1-2 C. lettuce
1-2 C. arugula
1/4 C. chopped mint leaves
Add on top:
4 C. seeded watermelon chunks
1 C. feta cheese
1/4 C. olive oil
zest and juice of 1-2 limes
2 T. white vinegar
For the children of Manny and Barbara Scavone, life has always been a banquet. This collection is intended for them to share the traditional Italian recipes handed down through the women of the family, and so lovingly prepared during their childhood. It is also for the extended family, bringing new dishes to the fold.
The handing down of recipes through the generations is a means of preserving family as an identity. One doesn’t simply produce offspring, one leaves them with the knowledge of who they are, with parts of those who’ve gone before and what they knew of life. In teaching her to cook, a mother teaches her daughter to nurture, to grow her children to be strong and good, and to preserve the tradition of family for them to take as their own.
When a new daughter entered the family, she went to her new mother to learn her husband’s favorite dishes, for to do his job of supporting the household, a man needs nurturing, too. Stella learned from Fanny how to cook for John; Barbara learned from Stella how to cook for Manny. The new daughter combined these skills with her own; thus, the family table was further enriched, and traditions grew.
It is to our lasting good fortune that these women were much more than students. Each was a talented chef. They knew how to follow a recipe and when exact measurements were important. But so much of it was instinctive. Mom would put "this much" salt in the gravy, and pour an amount into her palm. Was it a teaspoon? A tablespoon? It was enough so that the gravy tasted right. They were inventive. What matter if there was little in the refrigerator when times were tough? They could take almost anything and make a meal that more than satisfied hunger and taste. Experiment with the recipes yourself, add your own touches. Mom, Nana and Grandma won’t mind, as long as you enjoy what comes out. In our family tradition, food represents the bounty of the Earth. It is a gift, and our duty not only to use it, but to use it well.
Visitors to our Cookbook have come from all 50 U.S. states plus these other countries: