I grew up getting up at the crack of dawn during the summers to go to the garden to pick vegetables. We would then spend the day preparing the vegetables for that night’s supper, freezing or canning at the canning plant. My mother made the best pickles, jams, jellies and vinegars. My husband still LOVES her Dixie Relish and continues to brow beat me to learn the recipe. I have my grandmother’s old chest freezer in my basement filled with frozen vegetables, ground venison and frozen fruits to use during the winters. Therefore, this way of life is at least familiar to me. However, I know how far from this “simple” living I have really come and am inspired to go “back to my roots” a bit and incorporate that along with some of the simplicity of the meals and recipes from this Italian village into my own kitchen. Granted, I may not be making jelly or pickles this year, and can promise you that I will NEVER make my own sausage, but hopefully, I can offer fresh vegetables and fruits dressed and prepared simply for my family more often and in less time than we can eat or order out.
In fact, the other night we were coming back into town and rather than run to the grocery store, or order from my husband’s favorite Italian place, I whipped up a quick and delicious pasta dish from the fresh produce we had on hand, good olive oil and a tad of fresh parmesan cheese. It was so much better, quicker and cheaper than any other option!