I have the most wonderful new Italian cookbook that is full of great regional recipes, advice and wisdom.
It was written by the late Marcella Hazan and is called “The Classic Italian Cookbook.” It is one of those books that when you start to underline text and turn down pages, soon the entire books seems defaced.
In the introduction she touches on a topic I think is profoundly important and relates to the daily family meal.
"There probably has been no influence . . . so effective in creating a rich family life . . . as this daily sharing of a common joy (meal)."
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Oh, what a pity that we, for the most part, have lost this joy.
But it is not too late. Gather your family around, plan and prepare a meal together (all electronic devices off), sit at the table, talk, eat, laugh and share.
Try this menu with your family.
TOMATOES STUFFED WITH SHRIMP
4-6 red ripe locally grown tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 pound local shrimp
1 teaspoon strong mustard
Slice the top off the tomatoes, and remove the seeds. Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes (not a second more) in salted water with a good dollop of vinegar. Let them cool in an ice bath, then peel and devein. Rough chop the shrimp and then combine with the mayonnaise (as much or as little as you like), capers (same deal) and mustard. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture, then serve chilled. Garnish with cilantro if you like.