Do you guys think that, because we’ve been stuck inside a pandemic for far too long, national holidays are taking on a deeper meaning?
I mean, this Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’ve never really been sentimental about Mother’s Day, but for some reason, this one is really hitting home.
I think it’s because I have been working from home now, exclusively, for 14 months…(hardly) no mtgs…(hardly) no interaction…(hardly) no real human connection.
I think about my mom, who had many jobs before we were born (more about that later) but, after becoming a mom, she was my dad’s bookkeeper and worked, alone, sitting at an office typewriter in the basement…everyday…just her and a poster of Elvis (I know, strange…she loved him). That was back when there was nothing but a landline…no internet, no lunches with friends, no meetings outside the house at a local café.
Just her and Elvis.
Every single day.
But she was resilient (like most moms of her generation). She did what she had to do to keep things running smoothly.
That’s my mom below (on the left…she was in high school here…she’s standing on Steeles Avenue at Yonge Street…yes, it was once a dirt road!!)
Do you know what else is cool? My mom came to Canada when she was 13 with her family (unlike my dad who came on his own when he was 18…which still blows my mind). She went to school here so she doesn’t have an Italian accent like most of my Italian friend’s moms. She was cool from the beginning.
She wanted us to be Canadian, so we were forced to speak English (for all you youngsters out there, many of my Italian friends would go to school without knowing one word of English…imagine being a teacher back then!?!?). Sure, she would make Italian food, but she was always experimenting with other cultures – and the day that she bought TV dinners and served them to us a night was a night I’ll never forget. The look on my dad’s face when he peeled back the foil, stared down at his plate and asked “why is there a little square of apple stuff here touching my meat?” If you know, you know!!
My mom was determined to figure it all out on her own. She got married to my dad (they met like most new immigrants…at a dance in the local church basement) and then they started to create a life together. My mom, to help with the finances, worked the night shift at Laura Secord making chocolates and then, worked as a butcher at a local grocery store during the day. She was a busy lady.
But she always made time to make treats for us. One of the smells that often came from the kitchen was from these cookies – Italian pizzelle.
The other day, my friend Ruth was asking me for my pizzelle recipe and, when I pulled it out to give her a copy, I realized this would be the perfect “ode to my mom” for this mothers day.
I often talk about my dad here because of his olive oil and his love of gardening, but my mom’s influence on me has been far greater.
The deeper I get into my food journey the more I realize I’ve picked up so much from her…her curiosity around food, her “never waste a drop” mentality and her love of feeding lots of people.
Those are good traits to inherit.
This is my mom’s pizzelle iron (you can buy these at most Italian grocery stores and you can absolutely get it on Amazon!). My mom even has her grandmother’s manual pizzelle maker – it’s not electric, it has long handles and is meant to be held over an open fire to “bake” the cookies.
The batter is pretty simple…
The first one will probably be dark…that’s okay. You have to test out the timing (make sure you spray the iron at least for the first two).
If you’d like to serve them like cannoli, you certainly can…just roll them immediately after removing them from the iron…they’ll stay in that form!
These cookies are so awesome…if you slather Nutella or peanut butter (or even ice cream) in between two of them, then you have an epic dessert!
Even if you don’t want to try your hand at these, you can always buy the store bought ones and shape them yourself (you can read about that trick here)
To all you mamas out there, I hope you have an epic Mother’s Day this Sunday.
I hope you get spoiled.
I hope you get to put your feet up.
And I hope someone out there makes you epic cookies so your day can be that much better!!
Ohhhh and a special shoutout to my mom.
The lady who taught me that all food is good food if it’s served with love!
Italian Pizzelle Cookies
If you've ever had these Italian cookies (most grocery stores carry them!), you'll know how addictive they are...super crunchy
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup mild oil (canola/vegetable/avocado)
- 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- cooking spray
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until combined; add oil and mix again
Add in ground almonds and extract and blend again.
In a small bowl, sift flour and baking powder together; add to egg mixture and mix well.
Let the batter rest for a while and heat up your pizzelle maker. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and drop batter (by tablespoonfuls) onto the waffle iron trying to keep it into the middle and close the waffle iron and cook until the light on the waffle iron goes back on.
Open the waffle iron and pull off the cookies. repeat until all the batter is done.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.