Tuesday, January 5, 2010


What My Family Looks Forward To...

It’s fall, and my grandma is working in her kitchen as usual. My grandma, my mom, my sister, and I are on her back porch slaving away rolling out thin pieces of dough, rolling little balls of meat, and having a little chat about what’s happening in our lives. This is our time together as just us girls.
Every Thanksgiving my grandma will prepare a wonderful meal of tortellinis. As she’s setting up, she rolls little balls of meat so they will fit perfectly into the thin slice of dough. When each tortellini is shaped and cut, she’ll fold them into a little hat shape.
The feeling as they are cooking is delightful. The aroma it brings fills the air, and we know it’s getting close to dinner. Each bite is like a taste of heaven. They slide down each time, and we can’t wait to have more.
My brother and I usually fight to get the last bowl, but it ends up we’re too stuffed. It’s a little game we play. The best part of my grandma’s tortellinis is making them the next day. If I had to choose one thing to eat all the time, it would definitely be my grandma’s homemade tortellinis.
I believe my grandma’s food brings my family closer on a holiday. We share conversation, talk about what’s happening, and play some cards. I wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s a tradition.

Tortellini Soup

6 cups water
3 cans condensed chicken broth
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups (about 4 breasts) boneless, skinless, split chicken breasts cubed and soaked in 1/2 cup dry vermouth (may substitute cooking sherry, white cooking wine or water if preferred)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
12 oz. Package cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan or soup pot, combine water, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, soaked chicken, onions, basil and oregano.
Bring to a boil; add tortellini. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Add broccoli. Simmer an additional 15 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Serve garnished with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Makes 10 1-1/2 cup servings.

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