Saturday, August 26, 2006

Our PC is Back - Pic's & Parmesan

We have our PC back from the computer rescue people and I just downloaded 411 pic's from my dig. camera card - doesn't include my Canon film this summer. Just a FEW pictures! So here is a small sample: girls with Rebecca & Jacob in Fresno, favorite Lake Zurich activity - feeding Swans, with cousins Julia & Natalie in Germany and on the Capital Mall for 4th of July - Go USA!!! So I may go crazy here and there with the pic's but have to get them all sorted out.

So I am making dinner tonight, pasta, and I am grating parmesan cheese and realizing that 2 months ago I would have been shaking it out of a green can. One of my favorite food memories as a child was watching my grandpa grate parmesan while getting family dinners ready. He wouldn't let us grate it as he didn't want us to grate our knuckles (it does hurt, trust me). There would be this beautiful, light and fluffy pile of parmesan in a brown plastic bowl that we would sprinkle generously over Grandma's Rigatoni. So I thought I would like to share the story of the Parmesan cheese and my Grandpa Bianco (dad's side).

As I go into this story, I will explain that Gpa Bianco came over from Sicily to the Chicago area when he was about 8 yrs old (moved to CA during WWII). He was always a very precise person, very interested in history, grew much of their own veggies, etc... and Kraft Mac n'Cheese never darkened their doorstep. Had even built a solar oven in the backyard that the lady next door kept insisting he used to communicate with aliens (there was a lot of tin foil on it). The following is my favorite memory of him before he passed away - he was in his 80's.

Bart and I had just purchased our first house (San Ramon) and were having an Open House. I chose to make pasta - it's easy and I like it. I cooked the sauce in the crock pot all day. Then we went to serve the meal and I realized my Uncle Dave had just arrived with Gpa Bianco. I made a very conscious decision right then and there to NOT serve any parmesan with the pasta, salad and bread that was being dished out. Well, Gpa finally got around to the pasta and after declaring it tasted pretty good (high praise) wondered if he could get some parmesan for it! I start to stumble and Uncle Dave is there smirking with amusment as I explain to Gpa that I only have parmesan out of the green can (at least it was Kraft, not generic) and I didn't have any real parmesan. By now Dave is laughing and Gpa has very graciously taken the can. He explains to me all the while that I need to go to the Italian deli and get a block of parmesan and a nice grater........

I must admit that I cannot find a green can of cheese here. But it was very easy to find a brick of parmesan at the store. Every time I need it, I grate it. I don't have a brown plastic bowl but we make do with a little glass one. The girls seem to like spooning it over their pasta. I hope they too will have similar fond memories of the little things as they grow. And while I have high hopes of tomatoes, zuchetti(aka zuchini) and yellow squash in my garden next year, I don't think we'll be building any solar ovens!

1 comment:

Lynn Breakenridge said...

I really enjoyed reading your blogs. Thank you Bart for sending me the link. It is so wonderful to catch up on your new life in Zurich. The girls are getting so big! Give'm hugs from me....god bless!