Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Good Day For An Authentic Italian Ice...

Today I passed a tradition on to my children that my mother shared with me from her childhood. It is snowing here in MD today, and we got approximately 3-4" of snow. I remembered how over the Summer of last year, my mother told me a story after she'd tasted some of my cousin Vince Ghione's homemade wine: she talked initially about how the wine tasted similar to the wine her family had made at home years ago. But then, her story expanded into something even more special.. She talked about how during the Winter months, when it would snow, her parents would make "snow cones" for her and her brothers. However, the list of ingredients was pretty short: 1. a cup of fresh snow, and 2. a little bit of homemade red wine poured over the snow (for color). It was a simple recipe, but it was one that was special enough for my mother to remember after over 60 years.

Today, as I watched the snow falling, and I sat with my children, I thought about the "snow cone" recipe my mother had shared with me. I didn't go to the full extent of putting homemade red wine on the snow, but I did make some for them using Welch's grape juice, and also one with a lemon juice/honey combo. The kids really enjoyed it, and my daughter simply could not believe her eyes as I went out onto the back deck and scooped fresh snow from the recent downfall.

As I made the authentic "italian ice", it made me really reflect upon how our ancestors used such simple creations as these to keep their spirits up in a strange, new World: America.

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