a melting pot kitchen
My mother was a melting
pot in herself. She was part English, part Irish, part German, part French,
AND she was married to an Italian. To please my father, most of her dishes
were Italian. She made great pastas, great minestrone,
and the best risotto that I ever tasted.
Risi e bisi was a standard, and once a year she'd make
risotto with pumpkin and kale.
She did that as a special treat when autumn came and leaves began to fall.
Mom was an adventurous cook, though, and she said that she'd be happy
to use the best ideas of every cuisine, so for variety she'd cook Chinese,
Japanese or Indian food. Even Norwegian and we all loved fiskebollar which
are Norwegian fish balls.
Her kitchen was a melting pot.
On the holidays she
was a traditionalist. At Thanksgiving we had turkey with Italian- flavored
stuffing which was a concession to my father. On the side was my favorite
- apple rings in sherry syrup. That appeared at Christmas, too, just because we insisted.
On Christmas we always
had roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, creamed onions, pureed turnips. In the morning we woke to the smell
of apple pie, for mom got up long before anyone else. We would run down
the stairs to find presents piled under the tree and mom in a well-floured
apron. Christmas had come.
The first thing I
learned to cook when I left home was apple pie. In those days -getting
used to being on my own- I was sometimes lonely. I found that when I cooked
an apple pie, I felt as if my family was with me. Since I couldn't eat
an entire pie by myself, I'd invite friends over. I was never lonely for
Gradually I became
a good baker, and then I started experimenting. I think I inherited
my mother's sense of adventure and this recipe is a result of the experimenting.
The only thing that is different from my mother's is that I add mascarpone
cheese. I think my Italian blood wanted to express itself. My mom likes
this variation so much that she nicknamed it Melting
Pot Apple Pie. When we get together we like to make it, whether
it's Christmas or the Fourth of July. And Mom said that now she ALWAYS
puts in mascarpone. SEARCH
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