I limit my posts to weekly but I had to share this post as it relates to a past post Italian Rum Cake.
My birthday was on May 22. My husband on May 17. My little cousin Grace on May 24 and my Uncle Domenico (Zio Mico) on May 29th. We decided to have one cake for all of us. In my last post I blogged about Italian Rum Cake and the history behind it in family. So I decided to go with the Rum Cake which pleases my parents generation and my cousin Chickie!
The cake was excellent. I ordered it so I made sure it had the almond coating and the filling stuffed with strawberries and peaches. For Gracie her choice of cake is not a cake, but a watermelon as you see in the photos. It’s been her request ever since she was 2 years old!
Our youngest cousins ranging from 4-8 were not that thrilled with Italian Rum Cake. When I asked my 4 year old cousin how he liked Italian cake, he answered “I like English cake”. I guess some things never change….
Tanti Auguri a noi!
Head Cheese is a cold cut. You’d think that it was a type of cheese from the name. It’s not. It is a jellied type cold cut made with parts of cow or pig’s head. (Other parts could be included like tongue, feet and heart.)
I vaguely remember Head Cheese growing up and I recall that my brother liked it along with my parents. So, these past weeks I’ve been doing some work in Brookline, Massachusetts, a heavily Russian and Jewish populated community. I ventured into a Russion grocery store to check it out. So when I saw the deli counter with three different types of Head Cheese, I was surprised. I told my mother about the shop and the Head Cheese and she said, I want to go!
We took the ride to Brookline and she bought a pound. Sharing it with my brother, my father and my Uncle… I think I started a Head Cheese trend.
I started getting the calls for Head Cheese for the next time I am in Brookline. In fact my Uncle who is the “Sangwich Saturday” creator put his request in.
What’s funny is that at one point my mother and I got separated in Brookline and we couldn’t find each other. I panicked thinking what could have happened to her and what would I say to my family? “I lost Ma in Brookline while shopping for Head Cheese.”?
Luckily I found my mother. My Uncle has his pound of Head Cheese ready to go and we move towards another “Sangwich Saturday” and everyone is happy.
I can’t say it looks too appealing to me, but I’ll give it a try. Who knows, I could discover another Italian delicacy.
Growing up in East Boston I remember everyone calling sandwiches “sangwiches”. Of course I never paid much attention to it. It was just the way we spoke.
Recently I thought of the origins of the word “sangwich”. It happened when my Uncle Domenic asked me if I would be coming over for “i sangwiche” phonetically pronounced “saaaahhhngwiche” An Italo-American word made up by Italians who combined Italian and English to make up such words as:
“Carro” – Car
“Begga” – Bag
“Sangwich” – Sandwich
Our generation had taken the word and pronounced “saaangwich” instead of sandwich. We took the made up term and made it even more english. You would hear it in all heavily Italian neighborhoods.
So, “sangwich Saturday” is becoming a new tradition in my family. Something I look forward to when all the cousins are together eating Italian subs made by Uncle Domenic.
I haven’t mentioned yet that my father and Uncle Domenic owned an Italian market in East Boston for over 30 years. They truly made the best Italian subs in all of Boston; using only imported cold cuts – mortadella, hot capicolla, sopresetta, provolone and prosciutto. The bread is also important if not the most important element of a really good “sangwich”.
Back in the day my father and uncle got their bread from DeStefano’s bakery on Bennington Street, East Boston. DeStefano’s is no longer there but Bart the baker is around and still baking some of the best bread in Boston at Boschetto’s in the North End.
Tomorrow is “Sangwich” Saturday. There’s nothing better than a good “sangwich” on a lazy Saturday with the cousins. We get older and time moves quicker, so we think. The excuses of not getting together is just that; excuses. All it takes is some good coldcuts, great bread, some tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a feast surrounded by great company.
What are your traditions?