Donna Maurillo, Food for Believed

1st an apology. I missed my column past week—the initially time ever. And I have been producing it for about 30 yrs. (Certainly, actually. Plus numerous meals capabilities in the lengthy in the past previous.) Second, an rationalization. You all recall how frequently I wrote about my wonderfully humorous Mother. […]

1st an apology. I missed my column past week—the initially time ever. And I have been producing it for about 30 yrs. (Certainly, actually. Plus numerous meals capabilities in the lengthy in the past previous.)

Second, an rationalization. You all recall how frequently I wrote about my wonderfully humorous Mother. She taught me how to cook my 1st meals. As the oldest of eight little ones, I was typically her suitable hand in the kitchen area. I learned how to make pasta sauce, beef and peppers with rice, minestrone, pumpkin pies, and pizza dough.

Mary Maurillo (aka Mary the Wild Female) dancing with the men at her granddaughter’s wedding ceremony. (Contributed)

She gave me my initial cookbook when I was 8 many years old. I created all the relatives birthday cakes. We youngsters would get all-around the kitchen area desk to make cutout cookies for Christmas. The more mature kinds did the chopping and baking although the younger ones did their finest with the frosting and the sweet decorations.

I have warm recollections of choosing bitter cherries from our tree so Mother and Grandma could make lattice-top pies. And all those people tomatoes we canned and saved in the cellar! (No concluded basements back again then. We experienced a serious cellar full with a coal furnace and various barrels of Grandpa’s homemade wine.)

Each individual time we children went to take a look at Mom just after leaving dwelling, she experienced a readymade pot of pasta fazool on the stove, together with a platter of Italian meats and cheeses on the eating room desk. She knew what created us feel superior, and she had it all set.

Anyway, what I’m having at is this. Gary and I went to Syracuse as quickly as New York Condition lifted its one-7 days quarantine necessity. I hadn’t seen Mom considering the fact that our final vacation was canceled mainly because of COVID-19, and I was psyched to see her all over again. But a couple of times just after we arrived, Mom handed absent.

I was one particular of the couple folks who, at 75 a long time aged, could say that my mom was even now alive. No additional. She was pushing towards the century mark, but at 96 many years, her body just gave it up. She wasn’t ill or in ache or anything. It was just time. She put in her previous pair of times at household in mattress with her loved ones keeping vigil.

Mom took her very last breath on Monday, June 7. I was cradling her head and telling her it was Alright to go. But I lied. We did not definitely want her to go, but people issues aren’t in our palms.

We stood in line for a few several hours at her visitation though crowds saved pouring in and telling us how a great deal she intended to them, how she’d usually designed them snicker, how welcome they’d often felt at her desk. Of course, all people had a humorous tale.

In the stop, I did not want this to be a sad column. Mother had a excellent lifetime, and she did nicely by us kids. She taught us how to have religion, how to be sort, and how to laugh at adversity. And she taught me how to locate my way about a kitchen. (Thanks for every thing, Mom!)

Easy Aspect DISHES

You know what you want for your primary class, but the sides constantly journey you up. Below are some uncomplicated suggestions. Most can be produced in just a handful of minutes:

Marinated Tomatoes – Toss sliced beefsteak tomatoes with olive oil, purple wine vinegar, crumbled feta cheese, a sprinkle of Italian herbs, and salt to flavor. Marinate 30 minutes ahead of serving.

Creamed Corn – Drain two cans of entire kernel corn (or use kernels from 4 cobs). Area in a saucepan. Melt 8 ounces of product cheese in the microwave. Blend with the corn. Heat it on lower warmth for a couple minutes. Insert a few shakes of sesame seeds, if wanted, or a drizzle of sesame oil. Salt and pepper to style.

Roasted Potato Cubes – Minimize a pound of crimson creamer potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Prepare on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 375F for 20 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with malt vinegar (or balsamic).

Tacky Cauliflower – Set up 2 cups of cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with minced new or dried oregano. Roast at 350 about 20 minutes or until tender and a small browned. Sprinkle with heaps of clean grated Parmesan.


I did not do the recipe I genuinely wanted to target on this week. No area soon after creating so a lot about Mom. But next time, I’ll have a paella recipe from Bob Berlage. He goes into a good deal of element, so be geared up.

Tip OF THE 7 days

Rub refreshing corn on the cob with a sliced lime. Then sprinkle with salt and chili powder or taco seasoning. It’s the way they get pleasure from it in Mexico.


Mother usually baked this for our just after-university snacking. It’s pleasant and filling. The fellas on my brother John’s track team known as it The Brick.


Helps make 2 loaves


1 pound darkish raisins (1 box)

4 cups water, divided use

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon Each and every floor cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt


1.     Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment, if desired. Established apart.

2.     Place raisins in a saucepan. Increase 2 cups of drinking water. Deliver to a boil around medium heat until eventually all the water is absorbed and raisins are plump. Clear away from heat. Insert the butter, stirring till it melts.

3.     Add sugar to the raisins, stirring properly. Incorporate the other 2 cups of h2o and the baking soda. Stir till it stops foaming.

4.     In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices, and salt. Insert the raisin combination to the flour combination. Blend until finally moistened, but do not more than-blend. Divide batter evenly between the two loaf pans. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick arrives out clear. Amazing 10 minutes ahead of eliminating from the pans.


1 box powdered sugar (1 pound)

1/2 stick softened butter

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/4-1/2 cup warm milk

1.     Sift the sugar into a bowl. Mix in the tender butter and almond extract. Include milk a very little at a time, mixing effectively right after each and every addition. The icing ought to be slender sufficient to drip down the sides of the loaves but not way too runny. You could not use all the milk.

2.     Drizzle the icing on the cooled loaves, permitting it drip down the sides.

Traci J. Lewis

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