Januarys can be rather dull; while September ushers in bushels of apples, cider and doughnuts, October pays homage to the pumpkin. November we plan menus around family and turkeys (albeit there are times when one cannot make a distinction between the two) and December conversations center around words like: ho-ho-ho, hanukkah, cookie, celebration, party, gifts and cocktails among others. And after the letdown of ‘Happy New Year’ on January 1st . . . well . . . January can be rather dull.
Musical pairing – Autumn Leaves by Eva Cassidy
Hello, my name is Debra and I am a hardcore coffee snob.
Here at Smith Bites, we drink a lot of coffee and I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Seattle girl or because I have an Italian heritage or if it’s because I’ve been to Italy and experienced the real deal. In fact, I love the taste of coffee more than the hit of caffeine that comes as an added perk. And the crazy thing is that I never liked coffee until I was in my . . . (cough, cough). Too strong to drink straight (I swear some of that stuff will set yuh free, know what I mean?) and too bitter, even with heaps of cream and sugar. Then on the other end of the spectrum, I’d had the equivalent of hot water with a splash of coffee thrown in for good measure . . . sigh . . . I just didn’t get what all the hoopla was about.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Dr. Dom Caristi, one of The Professor’s colleagues at Ball State University; Dom and his wife, Kim are also good friends of ours and they fed us a wonderful dinner that evening. I asked Dom to share his experiences about his Italian heritage and what he observed while teaching in Macerata (MAH-chuh-RAH-tuh), Italy in 2008. I do hope you’ll take the time to listen – Dom is both entertaining and knowledgeable about the food culture in Italy – he has some great stories to tell!
Musical pairing – Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers
It was a perfect holiday weekend for The Professor and me; for several years, we’ve hosted a July 4th party at our home with 20+ invited guests. A whole lotta food and many hours later, we’re spent but very, very happy and content knowing we have such great family and friends. Last year’s July 4th, we were in Connecticut and didn’t have our party; this year we’ve traveled quite a bit and are now in the process of updating our dining room so we didn’t plan a party . . . not a big party anyway . . . but the perfect party for two which included these lovely Vietnamese Cupcakes.