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Thank you so much for the shout out 🥰 I enjoyed reading your reflections and HEAVILY relate to this: "more often than not, I forget what I learned by the time the first morning light hits our windows. Inspiration is what remains, not recipes." I have been so hard on myself about this, expecting myself to remember everything I read and learn, and getting frustrated when I can't. But this is such a good way to look at it - the inspiration remains, and that's what counts. Because the info can be sought out again, anytime. My most precious cookbooks at the moment are the two volumes of "La cucina molisana," which was published in the 80s. Impossible to find new copies (these are my nonna's). We cherish them!

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Thank you for your comment Cassandra, it's funny, I almost edited that whole paragraph out to shorten the newsletter. Now I'm happy I didn't! I just googled La Cucina Molisana, it looks like the same author has written quite a few cookbooks of different regional cuisines. There are copies on ebay sold for 4 euros, a bargain (tempting).

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Jul 4, 2023Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Loved reading this. I grew up in a house where cooking was a chore to my parents and I’m not sure they owned a cookbook! It wasn’t until I got married and started eating out in London that I wanted to be able to cook and the books that helped me the most (which we still have and use) were Delia Smith’s Cookery Course (vols 1-3) they are so well written for beginners who want to learn how to cook. I used cooking as stress relief whilst working (I worked away from home a lot and long hours)and coming home on a Friday and at the weekend it was great to immerse myself in the kitchen with a new recipe for a couple of hours. Now that I am retired I find myself cooking more and more and searching for authentic recipes for dishes from around the world, but particularly Italy, France and the UK. I have far too many cook books (my wife would say so anyway) and some series of recipes from newspapers that I have kept. My favourite 5 books would be (today, anyway!): Delia Smiths Cookery Course, Rick Stein’s Seafood, The Silver Spoon, Francesco’s Kitchen and Richard Bertinet’s Dough. Mind you, ask me tomorrow and I would probably name a different five!

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Hi Andrew, thank you for your lovely comment, it's so nice to learn more about you and your favourite cookbooks.

There's so much in your relationship with cooking I can relate to, from growing up in a family where not much attention is given to the pleasures of spending time in the kitchen, to only discovering that I do enjoy cooking as an adult, and definitely its meditative and stress relieving powers (I particularly love a good baking project on the weekend).

Delia's Cookery Course sounds really up my street, thanks for recommending it. By the way, I just got a second-hand copy of Francesco's Kitchen. Have you ever cooked from it? Quite excited about it (I've noticed that my recipe for carnival frittelle, the fritoe, is substantially different than his, so next February will surely give it a try for comparison).

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Jul 4, 2023Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

I’ve cooked a few recipes from Francesco’s kitchen; pea risotto, asparagus risotto, Venetian style potatoes. I’m going to try the Burano Biscuits recipe, having had some in Burano recently. Apart from the recipes in the book I just love the other parts about life in Venice and especially the history of the fork!

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I agree, the book does an excellent job of depicting life in Venice. Is the story you mentioned about the fork the one involving a foreign queen who introduced forks upon marrying a nobleman? I vaguely recall it. My initial encounter with that tale was in a book by Giampiero Rorato, a prominent food historian specializing in Northeastern Italian cuisine. Unfortunately, his books are exclusively in Italian. However, his blog, which includes recipes, is readily translatable via browser: http://giampierororato.blogspot.com.

The Burano cookies are among my upcoming winter projects for this newsletter! Please keep me updated on your experiments with them :)

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Enjoyed this post! Must get a copy of How to Cook a Wolf :-)

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Thank you for your commment, I'm glad you enjoyed the read :) I wonder if there's a food/recipe book that has a special meaning to you?

Let me know how like How to Cook a Wolf, if you ever get around it :)

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Aug 30, 2022·edited Aug 30, 2022Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

I can't say that I do. My mother, who is an incredible cook, never used recipe books. However, I have begun to print out and collect in a binder recipes that I gather from the internet and my children have begin to use them, so documenting family recipes has become more important to me but I have to write out ones that I know how to make for my kids sake.

That hasn't stopped me from collecting cookbooks tho! I treat them like reference books and don't really have a favorite. I also just enjoy having them around. I wrote about growing up vegetarian and learning about cooking from my mother, who did not grow up veg here:

https://occasionallyimpervious.substack.com/p/white-bread-and-miso-soup.

I look forward to reading more Sinù!

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They do keep you company, don't they!

My father in law has this tiny drawing notebook where he writes downs his and his late mom's recipes and for each of them he paints something, like a banana for the banana bread recipe and so on... so precious. Collecting family recipes is always a great idea :)

Thanks for linking the post, I grew up vegetarian, too, so I'm quite curious to read about your experience!

Wishing you a good day, and thanks again for subscribing :)

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Oh wow, I love your FIL's method - so much prettier and more meaningful than printouts from the web. I absolute treasure the handwriting of loved ones. I wish I had some of my grandmother's recipes written in her own hand. I am absolutely going to do this! Reader requested guest post with your FIL - I'd love to see a page in his book! 😊

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I wish I could send you a photo right now, I'm here with him filming a recipe!

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Aug 12, 2022Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Loved reading about your experience, Sinù. It makes me think of the blank cookbook I bought when I was probably about 11. It had a red and white checkboard cover and I filled it with all of the cookie recipes that my mom and I made while I was growing up. It's since fallen apart, but I loved flipping through it as I made the same cookies with my son years later. And thank you for the cookbook recs, there are a few I added to my list!

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That is a lovely memory of you and your mom, Gina. Does your son knows about the history behind those cookie recipes? Also, make sure to transcribe them into a new notebook before the original one falls apart for good!

