cooking and folklore



i've caught the cooking bug, again. it's been hard to motivate myself to prepare home cooked meals while in temporary housing but this weekend's cooking class gave me the boost i needed. Aldo a cook, tour guide, modern day renaissance man taught a group of twenty of us to cook neopolitan style, which amazingly enough is very simple. a few ingredients in these hearty meals with three courses built in.

the days menu included bruschette al pomodoro, Braciole, polpette di carne, pasta al ragu, parmigiana di melanzale (eggplant parmegian) and caprese. i've been tweeking my notes and recipes to post later. they were absolutely delicious.

the day started a little rainy and we walked and toured through downtown naples where Aldo took us to a good friends home with a kitchen large enough to house twenty eager cooks. we stopped serveral times so that he could catch up with friends and neighbors and for a little bit of history and folklore. while on the tour, i discovered that naples had many convents, mostly run by the unwed daughters of rich merchants sent away because of a lack of unsuitable suitors. the fathers would choose to keep the money in the family and in the hands of the men rather than an unmarried daughter....humph. you can imagine, then, that these convents were filled with unreluctant nuns. well, these girls needed to socialize at the end of the day after many hours of prayer and lavore [work] to catch up over some refreshments. the refreshment of choice being wine. this went on everday around five o'clock, right before nightfall...they called it happy hour! cin, cin...salute, amici!


  1. Heh, heh..."happy hour" indeed!

    Gen. Patton wrote of how the Sicilians "prepared" the various sauces...in detail. There are just so many regions tho'...but looks like a good way to learn.

    An Air force friend of me Pop's spent a lot of time in Turkey and that's mostly what his American wife would cook. Hmmm...

  2. There you are! Yum, yum, yum! Looking forward to the food posts!! My sister and brother (in-law) were in Italy for 6 weeks for architecture before they started grad school and they just ate & ate & ate & ate.


  3. happy hour...lol. i would love to have someone that knew what they were doing teach me how to cook...like maybe an Iron Chef. smiles.

  4. Girl, I love, love, love Aldo. I think I signed up for every tour he gave while we were there. He is the best! I am so jealous....I want to walk around Napoli with him again.
    Baci bella!

  5. What a wonderful cooking class--and I love that those nuns had Happy Hour!


Thank you.