Archive for the ‘A Fixer Upper’ Category

My mother chose my middle name to honor her favorite aunt.  The older sister of my grandmother always had a special place in her heart for my mom and, in turn, me.  She was a remarkable woman, ahead of her time.  Born in the 1920’s, she was the 3rd child to a newly immigrated Italian family. A career woman before being career woman was trendy, she worked for one of the largest banks in the world, starting in the secretarial pool and eventually retiring as the administrative assistant to the vice president in charge of theManhattan headquarters.  She never married.  That is not to say that she never loved. 

I have many fond memories of my great aunt.  To me, she was a woman of the world.  She knew Anthony Bennedetto since they were children, long before he became Tony Bennett.  She taught me the correct way to set a table for formal dining – yes, all the knives, forks and spoons!   She took me toLincolnCenterto see the Nutcracker at Christmas.  She introduced me to my first croissant.  She was also a fantastic cook.

The family favorite was her Fettucine Alfredo.  Everyone would be excited when the family gathered and we learned the she was doing the cooking as it would mean mounds of her fettucine would be served.  Today, on what would have been her 91st birthday, I’d like to share her recipe with you.


1 lb. fettucine

¼ c. unsalted butter

3 c. cream

½ lb. fontina cheese – cubed

2 Tbs. pecorino romano

For serving:

pecorino romano


Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  Before the pot comes to a boil, place butter in a heavy bottomed pan and melt over medium low heat.  When melted, slowly pour the cream over the spoon and down the side into the pan. This helps the cream and butter blend with the difference in temperature.

Salt the pasta water.  After you drop in the fettucine, add the fontina to the cream & butter mixture.  Add 2 Tbs. pecorino romano. Gently stir until melted.

Drain the pasta when done.  Gently add the pasta to the cheese, cream & butter.  Gently toss the pasta to coat in the sauce.

Let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

Gently toss again and let it rest for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Gently toss once more.  Turn of the heat and let it rest 3 to 5 more minutes.

It’s now ready to serve.

My aunt said the same thing every time she handed someone a plate of fettucine.  “Lots of cheese & pepper.  That’s the secret.”

Happy Homesteading,


Tips & Tricks:

Though a deviation from my aunt’s recipe, I use Danish Fontina as it is more mild than Italian Fontina.  Danish Fontina has a red wax rind.  Italian Fontina is aged longer and therefore has a natural rind.

I use an enamel Dansk pot for this dish.  My aunt used a now out of production Dansk paella pot.


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I’m not a huge fan of ironing.  I think it’s because I’m still learning the proper way to do it.  When I was a kid, my mom seemed to always be ironing.  When I was old enough to be trusted to wield a heavy, incredibly hot object without damaging everything, she taught me how to iron my dad’s handkerchiefs.  Does anyone use handkerchiefs anymore? 

I quickly mastered the art of handkerchief ironing.  But the tutelage stopped there.  As the years have gone by, I’ve picked up some skills.  I iron our linen napkins for company and holidays.  I also became responsible for Jon’s work shirts about a year ago when we decided to stop using the dry cleaner for everything but suits. 

When the dry cleaning switch occurred, we investigated getting a new ironing board.  Jon bought the one we have when he was in college.  It was not a great one to begin with and has just gotten worse with age.  I can’t tell you how many times I ironed a waffle pattern into a shirt.  Not to mention the fabric was dis-gus-ting! 

We were shocked at the prices of ironing boards.  Some of these things cost $100 or more.  So, I sucked it up and learned to iron around the waffles.  Until today.

A few days ago, through the wonder that is Pinterest, I stumbled upon a tutorial on u-handbag for re-covering your ironing board.  She even discussed a way to fix the waffling issues.  Perfect.  Here is the link for her tute.

I purchased a heavy cotton upholstery fabric from the remnant bin for $5.00.  The color doesn’t matter because it will be used as the bottom most layer in your project.  I also have about 1 yard left for future projects.  Using a coupon, I also purchased a beautiful patterned fabric for the cover for $3.49.

After no more than 30 minutes I had a beautiful like-new ironing board for a fraction of the price of a new one.  And it has a bit more pizzazz than a new one would, don’t you think?  Does anyone say pizzazz anymore?

Now to tackle the ironing…

Happy Homesteading,


Source: u-handbag

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