“La Festa della Donna, “is also called “International Women’s Day,” and it is celebrated on March 8th, which honors the equality of all women. This holiday originates from ancient Rome to celebrate the first day of spring and the goddess called Ariadne. It is a day of remembrance and history for women all over the world. On March 25, 1911, a fire in a sweatshop owned by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York killed 123 female garment workers. Unsafe conditions contributed to the high death toll. Many of the fire escapes were locked to prevent women from slipping out, even for a moment's break. Most of the victims were Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions.
Festa della Donna is also known to commemorate both the social, political, economic achievements, and rights of women. In Italy, this celebration was held for the first time in 1911. Most Italian men say with feeling and expression “Auguri alle signore!” This means “Best Wishes to the Ladies”. With that being said, the men in Italy, (the country of romance and food) prepare special dishes and baked goods for the women in their life. Whether it is their wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, sister, or daughter, they celebrate with respect and gratitude towards these women.
As we celebrate women this month I can not forget to include my mom in this post. Monday, is my mother’s Birthday. My mom is the heart of our home. She is the one that gets everyone together for Birthdays and Holidays. She loves to cook meals for the family especially her grandchildren. She exhumes Love, Joy, and Faith plus has the Patience of a Saint. Everyone in the family can attest to her strength, her honesty, and her warmth. My mom embodies what a mother should be and shares her wisdom with everyone she meets. She has many hobbies some include, reading, cooking, spending time with family, and friends. I have so many memories of my childhood with my mom, but these thoughts are a special way to wish my mom a Happy Birthday!!!
|My mom, Madeline and myself|
My mom was a teacher by profession and as they say chief, cook, and bottle washer. She did it all. Took care of three children, ran a home, was a teacher, and there was always a hot meal on the table at night for dinner. I don’t know how she did it all. She would make us breakfast in the morning and made sure we had very nutritious and satisfying lunch for school. Then in the evening she made dinner mostly from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients. Many of my fondest memories were helping my mom make dinner. The smells of chicken or pork cooking in the oven with potatoes, onions, and veggies were a wonderful way to grow up. On Sundays, church was always the top priority (the whole family would go together and get dressed up not like today with jeans) and then we would come home and prepare for dinner which we would eat about 2:00 pm our larger meal. Sunday was not only for church but for family. We always had company over, whether it was my grandparents, friends, or aunts, and uncles. Now, this is what I mean about food being centered around our family. The table had to be set just so, with the proper placement of forks, spoons, and knives. We had a centerpiece that coordinated with the seasons. We would always use the good china, and silverware. Especially before a major holiday, like Christmas or Easter the silver polish would come out. My job was to help clean the silver serving trays and candle sticks. We also polished all of the furniture as everything had to be just perfect. Even now if I smell Gorham silver polish it brings back memories of family gatherings long ago.
|L-R: Grandmother Julia, great-grandmother Sofia, & my mom (1950)|
My recipe this week is in honor of “Festa della Donna” and my mom, Madeline. What better way to celebrate than with a dish my mother makes called, “Italian Spinach Ricotta Pie.” It is easy, and delicious to serve for a brunch or a light dinner. It is extremely appealing to look at, as the green color of the spinach gives life to your vase of yellow Mimosa flowers on your table. This can be served with a salad, and a sparkling Mimosa cocktail to add to your celebration.
“Italian Spinach Ricotta Pie”
1 tablespoon of butter (unsalted)
1 cup of fresh onion (minced)
10 oz package of chopped spinach
15 oz container of Ricotta (either whole milk or low fat)
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
3/8 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1-- 9 inch pie shell (deep) (Oronoque is the brand of pie crust)
Follow directions for baking pie shell (unfilled). Drain spinach by using hands to squeeze out moisture, or use a strainer. Melt butter and sauté onions until soft. Add spinach and stir until most of the moisture is gone. Then remove from heat. In a large bowl, add all the other ingredients to the spinach and stir until mixture looks like green and white marble. Pour into baked pie shell and bake at 350° F for about 40 minutes or until top is golden and filling is set. Yields: 8 slices depending on how large you slice them.
8 oz of chilled orange juice (fresh squeezed or in bottle)
4 oz of chilled Champagne or Prosecco
Pour orange juice into a chilled fluted Champagne glass over two ice cubes. Fill with the chilled Champagne or Prosecco, stir gently. Serve with a cherry, or a twist of an orange slice.
Till Next Time………
Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved