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Egg Plant Pate'
This is the 1st thing I ever learned to cook. I was probably about 2 years old, and I watched my Grandmother fix this dish. I remember the garlic aroma being so wonderful and my Grandma Palermo always baked fresh bread, and would pour olive oil into a small bowl, and sitting on a board was a big hunk of hard Italian cheese, and some black ripe olives, (not the kind that you can get in a can).
My grandmother would break off a piece of her warm bread with it's hard crust and dip it into the olive oil and slice a piece of that delicious smelly cheese, and put it on my plate, with a big spoon of the eggplant and some of those olives and my goodness... when it hit your mouth, every taste bud in your body came alive.
My grandma Palermo was about 4' - 10" tall with a big chest, and she would hold that bread to her chest and slice off a slice of bread at a time. I never knew why she didn't just cut the bread on a cutting board, but I did know why she had such a big chest. She would make 25 lbs. of flour into bread every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She had a big number 3 wash tub that she would make it in and my Dad always told me when he and his brothers and sisters would come home from school at lunch time - Grandma would cut off a big hunk of the dough and fry it in olive oil.
They would always have ricotta cheese or garlic or even cinnamon sugar, and they would put it together and eat it. How simple, but how delicious that fried bread was!
I fix this now at my home all the time and it instantly takes me back to my Grandmother's kitchen.
My grandparents were from Italy, you know and in "1996" - Pastor Benny invited my Husband Frank and myself to go to Rome, Italy with him. I cried the entire time I was there, 1st of all because I was so greatful to have God make the way for us to go like that. On our own, it probably would never have been possible. We had a crusade there for 2 nights and I saw the Italian people in which I am deeply rooted with. I didn't understand a thing that was going on the first night we arrived in Italy, and could not even understand the language. We spoke English, and they spoke Italian, but on the second night of the crusade, they yielded to the Holy Spirit in such a way that words were not even important.
They were moved by the Love of the Holy Spirit and they received what they came for. I saw blind eyes opened, and demonic spirits leave tormented bodies and braces come off legs, and I learned more about myself then I had ever known in my life. I saw their expression and reactions to different things, and I had always had the same expressions and reactions. I saw their lack of understanding when we first arrived ... so we spoke of Jesus and how the Holy Spirit works. They were like I was before I knew the truth... and then I saw their hearts melt as they fell deeply in love with Jesus and they became like putty clay in His hands. I saw a light go on inside of their understanding, once again remember... our languages hadn't changed, but the Love of God had penetrated their spirit and the Holy Spirit was able to now change their hearts, minds, and bodies. Oh my God in heaven... I am so grateful. I understood why I did the things I do, and why I am what I am and the way I am.
Yes... I'm Italian, but most of all I am born again, in Love with Jesus and fired up always because the Holy Spirit lives big inside of me.
I watched my Italian people go from death to life in that crusade, and one night after the service Pastor Benny invited all of us to dinner. I cried and cried hoping no one would notice, but being as precious as Benny is... he noticed. He walked over to me and asked "Joan, why are you crying?" I looked at him and all I could say was ... I'm so grateful... I'm so grateful...
I know inside this little Italian girl, (that was born with 2 wonderful parents, who had little education, no bank account, no fame in any way, lived and died with within a few miles from where they were born,) had all the attributes of an Italian heritage, but most important of all , the resurrected life of Christ inside my heart, causing me to be all He has in mind for me to be. (Romans 5). There I was in Rome eating the best food in the world, with the greatest ministry on earth today, touching the soil my family was born and raised on and now sharing Jesus with every person we came in contact with there.
I've given all that I can not keep, to gain all I cannot lose. God, if you can take nothing and use it for your Glory, Here I am. I'm so grateful.
Click On a Recipe Below to View It Full Screen.
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Ministries of Love.Inc.
St.Louis Mo. 63145