Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian by Mary Taylor Simeti, Maria Grammatico

By Mary Taylor Simeti, Maria Grammatico

On the age of 11, the daughter of a Sicilian sharecropper, Maria Grammatico, entered the San Carlo Institute within the mountaintop city of Erice, an orphanage run by means of nuns who have been recognized all through Sicily for his or her almond pastries, yet who have been much less adept at facing younger ladies. After ten years of exertions and cruel self-discipline, Maria emerged with the secrets and techniques of the nuns' pastries hidden inside of her head.

This is the tale of her carefree state childhood—her Dickensian lifestyles within the orphanage with out warmth, no working water, and in simple terms wood-burning ovens—and her triumphs as an entrepreneur and a world-famous pastry chef.

Bitter Almonds contains forty six of the recipes that she 'stole' from the nuns, dedicated to writing for the 1st time in those pages.

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Extra resources for Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian Girlhood

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You can make fresh juice in most quality, high-speed blenders; simply add about 1/2–1 cup of liquid to help get the blender running and easily process the chopped fruit and vegetables. Try filtered water, fresh coconut water, or fresh-squeezed orange juice (you can use a hand juicer to make your own). Avoid hard and fibrous vegetables like carrots and beets, unless you have a juicer or super-high-powered blender, like a Vitamix. The following are some favorite juice combinations to try: • Apple, raspberry, beet greens, lime, mint • Beet, apple, lime, turmeric, mint 61 • Coconut water, cucumber, pineapple, ginger, parsley • Orange, carrot, celery, watermelon, ginger 62 Chapter 4 RECIPES 63 QUICK DRESSINGS & ACCOMPANIMENTS Sweet Balsamic Dressing PREP TIME: 2 MINUTES This is a great all-around dressing, especially good for green leafy salads.

Investing in a slow cooker or rice cooker can be a fantastic idea for the time-poor. Perfect for preparing anything like grains, rice, and even casseroles and soups in advance. Roasted vegetables are simple to prepare, taste amazing, and provide lots of important vitamins and minerals. Simply preheat the oven, throw any chopped vegetables in a baking tray, drizzle with oil, add a few good pinches of your favorite herbs and spices (things like paprika, cumin seeds, cinnamon, thyme, and rosemary all work well), and toss to coat with a little pinch of salt flakes and cracked pepper.

Crunch your way through these goodies or cut larger vegetables into batons and serve alongside hummus or bean dip for added goodness and yum. Rice or corn cakes make a good substantial snack. Top with nut butters or tahini and sliced banana or fig. Another great option is mashed avocado or edamame beans with sprouts, cherry tomatoes, or leafy greens. Miso soup is a wonderful pick-me-up that’s tasty and so good for you. There are a couple of good instant brands available; be sure to check the ingredients for fish, sometimes labeled as bonito.

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