Bizzirri Lovers Visit

You too can own a beautiful set of Italian ceramics pottery made by Bizzirri.

Courtesy of Horchow

Good news, Bizzirri lovers. (owned by Neiman Marcus) is selling the pattern above, a pattern they have called “Chopin.” Looks suspiciously like a Bizzirri product to  me.

Cenci for Carnevale


You will love cenci at Carneval time and they are easy to make.

Happy Fat Tuesday. Carnival time is here, Lent is near so it’s time to make some Cenci for Carnevale, those scrumptious Italian pastries made from rich egg dough, deep-fried and then sprinkled with lots of powdered sugar.

Carnevale in Italy

Back during the Dark Ages, when I lived in Rome, I had been in town about a month when I experienced my first carnevale in Italy.  I was hot-footing it in high-heeled boots through Piazza Navona on a cold February afternoon, on my way from my apartment to my Italian language class.  Suddenly I was accosted from behind by a gang of prankster boys, dressed up in costumes and engaged  in a carnevale custom–they were beating me about the shoulders with soft paddles filled with white powder. They must have thought I was a fried pastry that  needed a powdered sugar drudging.  And in fact, I ended up looking like one. I’d never heard of this custom and only wish I could have thrown those kids under the bus I was heading to catch.  They went after their next victim after I batted them away with my purse.  I wish I had a picture of that.  Lo these many years later, I’ve tried to Google the origin of this little carnevale joke, but to no avail.  If anybody knows, I’m all ears!

Carnevale in Italy includes masks and merriment in Rome.

The Romans will tell you that this is the time of year when every “transgression” is allowed, every prank and joke and disguise.  I also learned that carnival originated in Rome, not Venice or Rio.

Ancient Rome had its December celebration of “Saturnalia” in honor of Saturimagen the god of growing and harvesting.  Eventually, this winter celebration was Christianized.  “Carnevale” means “without meat” as the merriment leads up to Shrove Tuesday and finally Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten fast.

Turkey Tetrazzini Made Simple!


Turkey tetrazzini can feed a large crowd.

Looking for more recipes to use up your leftover turkey? Why not “Italianize” your turkey meat and make Turkey Tetrazzini.  Just add some cooked pasta to the meat, along with a few other yummy ingrediets, and bake the dish al forno (in the oven) for a delicious and creamy main course.

How To Eat Spaghetti




I published a version of the article below, How To Eat Spagetti, many plates of pasta ago. I  had a lot of fun writing it and, judging from people who contacted me, they had a lot of fun reading it. So here it is: a primer on how to eat spaghetti.  Do you recognize yourself?