Chestnut Pie
Cod Friday
Grandma Ada's Tagliatelle
Homemade bread
Le ciacciole
Le schiacciate
Leontina's Coal-Covered Cake
Lunches of the Threshing Time
Tagliatelle with Rabbit Sauce
We Didn't Like Boiled Meat
When the Pig Was Slaughtered

Chestnut Pie

Every time we make castagnaccio (that I'll always call migliaccio), I think of days long past. It was, unhappily, a time of war. Around 1943 there was little to eat. My dad had a fruit and vegetable shop at that time. He used to make castagnaccio to sell. In the morning, he would sell the few apples he'd managed to find at the market of S. Abrosia. In the afternoon, he'd reopen the shop to sell migliaccio. People would line up outside to buy it for dinner. We lived on Via Aurelio Saffi then and we would make the migliaccio there. In big pots, Dad, with Mamma's help, would dissolve the sweet chestnut flour, careful not to let lumps form. Then it was always Dad who would arrange the dough in large baker's pans. A touch of oil and a pinch of salt and that was all, because in those days there were no pine nuts or walnuts and definitely no raisins.Then in the cart that was used to go to town in the morning, the pans were brought to the oven to be baked. Dad used the oven of a nearby baker, the Tozzi's in Via S. Gervasio, next to the cartman Gabriello and the Enos-Innocenti pastry shop. The older generation in Florence would certainly remember that area, past S. Gervasio Square towards Salviatino. I remember that Dad used to test the migliacci with a piece of broom grass strapped to the oven brush. When it came out clean, the migliaccio was done. Then we hurried to the shop with the handcart before the migliacci cooled off too much. Dad went ahead on his bicycle to open the shop gates. Those times are long past, just memories that return as I watch the flour dissolving in water.

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