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Hello!  My name is Carmen author of The Heirloom Chronicles.  The intention for this blog came from a desire to document my family recipes and traditions along with their related stories.  I am an Italo Australian born in Domodossola, a small city in the Piedmont region in the north of Italy.  My parents and sister are from the Basilicata region of Italy – papa` from Acerenza, mamma from Montemurro and my sister from Potenza.    

We migrated to Australia in 1970 and with this great move we brought with us as many of our heirlooms and maintained food traditions that have kept us connected with our family back home.    I married an Australian who is of Sicilian descendant and with these three regions of Italy coming together in our family, recipes with related stories have evolved.   
The ingredients I cook with and write about are those that my grandparents grew and cooked with, maintaining this philosophy of 'cucina povera' that my parents still live by. Making do with humble seasonal ingredients and transforming them into memorable tasty dishes resonates with my idea of cooking.   These most treasured heirlooms are the sweet memories of our family that I write about and wish to pass down to my children.

The Heirloom Chronicles blog has been inspired by my varied interests in cooking - researching recipes and ingredients from the past; gardening - learning to grow, preserve and cook with fruits, vegetable, herbs and wild greens commonly used by my parents & grandparents.

I also love to travel, have an appreciation for art and photography, so occasionally you will see this interwoven through my blog posts, and Instagram. I cook from the heart and hope you enjoy reading my blog!

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Popular posts from this blog

Panzerotti /Tortelli di Castagne & Cioccolato (Chestnut & chocolate filled morsels)

When I think of chestnuts, I reminisce about my birth town - Domodossola, where I was first introduced to this distinctive flavoured nut.  We were fortunate to live close to Sacro Monte Calvario, a mountain lined with chestnut trees. My mother cooked many dishes which used this flavorsome nut, especially sweets such as these panzerotti di castagne & cioccolato.  Withthis sweet mamma has more recently substituted the chestnut filling with chickpeas as they are readily available all year round and knowing that my papa`enjoys this sweetmade frequently.

Chestnut season is a favourite for our whole family and we are of the belief that if you've never had a freshly roasted chestnut you haven't lived. We often visit Daylesford in country Victoria around autumn to purchase them fresh and enjoy them roasted at the farmers markets.

This recipe is a variation of panzerotti / tortelli di ceci which I have shared previously with you.  The filling is more delicate in texture and lighter t…

Cucina Conversations: Cassatelle Siciliane

Cassatelle are typical Sicilian pastries filled with lemon scented ricotta, and also known as cassateddi in Sicilian dialect.  The name derives from the word cassata, and by adding the diminutive suffix ‘ella’ you get the word cassatella, a smaller individual serving. An assortment of these pastries can be found in different regions of Sicily and are considered traditional deserts for the Carnevale and Easter period. In researching this topic, I become enthralled by the history behind the most complex of cassate from Palermo through to these more simple-to-make pastries from Siracusa, and therefore could not help but share some of its history with you.
Sicily is known as the sweets centre of Italy, and it appears that the most colourful and famous cassatasiciliana in all its glory, is one of the reasons.  It is believed to have originated in Palermo, made with sheep’s milk ricotta – at its richest and herbaceous during Spring; and containing other ingredients prevalent to the area suc…

My Nonna's Chiacchiere

This table cloth is an heirloom from my nonna Carmela, my maternal grandmother and so is this recipe of her chiacchiere. In our family this flakey, fried deliciousness known by many other names such as crostoli, cenci or bugie to name a few, are simply referred to by my family as le chiacchiere or crispelle.

These sweets are generally made around Carnevale or Christmas time, but since moving to Australia and to keep these dishes and recipes alive, my mother would often make them when a special occasion occurred such as birthdays and other festivities.

When my grandparents migrated to Australia from Montemurro - a small paese (township) in the province of Potenza after the 1980's earthquake, they commented on how fortunate we were living in Australia and how every day seemed like Christmas.  Often my grandparents would recount their hardships, but even so, had always ensured that their five daughters would experience the joys of festivities through sweets such as these. 
Le Chiacchier…