How others Preserve!!


Sometimes you are forutnate enough to meet someone with the same love of food that you have.
And not just someone who likes to eat or someone who obsesses with watching the Food Network, but someone who really LOVES food…every aspect of it….growing it, cooking it, experimenting with it, preserving it, cultivating it, sharing it, talking about it, and reading about it.
When I tell someone that I have made my own yeast, it’s nice not to get that crazy look.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have someone who has tried it too and wants to talk about your process and share theirs.  This is Ma Paolini (or Mrs. Paolini as I know her).  She is honestly too cute for words.  Her son, Frank and my husband have been best friends forever so I have adopted her as a “friend in food”.  Although I don’t talk to her or see her as often as I would like to, I hear stories about what she makes for her Sunday afternoon lunches through her son Frank.  It is wonderful how meals, like many Italian families, are about family and sharing time together as well as good food.
I always love hearing Frank tell me what they had for lunch (or even better, for Christmas Eve dinner!)…he explains it so well that I swear I can taste it.  I asked if I could take a peak (electronically) into her cellar, so Frank’s wife Shelley (and my dear friend) snapped a few photos of her “cantina”.


This looks eerily familiar to my mom’s cellar…stocked with jars of tomatoes, eggplant, lupini (awesome beans that are hard to explain but a great snack) and a bunch of other stuff.  I’m sure she has cans and bottles of things that were on sale that will keep throughout the winter and some kitchen utensils that aren’t used often (like a ricer, an extra pair of tongs – probably used for canning or cooking in the downstairs kitchen – and some tubes to make cannoli).  The shelves look homemade (probably made, lovingly, by her husband).

Here you can see the baskets she has hanging and her giant wooden spoon (probably used for big items cooked in a stock pot…like polenta…how I would love to go visit when she makes polenta!!).  But, you get the drift…whatever can be preserved and “put up” for the winter is kept here.  It’s a lot of work, but it is so worth it!

And here are olives…probably soaking or brining.  This is what my dad does when he goes to Italy -you can see that process here!  So, until I can meet with her and bribe her to show me one of her great dishes, you will just have to know that, if there is ever a nuclear war, there is a really nice cellar that you could live in happily for a very long time!
1 Comment
  • Cindy Hayen
    April 12, 2014


    Cindylink09/29/2013 11:38am
    I have a feeling that your ‘cantina’ probably looks as well stocked as this one!

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