Mom’s birthday party turned out just a special as we anticipated. In our previous blog entry, Leah shared with you about how her Great-Grandparents were from Palermo, Italy. For our theme, we wanted to incorporate foods that Harris’ mother would have enjoyed growing up.
Antipasti, or the starters, are very important in Sicilian cooking. We made two. We had some hot crab dip, a Maryland favorite, to celebrate my mother’s love of Ocean City. To celebrate her Italian heritage, we also made a fresh pesto and cheese pizza which was topped with arugula, basil, and cherry tomatoes. It was like a little slice of Italy! Below is a picture of the tomato mix before we dressed the pizza!
Since saffron is such a staple in Sicilian cooking, we made a very light saffron soup that was packed with mussels. Our guests really seemed to enjoy it, especially with our homemade rosemary focaccia bread. The bread was delicious, but wow- that recipe is not for beginners! It took us about 2 days to make!
For our main course, we made Angel Hair pasta from scratch two ways. The first, was aglio e olio style – meaning with olive oil, fresh basil, and sundried tomatoes. The second was a red-sauce based pasta, which was pared with homemade meatballs. But these meatballs, mixed with beef, veal, pork, prosciutto, and parmesan cheese, were not for the faint of heart! We also made some hot Italian sausage and baby backed ribs, all cooked in Harris’ homemade tomato sauce. And although the food turned out great, the best part was that the family was together, and sharing stories from the past. It was very special.
For dessert, we made the Decadent Chocolate Cake- check our recipes tab to try this one out yourselves! After dessert, we all joined around the piano for songs and stories. It was the perfect way to celebrate and we think Mary had a great time!