Edible Berkshires


Today’s farmers markets recall 1940s grocery stroll

I am a home cook from a food-obsessed family. And I mean food-obsessed. Everything that happened in my childhood home centered around food. After all, I grew up in a three-generation household with my Italian-American grandparents and my parents, of course. I like to imagine that I grew up in a unique household. Specifically, yes, but food culturally, no and yes. And what I mean by that is that while many of the foods and recipes are similar, the stories are what bring the food to life. The best way to delve into Italian-American cuisine and stories is through a typical family meal.

And that, of course, starts with shopping for the ingredients. Let’s go back to my mom, Josephine Lanzetta Murko—here’s how it all started for her as a little girl in the 1940s. Mom was born on an apple farm in … Read the rest


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1–2 medium onions, sliced
12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
(My grandmother peeled them and snapped the stems off and sliced those separately.)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 chicken, cut into parts
½ cup flour with 1 teaspoon salt and
¼ teaspoon pepper mixed in
½ cup leftover red wine
2 pounds tomatoes, diced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
½ cup minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour and set aside. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent; add the mushrooms and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic (about a minute). Remove from pan and place in a bowl big enough for the chicken too.

Add the next 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Make sure it … Read the rest