We all should be so ripe and ready when we are in our 90′s!
Here Clara, then age 91, (look at her beautiful, unlined skin!) is making Pasta with Peas, what people in my family used to call “Italian Soul Food.” She relates stories about bootleggers, too, so while the pasta is cooking, you get a little historical flavor!
I could watch her all day!
Clara reminds me of the older ladies in my family and the way they cooked (and I often still cook). If you need a cup of rice, you measure with a coffee cup. If you’re scrambling eggs, a fork is as good as a whisk. You’re dicing a potato or an onion? You do it over the pot! And always wear the wedding rings!
My Auntie Lillie would have loved Clara, and granny and mom; I like that so many of her recipes involve one pot, or one skillet!
One of the videos has Clara (she’s in her 90′s remember) demonstrating how to dig up dandelion roots for salad. That may explain, in a nutshell her vigor and longevity. Consider that for the first half of her life Clara likely ate mostly whole foods with few preservatives, and she talks about her garden, so we know her vegetables were fresh and not hothouse-grown.
When I was a little girl, there was a German couple in the neighborhood. They only passed within the last ten years, having lived to 99 and 100, respectively. They ate pork, butter and eggs and drank whole milk (and a glass of beer) every day of their lives. When I would visit, the wife would serve me a delicious lunch that included a ham sandwich (butter on one slice of bread, mayo on the other), deviled eggs and a healthy slice of her made-from-scratch cake. Dandelion salad was sometimes on the menu in summer, because there was a woods nearby, untouched by chemistry, and they were plentiful. “A good liver tonic,” they would say. “Dandelion roots cleanse the liver and the blood.”
According to this site they do more than that. I probably should have eaten them instead of bitching about their bitterness. I haven’t seen a dandelion root for salad in decades, but I would try them, again. Likely my childhood horror would be stilled.
They always had a garden. “Pop” would go outside to smoke his cigar and he’d pull a few weeds while he was out there. She would make her own puddings, her own jellies and cakes, and she always said that if you just make your own food -rather than rely on packaged goods- you can eat anything you want, and not get fat.
She never was the least bit heavy, but “Pop” grew a bit of a gut in old-age.
Clara has a cookbook, and, of course, the whole series on video which I’m thinking my MIL would enjoy. I’m also thinking that one SIL, who doesn’t allow her girls to watch commercial television, might be parking her kids in front of Clara, who is very easy to watch:
Go Clara! How utterly adorable is that little treasure of a woman? As I watch her, I realize I am smiling.
Excuse me while I go watch her two-parter on Peppers and Eggs!
[FTC Disclaimer - if you buy either of the Clara items though these Amazon links, I may make sixty cents a book or so from the sale, for which I thank you. I would recommend Clara to you, anyway, because I love her -admin]