Grappa Pasta Cookies Fried, Looked like little Breast Cancer ribbons, Made by ex mother-in-Law to be, in Macomer NU in 1989

by Jacqueline Georgianna Emrys
(Gotha, Florida, USA)

I was in trouble. My {at that point 55 year old} mom was due to come with me to visit my newly engaged mother-in-law who hated me on sight! Not helping was my ability to absorb languages; including both republican Italian & Some Sardinian & my "laurea" in Archaeology/Anthropology from Penn State & worse, my almost 14 year career in the United States Navy, complete with security clearance which had already meant a visit to their aerie of an apartment - we'd call it the penthouse- but all those stairs! From some VERY scary people.

I was in their kitchen while my coward of a fiance decided to "work a little later at the Dreher beer factory" to learn to make a family favorite cookie. By this time I had been vetted by the very forward & wonderful sister & her family, COMPUTERS! which her kids were just getting into...language language, translating into useable words from Italian to Sardinian, never easy. WORSE, La Signora Bianca did NOT like the "new" Italian, which I was reasonably okay with, & my Sardinian is & always has been slow...

I'm also 6 foot tall with red hair & that's just plain annoying to the older generation who were lucky to clear 5 foot; especially with a summer home near Bosa Marina...

So I was there & I have my memory which is quite clear in watching her make a well in almost the exact SAME ingredients as pasta but finer, with the addition of lemon zest & the of the slightest bit of ground sugar plus the liquid beyond the beautiful golden eggs being GRAPPA, newly made grappa.

Then the egg rich dough was quickly & by hand rolled into a 1/2 inch round ribbon & cut into 3 to 4" pieces & being made into what would become the logo for breast cancer in America- a ribbon with a loop, & then flattened a bit & fried in about an inch of very clear olive oil & then let rest on paper until crisp. Powdered sugar, not too much of it was added. So simple, so ... addictive...

When she was finished & snorted at me when I tried to help clean up; we sat with some tea & I tried the cookies which were simply piled onto a plate with a doily, ever present doilies. Somehow I got caught up trying to explain my mother's widowhood, her work as a real estate agent for rentals in New York & my work in the Navy & somehow.... I ate almost the ENTIRE PLATE OF COOKIES!


I thought that she was going to fall over backwards from the sitting position. FAILED, I FAILED MY TEST of Sardinian bride to be...OMG...
Her husband, the most picturesque of goat herding wonders, laughed his proverbial butt off at me...He thought it hilarious... But wait, there's more....

Then I tried to help her make more but she gave me a TIME to come the next day & bring my mother.. oh boy... Okay. So just getting my mom UP the stairs at that point was hard, & then getting her IN to the apartment & WHERE was Salvatore yet AGAIN??? HELD UP at the factory...NEVER before, mind you, but this time, just like yesterday...HE LEFT US FLAT...because he was the official translator & had PROMISED not to leave me with two sets of parenti who not only disliked the other fiance but HATED each other basically on sight. LOVELY.,.

I am not & never have been translator good at any language & at that point I spoke badly four. And working with a dictionary, plus two fluent in their own language sets of completely different languages with NO at that time available SARDINIAN/English dictionary...

After being given the sheep's head & eating the gums before realizing that she was eating right by TEETH & then being confronted by the sheep's EYE...I thought my mom did reasonably well with the home made wine before, the Cananou during & then the home made liquor from Mirto or mulberries for "afters", until we went to get up & then there were some "issues'.

Only made worse, when confronted by the very beautiful SECOND platter of those SAME cookies made with the newly made family grappa...having drunk both MY portions & her portions of Cannonau because I really don't drink...& making it to the post luncheon alcohol, my mother outdid herself with the cookies...She ate the entire plate herself after passing it around ONCE.


I don't know. We're still laughed about. I hear from SaBa & my friends at Gigi's albergo now run by his daughter Patrizia all the time on Facebook of all things... But from the Bianco's every so often, & we're a family joke.
I had to return his beautiful ruby ring to him a few years later when it became obvious that I wouldn't be able to transfer over or live over there & he certainly as the youngest son, didn't want to come over here...

But I learned Seadas & many more dishes, I continued my studies as an herbalist - botanica & finished my 23 years of Naval Air Service in 1999... I went back to Sardinia for a few years but then it became too expensive for me to fly...

I'll be going back again with my adopted family in about a year or so to introduce them to some of the most wild & wonderful country & foods that I've ever had the honor & the pleasure to get to know.

Comments for Grappa Pasta Cookies Fried, Looked like little Breast Cancer ribbons, Made by ex mother-in-Law to be, in Macomer NU in 1989

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 22, 2014
Lovely Story Jacqueline
by: susanna

I can't thank you enough Jacqueline for sharing your Sardinia Story.

Loved reading it!

Can you remember what those fried cookies were called?

Normally fried cookies here are related to the carnival period that precedes Lent.

The two fried pastries that come straight to mind are the "Origliette" and the "Chiacchiere o Meraviglie" all sweet dough pastries fried and either sprinkled with sugar or hone.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Sardinia Stories.

submit to reddit

Site Search

Site Sponsors

Our Sponsorship Policy

Related Pages

Sardinian Specialities