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Aug 14, 2022Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Yes! He also does a lot of baking with my mom. That's a good idea, to recopy them for him. During the first year of the pandemic, my son and I created our own binder of the recipes we tried/used. Those would be a great addition to it!

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Why not, and then it can grow as he grows and go on to be cherished by future generations. I love the idea of a family cooking repertoire:)

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Aug 11, 2022Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Lovely to hear from you. You write so beautifully, it's always a joy to read your newsletter.

I'm sorry to hear things have been tough for you. Sending warm wishes your way.

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Hello Marg, thank you, it's good to be back :) Hugs right back at you!

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Lovely to read your words, as ever ❤️ Oh I love Nigel Slater’s writing. I’m not a cook at all, but will happily read anything he writes!

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Right? I am the same really, he's just so good with words! Thank you for stopping by, sending hugs xx

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Aug 10, 2022Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

This was all very interesting! It's fascinating hearing about your family members who left Italy, and that book The Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce sounds really good! You mentioned so many good books. I love Julia Child's story, and I've always enjoyed reading about her life. I want to look up the Kitchen Diaries now, too! Thank you for sharing some of your favorites with us, I was happy to see your post in my inbox this morning!

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Aug 11, 2022·edited Aug 11, 2022Author

Thank you Miranda! I'm so glad you enjoyed id. It'd be amazing if you could put your hands on Montanari's book, it's such a pleasant way to learn about Italy. If you're a fan of Julia, perhaps you already know about the photobook that's been published recently, a collection of images shot by Paul Child. I'm pretty sure it's gorgeous to flick through.

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I really love this piece, Sinù--both heart-wrenching and heartwarming in its tales of family, new beginnings and finding inspiration in cookbooks new and old.

I’ve got an eclectic cookbook collection that I keep adding to despite being out of space in the pantry shelves where they’re stacked. I ordered the latest, “Mamushka,” by Olia Hercules in March after the start of the Russian assault on Ukraine. It’s a beautiful book of Ukrainian and Eastern European recipes. It was back ordered (suddenly there’s a big demand for everything Ukrainian!) and just arrived this week, so I’m just reading it and loving the pictures. There’s a recipe for Ukrainian biscotti that I may be making very soon! Thanks again for your beautiful blog!

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Hi Ruth, thank you so much for your comment, I wonder if there was any cookbook that your family brought with them when they moved to the US.

Have you got Summer Kitchens? I downloaded the preview in my Kindle and wow the photography is stunning and the first chapter is all about pickling and preserving, which seems so promising. Olia is about to publish another cookbook if I'm not mistaken...

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Thanks, Sinù! I haven’t got Summer Kitchens, but it’s definitely on my list, and I’d like to see Olia’s new cookbook when it appears. I have tried some pickling and preserving, but am still a novice and eager to learn more. There’s always so much to learn in the cooking world (and in every other!), I afraid I will always feel like a novice, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Keeps us growing!

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That is definitely a good thing :) I'm nowhere near as experienced as you are in the kitchen but never felt as I was behind. Unless one is a professional chef, cooking remains a personal journey filled with the excitement of new discoveries... which is what makes it the best kind of journey!

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I so agree, Sinù--about the personal journey part. I'm still learning. If I wasn't after all these years, I probably wouldn't want to cook anymore. Sometimes I do feel stuck in a rut, but then, if I have a new cookbook to explore, it's like embarking on a new adventure.😊

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Good to hear from you again! I was beginning to wonder if you were still writing lol...

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Interesting, I found myself wondering the same lately 😂 I hope you're well, dear Hoang, thank you so much for stopping by 🙏

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So good to have you back, Sinù, another beautiful piece. Guess what? My sister-in-law lived in Firenze in the 1980’s and gave me a gift: The Talisman! My copy has a red and green striped book jacket, well worn by me. I also admire Mimi, I have Old World Italian and get lost in looking at the stunning photos. Another book I love is Skye McAlpine’s A Table in Venice. Love your collection, and also, wow! on the craftsmanship on the knives made by your family! Thank you for another lovely post, Sinù! ❤️

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Thank you for reading Jolene!! I believe that The Talisman may have some special powers, you can feel it when you hold it in your hands (that's a bit woo woo, I know 😂). Is there a recipe from the book that stuck with you?

Skye is adorable and talented. When I read A Table in Venice, I thought to myself that only someone who was raised in Venice could've written such a book. Certain details and stories transport me back to when I was living there, too.

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I love the feel of the book, too! (I am a bit woo woo myself!) the Loin of pork with milk! Delicious!

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What a wonderful collection! I am about to pack up my lifetime of books. Again. and head to Venice!

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Oh that's great news! Are you going to stay in Venice for a while then? 🐟

I'd love to know if there's one book among the many you're packing that you'd absolutely recommend...

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I am! The cookbook that I am most sentimental about is Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking. I will probably also bring Rachel Roddy's My Kitchen in Rome because no matter how much I love Venice I will always miss Rome.

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Aug 9, 2022·edited Aug 9, 2022Author

There's nowhere in the world like Rome ❤️ It's funny, I wanted to add Home Cooking to the list today but the newsletter would've exceeded the length limit. I agree, her writing is intimate and unique. I just wish she was given more time on this world to live longer and write more.

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Funny you should ask! Her absolute favourite is Michel Roux Sr's 'New Creative Techniques from a French Master Chef'. It was published a while back but she loves the way he has adapted some of the classics to make them lighter and healthier

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Thank you! This is a great suggestion and right up my street. I love a good recipe but learning cooking techniques specifically is way more exciting. Will look it up 👌

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What a beautiful, heartfelt piece of writing about food and family. I'm going to share this with Sabrina who is also a serious collector and voracious reader of cook and food writing.

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Thank you Marco, I'm so glad you enjoyed the read. I'd love to know if Sabrina has any book recommendations to share!

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