Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and I will be hosting a dinner party at mine tonight. The question is do I try out some Sicilian recipes or do the traditional bird which everyone is expecting. I think I may do a mixture of both as there are some vegetarians coming so they will have to have pasta, non? Anyhow will let you know how it goes. Am going to India on Friday so there will be few posts posted, unless a) my lovely sister posts for me or b) I have net access at Shruti's house in Delhi. Not sure of either but stay tuned. Will post this week and tell you more about Sicily as it has been scant info so far. Above is a photo of one of my favorite foods, fennel. (pics from Pasquale's farm in Sicily) Now before it became popular with Jamie Oliver bbqing it and using it in all sorts of recipes http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fennel-and-radish-salad-with-lemon-dressing it is normally eaten just freshly washed after dinner.
It has a celery-like texture and crunchiness and has a slight taste of sambuca and licorice. Look how beautiful it is when it grows, like a gentle and delicate grass (see pic).
From wikipedia's insight, fennel is considered to be a weed in the US and Australia (?!) It is one of the three main herbs used in the poisonous and highly drunkenness-inducing drink absinthe (do not ever have a shot on your birthday!), Indians often chew fennel seed (or saunf) as a mouth-freshener. Fennel is also used as a flavoring in some natural toothpastes. Some people employ it as a diuretic, while others use it to improve the milk supply of breastfeeding mothers.
This is the way to eat it Sicilian style:
-wash and slice into small pieces and use in a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans with olive oil, oregano and lemon/vinegar -or any fresh summer salad
-cut it into large chunks and put it in a roasting pan when roasting a chicken with potatoes and carrots on the side
-just wash and eat after dinner as a refreshing desert. (the most popular way!)
and call it by its Italian name -finocchio -just like Pinocchio with an f!
Well Happy Thanksgiving to those over the pond...for all others try and reflect today on all the things you are thankful for. Am sure you will see that they far outweigh the other minutiae of life that annoy you...