It’s no secret that I love the Farmer’s Market Cooperative of East Liberty. It runs every Saturday from 5 am (yes, that is very early) until noon. The vendors are so nice and they sell local goods all throughout the year, unlike many markets that close for the winter. During each visit, I stop and say hello to David Lagnese, who sells great coffee, fresh squeezed juice, some of the best olive oil in the city and terrific local cheese. ( His stand is on the left towards the back of the market.)
Turns out David’s father has penned a lovely book about Italian cooking and Italian families called Cookin’, Recollections and Recipes of Joe Lagnese. It’s written a bit like a novel and the recipes read a bit like stories, but it’s obvious that this guy knows his food. Every recipe I’ve tried has been a hit. The best part of giving this book as a gift is that profits benefit the Muriel’s Breath of Life organization, which provides assistance to patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The elder Lagnese’s daughter in law passed away from adult Cystic Fibrosis a few years ago and the family began this foundation to honor her life. Stop in at the market on Saturday’s or go to www.murielsbreathoflife.org to purchase the book. Pair it with some of his son David’s olive oil and a piece of wonderful PA cheese and you have a gift anyone would love.
Another favorite locally made gift would be anything from the line of USA Pans bakeware made in Crescent, PA. I purchased the mini muffin pan, the mini brownie pan and the Pullman loaf pan from CRATE on Greentree Road. Sturdy, easy to clean and just all around terrific, these pans are professional grade bakeware that make great gifts for the family baker or for someone who wants to be a baker. Pair your pan with some local flour ( St Vincent Gristmill), a bottle of homemade vanilla . . who wouldn’t love this?!
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. My girls were both home for the holiday and it reminded me of how much I continue to miss them even though we’ve been empty nesters for a while now. Boo hoo. I need to keep busy to get over my empty house sadness. Always looking for something new and fun, so if you know of anything, please pass the info along. Oh . . .and don’t forget the holiday glass sale and the I Made It! Market this coming weekend . . .and the annual Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville. Lots to look forward to this week.