Tablespoon of sugar, until it is nearly, but not completely uniform. Some bits of butter should be a little bigger than others. Add two thirds of a cup of whole milk, or enough to make the mixture like thick mud. Drop by spoonfuls onto a buttered sheet pan, and bake at 425 degrees. Split the biscuits and top with strawberriees and cream.
Lizzie told me about your site and I love your writing. I am also inspired to upgrade to a better Olive oil. What brand should I buy? One more question? I am going to try the sausage and cannelloni idea and wonder “What kind of sausage? Pork, chicken, breakfast or italian?” I try to but the hormone free brands of meat when possible.
It is nice to get a sense of where you are and what you are up to. I am well and happy for the most part, but continue to try for that illusive state of a quiet mind. Just borrowed a friends CD/book on tape of “Power of Now” I like it so far. Thanks for your words/recipes. I did a mini scan of all the postings and printed out some inpirational selections to inspire me in the kitchen. I will definately check it out now that I know about it.
My sister and I recently finished our 2nd CD. You can check it out on http://www.2singingsisters.com Let me know what you think?
Hi, I just found your site and love it so far!
Barbi, I am going to try the sausage bean escarole thing with italian sausage (pork). I think that is pretty traditional. Sounds delicious, and I’m trying the strawberry shortcake soon too.
P.S. When I was little “home” was wherever Mommy was. It still is! Even though I have a home of my own I’m not “home” unless my mom is there. Maybe you should tell your son that home = family : ) Keep up the great site!