How Food Brings Families Together

Many families are united by food. Every home has food traditions or a single dish that reflects its identity as a family. Sitting together, talking about, daily activities, family and enjoying the delectable food is the typical picture seen in each household. Most of these favorite dishes are preserved and passed from one generation to another. The art of cooking with or for a loved one can bring so much joy and passion, which acts as the binding agent that strengthens a family.

According to the renowned chef Aarón Sánchez, cooking with loved ones and peers pulls everyone together since they are given the opportunity to share their culture and heritage through food and provide nourishment. Being at one dining table sharing the same nostalgic meal is the most collaborative and binding aspect in various places in the world. Food is necessary for survival, and knowing how to create a recipe from your older family members is among the oldest customs in humankind. It is definitely amazing to learn and master a technique from your parents and hand it down to your children.

Eleanor Gaccetta’s newly published cookbook titled Generations of Good Food is a collection of recipes from six generations of her mother’s family, as well as their close friends and relatives. This book shows how food unites everybody no matter how long they have known each other or how far apart they are with one another. As many call her, Ellie collected and compiled the cookbooks and favorite recipes of her late mother, which she turned into a promising cookbook for her mother’s grand and great-grand kids, young family members, and close friends.

Many precious recipes are featured in the said cookbook, and one of them is Biscotti (Almond Bars). This particular cookie originated from Italy and is known for being unique texture, taste, and shape. Ellie’s recipe doesn’t follow the traditional way of making Biscotti, which is to bake twice to achieve its crispiness. According to Ellie, “This is the quintessential cookie for dunking during afternoon (3:00 p.m.) coffee.  Most Biscotti are twice baked; this recipe is broiled.  The result is a cookie that is easy to chew and flaky.  The recipe makes several dozen cookies and they can be frozen or stored in an air-tight container.  This is not a summertime cookie because butter is fickle and not a baker’s friend when it is hot.”

Hence, here is the recipe for Gaccetta’s version of Biscotti that she learned from her late mother.

Biscotti (Almond Bars)

  • Preheat oven to 375⁰
  • 4 cubes (1 pound) butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond extract
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • Cream butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth.  Add almond flavor and part of the flour mixing well.  Add remaining flour and baking powder and mix until you have a soft dough.  Add almonds and mix well.  On a floured surface roll dough into several 3-inch wide logs.  Place logs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Most large cookie sheets will hold two logs.
  • Bake 20 minutes until the edges are browned remove from the oven and repeat until all the logs are baked.  With a sharp knife slice logs into diagonal pieces, place cookies on their side and BROIL until tops are browned.  Flip cookies and broil the other side.
  • NOTE:  Do not leave the cookies unattended when broiling as this process occurs very quickly.  The cookies are very hot when taking them from the broiler.  Be careful turning to the opposite side so you don’t end up with burned fingers.  Rule of thumb is to alternate trays of cookies between broiling. Store in airtight container or can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.

Therefore, food draws families closer together indeed. The amount of effort and love spent in the kitchen cooking a favorite dish is often reflected in the food’s flavor. Some dishes hit home and take you on a trip down memory lane, while others awaken various experiences and great concepts—just cooking or eating the same food. Regardless of what type of dish is being served on the table, it can still bring everyone closer by reminding them of their fond memories, overwhelming them with the familiar taste, and filling them with joy.

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