The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place in New York City on October 12, 1792 when a group known as the Columbian Order held a parade to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landing of Columbus. In 1866, following the start of Italian immigration to the U.S., another parade was held in New York City, this time by the Italians celebrating their link with American history. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims October 12th as Columbus Day. Then in 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Columbus Day a federal public holiday, to be celebrated on the second Monday in October, rather than on October 12th. The new Uniform Monday Holiday Act goes into effect in 1971.
The arrival of Europeans in the Americas was without a doubt one of the most important events in modern history, including food history. Many foods that were native to the Americas were brought to Europe and even more European products were brought back to America. Many Americans, especially Italian-Americans, celebrate Columbus Day with food. In honor of the meal that Christopher Columbus must have eaten on the sail to the Americas, people cook a typical seaman's dinner. That meal consisted of fish, potatoes, beef, cheese, and a variety of other foods such as rice, dried fruits, and legumes.
Even though it must have been a good meal for them on the sea, it just doesn’t sound Italian enough for me. Where was the lasagna, meatballs, pasta, and we can’t forget Italian cookies, or the Cannoli’s? Well, I am not at sea, but I do have a wonderful recipe of the week for you and it is called “Stuffed Italian Artichokes.” I know, you must be saying, I don’t like them, you are wrong! Till you have tried my mom’s recipe made with spices, cheese, and bread crumbs all tucked together inside the leaves of this wonderful little green vegetable. Then baked with a crispy top, you really haven’t tasted anything like this before! Now, that’s Italian! So in honor of my Italian-American Heritage and Columbus Day, have fun, celebrate, and eat something Italian! “Buon Appetito!”
“Stuffed Italian Artichokes” (Carcioffola in Italian)
6 medium artichokes
1 1/4 cups bread crumbs (plain)
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp of minced garlic (fresh or jar)
3/4 tsp of salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
Cut off stem and 1/4 off the top of artichoke. Then remove some of the outer leaves at the bottom. Use scissors to clip off top of side leaves. (That removes the sticky point on each leaf) Then wash in deep bowl. Fill large pot with water and boil. Place the artichokes in pot carefully and lower heat to medium for about 7 minutes. Fork test bottom of artichoke for tenderness. If fork goes in and out easily, they are done. Next drain and run cold water on artichokes let them sit and cool off.
Adriana wrote the screen version and also directed the major motion picture called, “Big Stone Gap,” based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide today, October 9th. “Big Stone Gap” stars Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia, and Jenna Elfman, just to mention a few well known famous stars.
But wait there is more…….
Adriana returns, on October 13, 2015 with her biggest and boldest novel yet, called, “All The Stars In The Heavens.” I received an advanced copy of this book and I can't put it down.. A mesmerizing tale based on a true story and filled with her signature elements: family, artistry, romance, and adventure. Born in the golden age of Hollywood, this new novel captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system, viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.
In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town's golden age. The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of “The Call of the Wild.” Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly. Anchored by Adriana’s masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy. This mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than life characters both real and fictional, including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel, and more. It is the unforgettable story of one of cinema's greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.
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Now you have a movie and a book to keep you busy while you are off on this Columbus Day weekend. You can pre-order Adriana’s book on Amazon.com. She lives in Greenwich Village, New York with her husband and her daughter.
Till Next Time…….
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