#Share it with your family, share it with the world
Nothing defines a culture, or a family than the special flavors that fill and decorate their kitchens.
Culture is a word that defines every aspect of who we are. Yet if you ask someone to define part of their culture they’ll inevitably start talking about their grandma’s lasagna or the way their great-great grandfather smoked salmon with birchwood instead of apple. When you prepare a dish that has been handed down generation after generation for your children you don’t just give them a meal, you give them part of the very fabric of your being.
Every family has their secret ingredient. The one thing that makes their dish unique, and of course, the best. Learning the secret can be more satisfying than eating said dish.
“My great-grandmother Angela didn’t have fresh milk. She only had cocoa, cream, and sugar.” I can still hear my Grandmother say. Every Christmas she would tell us the same story, especially if someone complimented her on how she would prepare the traditional pionono relleno, an Argentine dessert similar to the American yule log cake. Christmas wasn’t Christmas until we heard her relate the invention of our family’s secret ingredient.
Now I live in the US with my daughters. And very much like my Great-great Grandmother Angela, who emigrated to Argentina from Italy, I teach my daughters the secret ingredient. I know that it helps tie them back to Argentina when necessity was the mother of all inventions. Without Angela’s legacy, the only culture I could afford my children would be nothing more than a google search for ” traditional Argentine Pionono”. Thanks to the work of each generation I have a rich family tradition to draw upon.
Share your family, share the world; an idea born while cooking with my daughters.
Armed with Agelas secret my daughters decided to share it with one of our neighbors. We didn’t expect to receive anything in return. We only wanted to share part of what made our family recipe the best in the world. A day later our neighbor, Debbie, decided to pick up our lead and share her family’s secret recipe for Pumpkin Cookies, with us. Her secret was to omit the allspice and double the nutmeg (Debbie if you’re reading this, I apologize for the last sentence). More delicious than her cookies, yes they were great, was to learn that her grandfather was allergic to allspice, hence the change. Greater still is now her recipe is part of our family and story.
Keep your family together in the kitchen, relive the stories behind each ingredient. Then be kind and share your secret with the world.
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of flour
Vanilla extract and/or citrus zest
- Place the eggs in the bowl and beat until they start to form up. You should be able to draw a line in the mixture and see that it stays for a moment.
- Add honey and vanilla extract, with your choice of a citrus zest ( honey is used to give color and elasticity to the dough )
- Continue mixing
- Add the flour and sugar then continue mixing with a stirring motion to form a homogeneous mixture.
- In a greased cookie sheet place wax paper that has been buttered and floured.
- Place the mixture on the paper and spread it with a spatula to cover the paper.
- Place it in the oven at 380 degrees. The oven should be hot so the dough does not lose moisture and turn hard as a biscuit.
- Cook for 8 minutes or until the surface is a light golden-brown.
- Remove from oven and roll while it is still warm.
- Unroll the pionono and cover with mayonnaise or cream cheese
- Place layers of ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, etc.
- Roll up tightly
- Decorate and leave in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
Using the same procedure the savory, you can use whip cream or Dulce de Leche (caramel) and seasonal fruits.
You can also add food coloring during the mixing of the dough to make the display more colorful, or you can add cocoa powder to replace one tablespoon of flour.
Do you have a recipe to share with your family and the world? Share it us on #shareitwiththeworld