This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

More Shops in Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 12, 2017

As a follow-up to my earlier posting, unusual shops in Venice, I’m posting some more shop windows and displays.

In a glass shop in the sestiere of San Marco, I found this chess set showing Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi Jews. I’m not sure this set would be very functional because the pawns are different designs and you would need to agree, in advance, on whether a Jew holding a palm branch or a Torah scroll is a bishop or a knight. Some stores have lights in their display windows that interfere with cellphone photography (the lighting turns bright pink or purple), but DSLRs are not affected.

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I bought this vase in a small glass shop in the San Polo sestiere. It’s probably a knock-off because it’s so cheap (25 euros = 100 NIS); the clerk said it was the last one in that design. Although I looked in lots of glass stores, I saw very few asymmetric teardrop vases, and the ones I did see were half the size, twice as expensive, and not as beautiful. The design is similar to the work of Vetreria Artistica Oball in the sommerso (“submerged”) technique. It’s 10 inches high and weighs about a kilo. The seller packed it in bubble-wrap and newspaper and sealed it in a sturdy, sealed carton. I shlepped it around Italy in my suitcase and hand-carried it on the flight back. The photo was taken when I got home. I love the clean, elegant lines and jewel colors of this piece.

Vase from Venice

All Saints’ Day is a public holiday in Italy, but who knew that they celebrated Hallowe’en with Jack o’lantern and bat cookies? Bakery in San Polo, Venice.

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These dishes with three-dimensional sculpted mice and pigs are adorable. I’m sure they’re decorations. If you were to eat off them, you’d have a tough time getting the food out of the crevices and you’d probably chip an ear or a snout.

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Everyone needs a gondola kit. Gondolier and velvet upholstery not included. They got the shape right–a gondola is asymmetrical. Because the oar is plied from one side of the gondola, that side is less curved, so that it will glide in a straight line.

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I would have loved a cheerful ceramic spoon rest for my kitchen counter, but there was a limit to how many breakable objects I was willing to carry.

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Torrone morbido (soft nougat) is a traditional Italian Christmas confection made from honey/glucose, beaten egg whites and lots of nuts. Here’s a recipe for a large quantity, with a video, Jamie Oliver’s version (requires you to wave a blowtorch around the metal mixing bowl during whisking), a beautifully photographed recipe that makes smaller quantities, and an extremely simple Sardinian torrone that requires only three ingredients: nuts, honey, and a couple egg whites. The commercial torrone have food coloring added. The homemade versions are extremely pale or white.

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Recipe: Azzime Dolci, Unleavened Cookies in Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 18, 2012

Azzime Dolci

Azzime Dolci translate as “sweet unleavened,” so a Google search will take you to a lot of Italian Passover recipe sites (but not these cookies, alas). I took the photo above at the cafe of the Jewish Museum in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. The lower photo was taken at Panificio Volpe, the kosher bakery around the corner from the Jewish Museum (you can buy azzime dolci there as well, and that’s probably where the Jewish Museum gets them).

Azimo

I didn’t taste the “unleavened bread” (pano azimo = matzah) in the second photo but I did have the Azzime Dolci. They were very tasty, a bit tough, with whole anise seed. I tried to find a recipe on the Web, without success. However, I did find it in my stained copy of Edda Servi Machlin’s Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews (Giro Press, 1981), vol. 1. It’s a Passover recipe and calls for Passover flour. You probably won’t  have access to Passover flour, so I suggest you use all-purpose flour and make it during the year when it’s not Passover.

Azzime Dolci al Vino (Sweet Wine Matzot)

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and form a dough. Turn out over an oiled surface and knead until smooth. Roll into a cylinder; then cut the cylinder into 6 equal slices. Roll each slice down to 1/4-inch thickness. Pinch two concentric rows of holes [see note below] and arrange on a lightly oiled and well-floured baking sheet. Bake in 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Serve as a wholesome snack or breakfast food.

Note: The instructions for making the holes are provided in her recipe for matzah.

To trim the edges: place your thumb at an angle at the edge of the disk and then pinch with thumb and index finger to create a small bump. Repeat this motion at the same angle all around so the bumps are the same distance apart. Now for the holes: a quarter of an inch from the pinched border, attacking the disk from one side, pinch a piece of dough with thumb and index finger, making two holes. Move the index finger into the hole made by the thumb (toward you) and pinch another hole. Repeat all around until the first loop of holes is completed. A quarter of an inch in from the first row, pinch the dough and make another loop of holes.

Yields 6

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