Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zucchini Squares From Anna

Anna Santaniello was the Rectory cook for the first 10 years I was employed at St. Aedan's. Anyone who met her, loved her. She was a plump lady who, like in the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", shook when she laughed like a bowlful of jelly. She laughed often. She is remembered for her kindness, her devout prayer life, her love of family & friends, and for her wonderful cooking skills.
Starting at 3:30 in the afternoon, the Rectory was fragrant with the scent of the delicious meal she'd serve to the priests that night. She was willing to try anything and went out of her way to prepare homeland favorites for the priests who came from India. She listened to their advice, skimmed through  cookbooks or magazines and successfully created a near perfect Indian meal. The aroma of curry, cumin, cardamom and ginger permeated the air. The rice cooker was a permanent fixture in her kitchen, the scent of the steaming grain reminding me of popcorn. The pastor, who is of Italian descent, enjoyed the meals she cooked from their shared ancestry. Her tomato sauce was superb and often covered tasty meatballs, thin slices of fried eggplant or steak pizzaiola. From her neighbor's garden bounty came Swiss chard that filled raviolis in brown butter sauce, zucchini baked into savory squares and lots of  sauteed broccoli rabe.
My co-worker and cohort in kitchen crime, Gloria, would arrive at work and immediately ask, "What did Anna cook last night?" and together we would raid the refrigerator. We'd steal a taste of her homemade turkey pot pie, vegetable stir-fry or her famous chicken with green olives and white wine sauce. Yum!
Anna didn't know how NOT to cook great.  Why? Because everything was made with fresh ingredients, creativity, enthusiasm and most of all.....Love. We at St. Aedan's rectory will miss you, Anna, and everything that made you so very special. I know God has another Top Chef in His grand kitchen. So, dear Anna, save me a place at His table.
In Loving Memory of Anna M. Santaniello, August 16, 1928-June 27, 2011

Zucchini Squares
I am honored to have several of Anna's recipes. Because it is summer and the harvest over-flows with zucchini, I'd like to share one of my favorites: Zucchini Squares, a tasty, moist side dish that is easy to prepare and a sure keeper.
3 cups of zucchini (squash) both green & yellow, diced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup of oil (any kind)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup Jiffy or Bisquick baking mix
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt & pepper  & garlic powder to taste

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased 10" baking dish. Bake 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. That's it!
Tip: Always taste your zucchini to check that it's not bitter. 
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table

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