Monday, April 2, 2012

On books, magazines, and Polenta like my Grandmother used to make

Today I received an email from my publisher congratulating Arantxa and me for having our book  Party Food for Girls included in the Storylines Notable Books List for 2012, (the only cookbook to be included in the non-fiction category). Beattie's book blog has already reported the news, and you can read about the other books that have been selected directly on the Storyline website, The Storyline Notable Non-fiction is awarded for "authoritative, well-designed informational books accessible to children and young adults".







And if you have young children (0 to 5) check out the current issue of Little Treasures Magazine for my food feature Café at Home, with some yummy restaurant-like vegetarian meals for children.


Meanwhile at home is starting to feel like Autumn, and colder evenings are perfect for polenta. Usually I make soft polenta, I always preferred the soft type that you spoon into a plate and cover with a thick wild mushroom sauce or a stew, but memories are coming back of the type of polenta my Grandmother used to make in the North of Veneto: it was dense and stirred with a thick wooden stick in a gigantic pot over a wood fire, and then she pour the hot golden mass on a big wooden tray where it set hard in no time. She kept the polenta in the drawer of the kitchen table so you could get a slice at any time, and attached to the wooden tray there was a piece of string used to slice the polenta, so you didn't even need a knife.






Of course I attached a string to my chopping board: I wanted to do the same as Grandma, and I hope that you will like the idea too. Serve the slices with your favorite casserole, or top with cheese and let it melt, and when the polenta is cold just grill the slices or fry them, or cut them really thin and use them instead of pasta for a gluten free lasagna. Or you can also make these polenta chips.







Photos and Recipes  by Alessandra Zecchini ©


23 comments:

  1. Complimenti Alessandra, che soddisfazione!

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  2. Brava Alessandra, complimenti!!!

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  3. Congratulations on the publication successes - well deserved!! But I'm LOVING the polenta board and string!! Look forward to impressing a few friends with it sometime ...

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  4. Ciao Alessandra
    Grazie per la tua visita, molto gradita: mi ha fatto molto piacere.
    E complimenti per i tuoi successi
    A presto
    Dario

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  5. ma braveeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
    una soddisfazione dietro l'altra, sono felice per voi e chissà l'emozione tua come madre e di tua figlia!!
    la polenta invece per noi non va più bene, ormai viaggiamo verso l'estate :)

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    1. hehehe, venendo dalla montagna pero' la polenta si può mangiare sempre perché non ci sono mai serate afose senza golfino :-). Comunque e' vero, questa e' la stagione dove notiamo le differenze fra nord e sud (siciliani, voi siete a nord per noi!!!)

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  6. Congratulations Alessandra, and I love the idea of the string to cut the polenta - makes perfect sense!

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  7. Youll be shocked to know, I have never tried polenta! I know! Haha!

    http://haymarket8.blogspot.com

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    1. Yep shocked!! The pre-coocked only takes 5 minutes (instead of 45!), perfect for a busy lifestyle!

      Ciao
      Alessandra

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  8. che belle soddisfazioni Alessandra, sono felice per te! Buona settimana....

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  9. Congratulations girls, way to go!

    XXX to both
    Johanna

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  10. Lots of great things going on, well done to you both! The book you signed for friends two girls went to their school
    At week and the whole class made the petit fours.

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  11. Congratulations Alessandra :) I love the story about your Grandmother and the polenta. I am a little scared of polenta...a little project for a weekend soon I think!

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  12. Start with the instant one Mairi, is so easy!

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  13. Wonderful blog.
    Loved this polenta serving idea. Would do it myself, it's so neat.

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  14. what a great story. thanks for sharing!

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  15. But obviously! Why on earth didn't I ever think of that? Especially when I have, in the past, sliced my cakes with strings! :-D

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  16. Polenta isn't polenta without the string. My Nona and Dad would top the polenta with sugo - a rich, tomato based stew/sauce made with veal and pork. My family and I enjoy the meal with Polenta Sunday once a year.Yummmmm!!! Sophie

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