“Nonna Annina” on stage. recipes to grow nephews tall strong and happy.

San Giovanni Teatino

January 2018

Leggi in Italiano

<<I’ve been taught on how to make this cake In 1954 by my mother-in-law Laurina that for the past three decades used to bake and donate to the town every treasure she could craft with those magic hands, some flour and some eggs… and then little by little I have learned to make other things>>…
Dame “Laurina” (which is my old gran, grandmother) was born in 1914. remember, I wasn’t too little when she sadly passed and left all the legacy to my grandma, her son’s wife “Nonna Annina” (the one in pink jumper) .
With her usual very nice way to tell me the beautiful stories, “nonna Annina” speaks of the good old times!

I feel amazed and it takes my breath, and my years away, all the time I hear these stories:

…This his the official starting of our conversation, a little bit of story behind the copyright of what my grandma prepares for us, today.
She is the lady of storytelling, whatever is the subject, for Nonna there its always a fascinating story behind, while wearing her most unique apron with a little bit of struggle. She continues with the black and white memories…  just close your eyes, imagine…

ten years we lived our summer times in this funny little town full of tradition and local folklore.>>
Borrello, back in the days counted around eight-hundred inhabitants, no more! Imagine how happy were the local to see young children coming along with old emigrated folks.

Those Nice local grannies called me “the lady of the sweets” and they asked me to share the recipe of my creations, I was amazed when the same returned and they accused me of having given them a “wrong recipe” only coz’ they didn’t succeed in replying my masterpieces!
”Nonna Annina” called as the heroine of baking, advised the bunch of ladies to go herself to house of the women of the country and teaching her art live. <> they couldn’t succeed!


In that small space of some yards we grew up, generations of nephews.
A bunch of playing cards, a glass of red wine and the ceramic jugs to heat up the water for the night. As they did in past centuries
It is here that the crackling of the fire, along with the hearth beat its notes,
it holds the rhythm of the cold winter and pulls next to itself us together
the meat roast, the crunchy cooked bread on coal, the vegetables
The grey smoke pops out the chimney, this is the perfume of my Abruzzo:
It means Home to me.


Fiercely “nonna Annina” recalls one more time her mother-in-law Laurina, she was a professional lady chef, she learned to also make lasagnas, cannelloni and so many other sweets from her teachings, in fact, For guilt of the poverty at the times of the war she had not learned to cook well, if not after the marriage having taken in bridegroom Grandfather Bruno, and approached her finally .
…Grandad “nonno Bruno” arrives from the backyard, with some pieces of wood ready to boost the fireplace, and beats: << this one here didn’t know neither how not to cook the pasta!! >> Laurina instead and she prepared something to eat for all the colleagues of his/her/their husband Carmine. She was a kind woman that has deserved the most beloved cook of the city, she also didn’t deny even a glass of wine or whatever taste of dish to whoever it passed from the farm where she lived as a young girl at the beginning of the past century and it acknowledged the perfume of good food.

… so, what are we baking today, Nonna??DSC_0783

Nearly lost in listening this storytelling I was… however she had already prepared all the ingredients, and the set-up ready to operate!
I shall say, this is purely a dessert for nephews, can also do it in more modern variations, to the chocolate and the fruit! but us today, we assemble the recipe of the tradition!

< wait!! Here we go!!

<< let me take my notebook so I can tell you much much more!! if one has the good wish, it learns everything>>

Tarallo is on the way!!! IMG_8912


6 eggs
11 spoons of sugar
16 flour spoons
1 glass of oil of seeds
1 little envelope of yeast
1 nun of lemon grated
1 pinch of salt (it helps to whip the egg whites)
1 little envelope of vanillina

Procedure (under dictation)
“You take the saucepan and do sprinkle the inside with oil of sunflower
… and a sprinkle of flour to create a base”
YOU prepare the yolks and I do the egg whites
Make sure you do it …this way!!
separating them in two bowls
Begin to whip the egg whites with the electric whip, let them “climb on” adding a pinch of salt.
now…let me remember,
To add the 16 flour spoons to the yolks, and pour the oil, beginning then to mix.
To add the skin grated of a whole lemon.
To add the sugar in the yolks, 11 spoons.
“You turn well well and add yeast and vanillina”
To pour the compose in the saucepan
To bake to 180 C
Time of attended, “it depends on the oven.”

N.B. my grandmother doesn’t guarantee the final result, in the case you don’t succeed, or the cake should not come well, “the lady of cakes” will come to do it for you !



Domenico Di Bucchianico


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