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In Honor Of My Father
June Dinners, Workshops, Parties, Classes, an Ice Cream Recipe
The most gorgeous cardinal has been throwing himself against my upstairs window. His poor mate has been observing him from my cherry tree. Occasionally, some phoebes have hit the window, learned their lesson from the impact and, if they survived, flew away. But this red beauty just will not give up. When I posted on Facebook about this phenomenon, an old friend wrote to tell me, “It’s your Dad. You know the belief about cardinals and the departed…” And then I remembered the old saying, “When cardinals are here, angels are near.” My father died one month ago and I have been wrestling with my grief ever since his passing.
I’ve been wondering if he and I could have tried harder to connect and understand each other. We had a long time to get it right (my father lived to be 91 years old) but I don’t think we ever were really able to say out loud what we felt for each other. I made an effort over the years, but Dad hated public displays of affection and he found heart-to-heart talks with his children embarrassing.
In April, while my father lay on his death bed in a Florida hospital, his breathing so labored, his eyes tightly shut, I held his hand and said the words to him that he couldn’t say to me: “I love you.” I don’t know if he heard me, but I hope so. Maybe it’s wrong of me to think that a determined little bird is Dad’s heavenly attempt to comfort me, but my friends want me to believe in angels and I really need to believe in them now.
Many of you have called or written to express your condolences and I want you to know that I greatly appreciate your kindness. I am always amazed by the healing power of kindness. For awhile, I had a hard time thinking about cooking for others, but my talented cousin, Jan, appeared here recently with the most beautiful watercolor painting of my wood-fired oven. This hand-made gift touched me deeply and I took it as another sign that I should get back to doing what I love.
Please note: If you click on the words that are underlined below, you will see a link that offers details from my website.
Since Father’s Day falls on June 19th this year, consider a unique gift for the man who has everything: a gift certificate for a week-end pizza workshop at Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School. The Neapolitan Workshop is offered Saturday, June 18th and The Sourdough Workshop is offered on Sunday, June 19th. Dad (or budding pizzaiolos) may wish to sign up for this fantastic half day intensive (either Saturday or Sunday or both days). The 41/2 hour classes are designed to help you hone your wood-fired cooking skills and teach you to make the very best pizzas. FYI: These workshops are also offered on other week-ends.
More June offerings:
The Spanish inspired Wood-fired Benefit Supper (our first this year) will be held on Monday, June 27th from 5:30-8:30pm. This dinner (which does include some teacher demonstrations) features Spanish Ham and Cheese Pizza, Lobster Gazpacho, Slow Roasted Salmon, Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Butter Sauce, Strawberry Rhubarb Galette and Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. This special event is almost full so sign up soon. If you wish you could attend, but can’t manage to be here on that date, we are allowing your small group (usually 6-8 people) to book a wood-fired dinner on a date that fits your particular schedule. We can’t always accommodate the date you have in mind, but if you give us some time to plan, we will try. Call us at 207-967-4960 so we can discuss your needs.
Other wood-fired dinners that are scheduled this year include Mediterranean, Italian, and Early Thanksgiving wood-fired suppers. Click on menus!
June is Pride Month and in honor of this important celebration we are proud to offer a 10% discount on all wood-fired pizza parties booked in June. Neapolitan Pizza Parties are fun and perfect for bachelorettes, corporate groups, family reunions, graduation parties. We provide the dough. You and your pals get to decorate your pizzas with our gourmet toppings. Farm fresh salads and homemade ice cream, toppings and sorbet are included. You are welcome to BYOB.
I am as passionate about homemade fruit pies as I am about pizza pies. If you also love pie, join me on Sunday, June 5, 3:30-6:30pm for a Sweet And Savory Tart Class. We’ll be baking a few of my favorites: strawberry rhubarb galette, lemon crostata, chocolate pie. The class also includes asparagus quiche, and a farm fresh salad. You are welcome to BYOB. This is the only pie class for the spring and summer. I will offer one more pie class in the fall to prepare us for Thanksgiving!
Most of my classes end with homemade ice cream, my father’s favorite dessert! He was particularly fond of maple walnut ice cream and since this newsletter is written with him in mind, I am including a luscious maple walnut ice cream recipe courtesy of David Leibovitz and tested by me and Lottie and Doof. Enjoy!