Monday, January 30, 2012

Maria's Green Beans Italian-Style


2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed of ends
4 large tomatoes or 1 can (about 1 pound) whole tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-6 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or 1-2 tablespoons dried
Salt and pepper to taste
Snap the beans into 2-3inch pieces and wash well. Cook in boiling water for 5-6 minutes to soften slightly then drain well.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauté until softened. Add the tomatoes fresh or a can, add oregano, salt and pepper to flavor. Cook to a simmer, uncovered, until tomatoes start to fall apart. Add the green beans and cook, covered, until tender.  Test for flavor and add more oregano, salt and pepper if desired.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tradtions and Food

According to the Webster Dictionary "Tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action of behavior, or handing down of information, beliefs and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another with or without instruction, cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs and instructions."

This Christmas season, like past ones, families all over the world came together to celebrate the holidays.  Holidays rich in customs and beliefs, which have been inherited and passed on from one generation to another generation. We  go to church to celebrate the birth of Christ, put up Christmas trees, exchange Christmas gifts between friends and family, and we eat and eat and eat.

There is no doubt that food is a big part of these celebrations, but there is also no doubt, that its just not food.  Many of the dishes served, are steeped in tradition, passed down from generation to generation.  Food is not only an important part of our holidays, but also an important part of many other celebrations.  Many recipes are passed down from mother to daughter, one ingredient, just as important as the other, every recipe cherished like gold.  Many recipes never written down, but embedded in our memory, as we helped make these dishes with our mothers, grandmothers or other beloved family members.

I am sure that many will relate, when I say that many times we never even measured the ingredients, it would be a pinch of this or almost a cup of that, and yet the food always came out great, always perfect to the taste.  I hope that we can share stories in this blog, as well as recipes, memories and traditions from all cultures all over the world, because food brings us together to a table filled with love.