Guest Blogger: Chris Manganaro
Food and family history often go hand-in-hand. While not every family bonds over food and not all memories revolve around it, we cannot deny that part of our past. Whether it is holidays or simply normal family dinners, food is an important part of our lives. Sometimes this fact is even influenced by family. This means that for some people, a memoir and a cookbook often go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Tony and Marc Danza would most likely suggest that they go together like ‘spaghetti and meatballs’, though. In the book that they wrote together entitled Don’t Fill Up on the Antipasto: Tony Danza’s Father-Son Cookbook, the Danza’s speak about their family as well as the recipes that have been a part of their family traditions. Tony Danza wanted to write this book, not only for the recipes, but also to give a little background about the people behind the recipes. In his case, this means showing where the love for cooking comes from: his family.
Cooking together is one of the best things about preparing a meal. The next best thing is usually eating what you have prepared and the reactions that we get from other people. This is something that the Danza’s book refers to quite often by mentioning along with the recipes, whose favorites they were or are. Knowing someone’s favorite dish is part of knowing who they are. It tells you their taste and in that, it gives a sense of the person’s personality. Some like it hot or not!
The conversational way in which the book is written is engaging, but it can also be a bit of a distraction. Due to the way it is written, with Tony literally saying things like “Back to you, Marc” when it is his sons’ turn to “talk” it takes you out of the experience. The book already makes the reader feel that way with the split up sections and recipes, it seems like an unnecessary thing to do. The book is written in a fun way which fits the tone it is going for, and as such, it gives the book its; own unique character.. The stories told hold the same charm as the voices which tell them.
The recipes which are included in this book are varied and mostly quite simple. They are family recipes like those that many people probably have themselves, but with the twist of being from the family of a celebrity. Whether or not you are a fan of Tony Danza, the book is an enjoyable read for all with recipes that are easy to recreate for the home cook
Hope to see you on
June 3rd- Italian Heritage Festival at Rose Tree Park in Media, Pa
June 2, 3rd- Great Grapes Festival, Hunt Valley. Maryland
June 18th-Celebrity Chef Dinner at Davios Northern Italian Steakhouse , Philadelphia, Pa.
For more great recipes, get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Cookbook- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition.
If you are near Exton, Pa you can also stop by (one of my favorite stores) Wendell-August and get your copy