About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

Main | Seasonal List of Featured Ingredients »

Introducing Our "Flavors" Challenge

By Deborah

We are a group of home cooks who recently spent 62 weeks as Pomodori e Vino cooking our way through Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. We blogged faithfully every day of those 62 weeks and when the project ended in June of 2011, we breathed a collective and very satisfied sigh of relief.

Then, in late August, Deborah received an email from one of Pomodori's more than 700 facebook followers suggesting that we should continue with another of Marcella's books. Deborah thanked him kindly for the vote of confidence, but suggested that perhaps he might consider putting his own group together. Yet, a dangerous seed was planted.

Several of the Pomodori expressed that they missed the project and thought we should think of a new one. Deborah mentioned to Cindy her affection for Karen Page & Andrew Dornenberg's wonderful reference book The Flavor Bible and that it might be fun to build a challenge around its use. That would, of course involve creating our own recipes rather than following someone elses. Cindy suggested picking 52 ingredients from the book for a weekly challenge where seven cooks would each create a recipe for the same ingredient, posting the recipe and a report on its success on their assigned day. Fifty-two weeks, 366 hopefully unique dishes.


It was decided that we must refer to The Flavor Bible listing for the designated ingredient and our recipe must include at least one of the BOLDED CAPITALIZED complimentary ingredients; one bolded but not capitalized; and one other of our choosing. Beyond that, we could use as many or as few ingredients as seemed appropriate.

Additionally, we can create our recipe for any course from appetizers to desserts or drinks. We can draw inspiration from previously published recipes but ours must be so significantly different that it could not be construed to be merely an adaptation.

Cindy went through The Flavor Bible and selected our 52 ingredients, making sure not to choose items that could not carry a dish as the main ingredient (i.e. flour or sugar), or an item that was too ubiquitous (i.e. rice or potatoes). She then organized them to place supreme emphasis on seasonal and local whenever possible. None of us want to be searching for fresh asparagus in January.

Cindy & Deborah put the word out to the Pomodori to see who was yet again willing to join in the madness. It took less that an hour to fill the seven slots and recruit two subs. All of the Pomodori are members of SlowTrav.com. And in SlowTrav's intertwining world of travel & food is also our friend Gina DePalma, author of the wonderful Dolce Italiano.


Karen & Andrew frequently drew on Gina's amazing gifts with all things sweet as they compiled The Flavor Bible. That pleased the Pomodori, and made the book all the more attractive.

And so we are at it again, this time without the safety net of Marcella's incomparable recipes and with a new blog name -- Flavors.

One difference -- we are posting a complete list of all 52 feature ingredients. We hope that this time, our readers will participate in a significant way. When you see an ingredient that calls to you, we invite you to join us. Post a comment on the blog entry and include a link to your own website, blog or facebook note where the Pomodori and our other readers can read about what you created.

If you'd like to see how the next 52 weeks are likely to evolve, do check out our previous blog project: Pomodori e Vino.

Happy Cooking, Everyone!

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Comments (5)


Yay! Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Deborah responds:
Amy, I'm so happy that you agreed to be a sub. I hope you cook along with us often so we can see what you've created and posted on your blog.

Ray Anne:

I am so there with you guys. Yay!


That's great, Ray Anne! We are really happy you're with us. Hope you cook along with us too. I'd love to see what you create. - deborah

I'm very interested in being one of those readers who follows along and posts occasionally when the spirit moves. I read along for the Marcella Hazan posts (what a great resource that blog is as there aren't photos in the book, so it's wonderful to see a photo of a recipe from all of you who blogged in that). Jerry forwarded to me a sample page for plums in case my book did not arrive on time, so I have my plum recipe ready to post on my blog in the next couple of days. My question is this: How do I link from this blog to mine? I mean I know how to link, but I am asking if there is a "Leave Your Link" each week that you will post so that those of us following along can leave our link there, or do we leave our link on one of the 7 posts for that week, or is there some way that you have set up here that I am just not seeing right now? Thank you so much for encouraging readers to blog along...I am looking forward to learning so much from this challenge.

Deborah responds:

Kayte, thanks so much for your post. Jerry has told us about you, so we are happy to have you join us. I'm going to ask our blog guru, Kim to take a look at this and see what would make the most sense for getting all of our cook-along blogs exposure.

Thanks, Deborah...much appreciated!

Deborah, here's my first post (it's a bit long because I introduced it all in the same post to my readers, so patience for this week is appreciated...thanks!). I made Plum Ice Cream and Plum Cookies. http://grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com/grandmas_kitchen_table/2011/10/flavors-plums-plum-ice-cream-and-plum-cookies.html

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