Michele had a really loud sounding voice and was a real character: very dark hair, a big smile... a really nice man! You knew it was morning as Michele opened his bar and the noise was really loud! He would talk to everyone and would wake everyone up. He was our honorary cockerel. If we had lived in the country, I'm sure someone would have rang his neck and cooked him "alla cacciatora" and he would never have lived to be the grandfather he is now. He was so loud!
In our house, and in every house, you could smell coffee, first thing. Like a cartoon type swirl in the air, the fragrance travelled all the way up to your nostrils. The coffee I could smell came from our kitchen. My mum made fantastic coffee!
My brother Mimmo and I, were not allowed coffee, until we were about fifteen (by which time we secretly drank babbo's Moscatello and I had a boyfriend.) No coffee for Italian children! Just a little drop in your cappuccino, in the morning, with biscuits. But not for us: no biscuits in our house. "You have to dip panini in your cappuccino!" My Mum would say. "What? Panini? In my cappuccino? But that's vile! I want biscuits!" I would say, but... not allowed!
No sweets in our house (though pasticcini and yummy things did get smuggled in!) Everything our mother fed us was fresh, wholesome and even the eggs we ate had been very painfully "delivered" by some worm eating hen, out in the countryside. Have you ever watched a hen lay an egg? Painful...
But I grew up to really LOVE strong, beautiful, fragrant black coffee (and eggs... I had no choice!) Yes, I do like a cup of espresso, in the morning. You know, the kind you drink out of a small cup. My problem is I do drink espresso, the "kind you drink out of a small cup," but I have massive helpings of it, in big cups. WOW! But you can always counteract the effect of caffeine overdose with a nice, wholesome herbal Valerian tablet, can't you?
Going back to the egg "thing", my mother, the 007 of organic world had "spies" everywhere. Farmers would pop out of the woodwork with baskets of beautiful big free range eggs, organic vegetables (back then, the word wasn't as trendy as it is now. My mum used to call it "Senza concime" "Organic") I'm sure my mum's organic vegetables made me the "strong " woman I am now! Maybe not...
Today I made zabaione, using very fresh free range... happy eggs. At home we were only allowed to make zabaione with fresh eggs. All we needed was:
(only need the yolks)