My experience with Italy began in Sicily near Catania, then moved to Lazio and Latina. A few years later I moved to north Italy (Ivrea Piemonte) and married my boyfriend of 4 years. Our last move was this summer, when we relocated to Aosta in the heart of the Alps. I've enjoyed learning new recipes and techniques of the local cuisines, although I confess that I miss some of the basic ingredients that I grew up with.
My favorite things to cook
I really enjoy making some of the new things I'm learning from my husband's family like tiramisu, ragù (Bolognese meat sauce), simple fresh tomato sauces, & fresh pastas. I also love making the food that I grew up on like Pierogies, kraut, gulosh, halupkies, sloppy joes, sour cream pastries, and cheesecake.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Southern Pennsylvania is where all of my family comes from. We make the traditional S. PA food every time we all get together. Yum!
My cooking triumphs
The first time I came to Italy was to spend some time in Catania, Sicily. I tasted Arancini (fried balls of rice the size of baseballs stuffed with meat, cheese, tomatoes, and sometimes peas, too) for the first time. Loved them! After my friend, whose parents we were visiting, and I returned to the USA, on a day when he was feeling incredibly homesick, I decided to make this very Sicilian treat for him. They turned out great and did the trick of cheering him up perfectly. Oh, the power of cooking... :)
My cooking tragedies
First one that comes to mind is a recent attempt to make sour cream from unpasteurized cream. For the first few years I was here, I couldn't find it anywhere near where I live. Ended up throwing the whole smelly mess away and decided to do without. Yuck!