This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking. If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.
Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors, both for her compulsively readable books and for the funny, kind person she is. Her fans, myself included, have been waiting rather impatiently for the third book in her Valentine series, and the wait will be over soon as The Supreme Macaroni Company publishes on November 5th.
The books follow the adventures of Valentine Roncalli, a thirty-something unmarried Italian woman who creates gorgeous wedding shoes for her the company her grandparents founded, Angelini Shoes, located in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Valentine comes from a loud, raucous Italian family and my favorite scenes in all three books are set on Christmas Eve, during the Feast of the Seven Fishes, when we get to see the Roncalli family cook, eat, drink, laugh and eventually fight. These scenes always have me in stitches laughing out loud, and usually the people sitting around me while I am reading them eye me warily.
At this year's celebration, Valentine has big news for her family; she is engaged to handsome Gianluca, the older Italian leather tanner she fell in love with in Italy in the second book of the series, Brava, Valentine. This is big news for the family, and they get down to brass tacks right away, immediately planning the reception at Leonard's, the huge, overly ornate catering hall.
Also discussed is a tradition I am not too familiar with as I am from an Irish family- cookie trays. Valentine describes them to Gianluca this way:
"Another Italian-American institution. Every woman in the family bakes cookies, dozens of them. They box them up and meet at a disclosed location where they stack the cookies on trays lined with gold doilies. They wrap the pyramid of cookies in cellophane and tie it with curling ribbons that, once again, match the bridesmaids' dresses. As dessert is served, the flowers are removed from the tables and the cookie trays become the centerpieces. They're pretty and delicious, but never forget, it's also a competition, fig bar against fig bar, but no one sings the National Anthem and gets a medal in the end- you just get bragging rights."She continues:
"You got snowballs, pizelles, amaretti, sesames, chocolate biscotti, mini cupcakes, jam-centered thumbprints, peanut butter rounds witha Hershey kiss hat, seven-layer cookies, coconut bonbons, and confetti- don't forget those candy coated almonds. They are good luck, even when you crack a molar when you bite down on one."
|An Italian Cookie table from Italian-Canadian Life|
In the meantime, be sure to put The Supreme Macaroni Company on your TBR list for November; it was definitely worth the wait. For more information on the novel, visit this Facebook page.
My review of Very Valentine is here.
My review of Brava, Valentine is here.