You say Fregola, I say Farfel!

What was that dish we used to eat that I loved?  Can I recreate it? Those seem to me to be nagging questions these days as, for some reason that I can't explain, I have been time traveling in my mind, craving dishes I ate when I was growing up but have either forgotten about or have fallen out of any regular rotation on my "what's for dinner?" list. 

One such experience lately occurred when out of the blue I could hear the excited voices of my extended family during my youth saying somewhat in awe that we were going to have FARFEL with our dinner. I remembered what it looked and tasted like, but had no idea what it was. My research initially took me to Passover recipes for Matzo farfel, but that most definitely was not what I remembered. I kept visualizing what it looked in my mind's eye, sort of like a barley dish, but I knew it was not barley. Undaunted, I continued my research until I came across "egg barley noodles", a Jewish Eastern European pasta formed into the shape of barley. I read about how people were preparing it, and I knew I was home. The problem was finding it. I couldn't find a market near me that carried it, but discovered that it was often used in Hungarian cooking. I was resigned to visit a large Hungarian Market some distance away that seemed to carry it, but when I called them I couldn't get through, so Instead I turned to trusty Amazon. In order to maximize the price value, I ended up ordering 8 bags of it which will no doubt last me a lifetime. 

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Here's to good friends and good food

In my humble opinion, they both go hand and hand. nothing says good times better than a combination of the two. Today I experienced that with my friends all but one of whom I have known since either grammar school or junior high school, when they took me out for a birthday lunch. We went to a  restaurant called "Il Forno Caldo", also known as "Hot Oven". The food and company were perfect for the occasion. There is nothing like celebrating with friend who know exactly how you have looked most of your life with or without makeup.

My favorite thing to eat there is their calamari salad. Once, when I was in New York visiting my daughter who also loves this salad, I decided to make my version of it. Having some idea of what was in the dressing, but not sure, I called the restaurant, explained my situation and asked them to share with me the ingredients they use. Without hesitation they did so. Thanks to the generosity of spirit of the helpful staff members of the restaurant, my daughter and I enjoyed a close if not perfect rendition of their salad which I am sharing on this website,