October 2 is “Grandparents Day”. The recurrence is actually quite modern. It was indeed created by decree in 2005 by the Italian Parliament. The date of October 2 was chosen because on this date the liturgical commemoration of the Guardian Angels. Grandparents, especially those now deceased, are considered the guardian angels of families.
Coldiretti for Grandparents Day decided to recall their “anti-waste” wisdom regarding food scraps. Nothing was thrown away, everything was reworked with new recipes, some of which have become typical dishes and are still considered true delights today.
From old anti-waste recipes – reads the press release published by Coldiretti – to tips for the home and garden secrets come the tips of peasant grandparents to help Italians save and cope expensive bills impacting the basket, increased by 11.5% in September. In addition to supporting the household budget in more than one in three families, the experience of those over 70 can be of great help in coping with a moment of dramatic difficulty like the one we are currently going through.
The many anti-waste recipes of the Italian peasant tradition are an excellent solution, for example, to avoid throwing leftovers in the trash. Many more traditional dishes declare Coldiretti – they come precisely from the need not to waste food like – continues Coldiretti – the Tuscan ribollita, the Trentino canederli, the Venetian pinza or in the south the pasta omelet.
You can prepare excellent meatballs – points out Coldiretti – recovering the leftover meat simply by adding eggs, hard bread and cheese or the pasta omelet to revitalize the spaghetti from the day before and even the rustic pizza to consume the vegetables by wrapping them in a crispy batter. .
If you have bread left over, you can opt for the classic panzanella by putting simple ingredients present in every house, such as tomato oil and salt to arrive at the traditional ribollita which uses poor elements such as beans, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes and already cooked beets to combine with stale bread. Even fruit – remembers Coldiretti – can revive if caramelized or become jam or fruit salad.
But rural tradition also teaches to use as ingredients even those parts of food preparation that are usually discarded. The water contained in the pasta, especially if we have cooked stuffed pasta such as agnolotti, is water enriched with starches and wheat proteins. It can therefore be stored in the refrigerator to use as a base for broth for risotto, meats, pan-fried vegetables. Water from boiling vegetables has the same use. And what about the broth of boiled meats and fish? These are the most valuable liquids because they are protein-rich broths of meat and fish. They should be frozen and used for later cooking or for liquid dishes such as soups.
The Gardens of War
And to fight against rising prices, the “War Gardens” – continues Coldiretti – with grandparents to teach young people how to grow fruit and vegetables on their own at zero kilometers in gardens, terraces, urban vegetable gardens and small plots to guarantee food in a situation of great difficulty and uncertainty.
The gardens and balconies of the houses can thus give way to vegetable gardens for the “do-it-yourself” production of lettuce, tomatoes, aromatic plants, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, but also peas, beans, fava beans and chickpeas to be harvested, transformed or preserved if necessary. A phenomenon that, in addition to saving money, also allows you to spend moments of relaxation and relieve anxiety.
Grandparents’ Day – concludes Coldiretti – was established in Italy in 2005 and concerns about 12 million people in our country, while in America it has existed since 1970 and falls on the first Sunday of September thanks to the idea of Marian Mc Quade, a West Virginia homemaker mother of 15 and grandmother of 40 grandchildren, though she was proclaimed Grandparents’ Day in 1978 by then-US President Jimmy Carter, then Nobel Laureate the peace.