Friday, November 16, 2012


Tis the season... 

The holidays are upon us in full force.  Grocery stores are stocked up with fresh and frozen turkeys, hams, and all the fixings.  Department stores already have their Christmas trees lit and decorated with aisles full of wrapping paper, gift bags, and hundreds of decorations.  One of the local radio stations has switched to 24 hour a day Christmas music.  My tradition has always been to begin the Christmas season after Thanksgiving.  The day after Thanksgiving to be exact.  

Up until about 15 years ago, I never cooked Thanksgiving dinner, we had always gone over to my sister's house.  However, once I married my husband, I began taking over the holiday cooking for my in-laws due to my mother-in-law's declining health.  I would cook Thanksgiving dinner for the in-laws and then my husband and I would have desert with my family at my sister's home.  Keeping full control of the holiday cooking became a necessity during the past decade due to my sons' food allergies.   I could not take the risk of a dangerous ingredient migrating into a dish that someone else prepared.

We've lost some family members over the past 10 years.  My mother-in-law's two sisters have died, her nephew would rather spend Thanksgiving with his friends and not the family, and my brother-in-law's girlfriend goes with her family.  On my side, my father passed away 9 years ago.  With his passing, my own family's dysfunctional natures fully manifested, causing some insurmountable rifts and hurtful betrayals.  We no longer go to my sister's house for desert. 

In spite of the family dynamic changes, I do have so much to be thankful for.  My husband, children and I are blessed with good health.  We love each other and have a strong nuclear family.  We have a comfortable home.  My in-laws have always been there for us, in spite of the health challenges they face daily.  I have wonderful friends that treat my sons as part of their families.  My daughter has grown into a beautiful, self-sufficient, hard-working young woman.  My sons are thriving in school and love to learn.  

So this week, I prepare for our Thanksgiving feast which will consist of my grandmother's frittata (recipe below), antipasto, turkey, ham, baked yams, butternut squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, apple crisp pie and pumpkin pie.  

My grandmother (on my father's side) made a frittata, or omelet, as we used to call it, for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Before she died, many many years ago, she gave me the recipe and I have been making this for over 20 years.  It is not a cholesterol friendly or low calorie dish, however it is delicious.  I guess a little piece once of twice a year won't necessarily kill us!

My Grandmother's Italian Omelet


Pepperoni - 1 stick  (cubed)
Sausage (I used garlic & cheese flavored) - 1 pound (cooked and cubed - I grill  it to get as much fat out as possible)
1/2 pound of thick sliced ham cubed (about 2-3 slices)
1/2 lb Ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons parmesan or romano grated cheese
ground pepper to taste
1 dozen large eggs
2/3 cup water
chopped parsley to taste

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees, with the cast iron skillet**  preheating as well.  Generously grease pan with oil prior to preheating.  You should see a little oil freely sliding around in the pan. (I use canola oil.  My grandmother used to use shortening!)

**While this can be cooked in a large baking dish, it tastes so much better cooked in a large cast iron skillet.  Make sure the skillet is properly seasoned by coating generously with oil, place it in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  1/2 way through, turn pan over on a large enough pizza sheet or cooking sheet to catch the oil as it bakes into the pan.  Also, be sure to use potholders and caution, as the cast iron gets terribly hot.  Let it cool for several hours and wipe down with clean paper towel - do not wash with soap.  Season at least a day before making the omelet.  

Placed cooked and cut up sausage, cubed ham and pepperoni in a large bowl.  Add the ricotta cheese, grated cheese, ground pepper and chopped parsley.  Mix well.  

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the water.  Once beaten, add the egg mixture to the meats and cheeses.  Mix all together.  Pour into the preheated cast iron skillet or baking dish.  

Bake approximately 35-45 minutes or until the center is set.

If using the cast iron skillet, place a serving dish on top of the pan and flip omelet out of the pan while it is hot to prevent it from setting and sticking to the bottom of the skillet - 


I wish you all and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving and a safe, happy and fun Holiday Season!


  1. I'll stay on the positive side of thing, and that focused on all the blessings of life. I am glad you're making Thanksgiving, though it's tough, but it's necessary for your sons to enjoy without you having to worry.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Judi!

    1. The kids really do enjoy the holidays and we do have so much to be thankful for! - Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well!!