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Archive for September, 2009

tonyWhen my husband, Tim and I said our vows almost a year ago, we had no idea the sort of culinary journeys lay before us.  I knew I had a yeast problem (and so did the Spanx girdle that was cutting off my circulation under my $85 dollar wedding dress), but Tim wasn’t yet aware of his gluten intolerance.  We spent a lot of bloated nights together cooking in our back-porch of a kitchen, getting to know each other in many ways.  I discovered that it just wasn’t a good idea to keep mushrooms, or fungus of any kind in the house, even though Tim was okay with me cooking them for myself.  He discovered that whenever Cellina enters the kitchen to cook  within 7 minutes the far side of the room from trashcan to stove and every area in between will look like something exploded and died a very dramatic and painful death (but the results will always taste like heaven).

In this first year of marriage we have had moments of joy and heartache.  We have consumed wonderful creations and have really surprised ourselves in the kitchen.  Who knew two Irish-Sicilians could make such great Japanese cuisine, or bake!  Yes, bake!

We have eaten to dull the pain of  the loss of our mothers, the loss of our long-time companion, bread, and the discovery of our joined independence as husband and wife.

It all started on September 27, 2008, when we joined hands, lifted our forks and dug in to the greatest adventure of all: love!  I love food, and I love my husband, but most of all I love the unity that making meals together brings to our home.  It brings out the very best memories of my childhood (and those, my friends were few and far between, but that’s another post)!

This one’s for you, baby!  Enjoy:

mmmmm

mmmmm

Homemade (by glutenfreewallflower) three-layer white chocolate blackberry cake with buttercream icing!

Homemade (by glutenfreewallflower) three-layer white chocolate blackberry cake with buttercream icing!

May your life in love be this wonderfully food-a-licious!

Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

PS: did I mention that we got married the day after, as well (in our church) with another catered reception?? We are just that hungry.

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hotdogpicWhen I first received an invitation to my husband’s cousin’s baby shower, which was dated for Labor Day Sunday, it occurred to me briefly that it might just be bad timing.  Then, I woke up and realized that it was my salvation from every single bad cookout overflowing with generic potato salad, coleslaw and hot dogs filled with so much gluten I could bake a cake with a family value pack. This is because I was lucky enough to marry a man whose family loves food.  I mean, these people are gourmet with a capital G.  It was going to be a very, very tasty Labor Day weekend, indeed.

No, this wouldn’t be a frozen mini sandwich rolls and tiny freezer-burnt quiches sort of spread.  This would be homemade Asian pear cheesecake with gluten-free coconut crust, and cute little sandwiches on gluten-free bread, and figs, yes figs, with prosciutto-a whole plateful of glorious prosciutto ham!  Welcome to my kind of Labor Day weekend where the only labor exists between the point where the fork goes from the plate to my very grateful mouth!

Not that I’m against cookouts – not at all!  I love the feeling I get when I see a tableful of dishes, each from a different kitchen, each with a history and story and a heart of its own.  These days it’s a bit challenging trying to avoid every morsel that will turn into sugar once it passes my lips.  Salads drowning in vinagar and cold pasta seem to be top on the list of every single summer outing.  Watermelon, which used to be the favorite part of my summer (mostly because I would become a total kid with my rind, using it as head gear instead of compost) has become a no-no since I discovered fungi and me don’t mix.  I do find it very amusing that now I must eat my hamburger right off of the fork – a big hunk of beef hanging in midair making me look like a cave-woman after a very long and sparse winter.

This weekend, however, even after the mouth-watering delights, I find myself here wanting for something that food cannot give me.  See, the one person who started this all, who started this love of seared meats, and rich sauces, sweet desserts, and herbed vegetables was my father, and he is at a different kind of dinner party now.  This weekend reminds me of him so much not just because of the food we cook outdoors, but because of the family we keep deep inside of our hearts.

Where there is food, there is family, even if it’s inherited family or friends so dear they become kin.  Every year we would surround ourselves with that family.  We would fire up the grill (and the oven) and have the strangest combination of both burnt meat and baked noodles.  We’d turn on the Jerry’s Kids telethon and eat and laugh and drink cheap wine and cry.  We’d be so emotionally Sicilian it wasn’t funny and then we’d say goodnight and prepare for the inpending Fall to come.

Ah, Labor Day.  I do hope yours was filled with good food, good memories, maybe just a little sadness for what was, and a whole lotta hope for what will be.

Yours in foodaliciousness,

Cellina – The Hopeful Foodie

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