FREE Pasqua Activity Printout for Kids


Children’s 'Pasqua" (Easter) Activities

 
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Pasqua in Italy is based heavily on religion. In this FREE 4 page printout I created you can read a simple and easy explanation of Easter in Italy to your children and fill in the activities with them. Building your child's Italian vocabulary is a fantastic start for them if they want to learn Italian, and mixing it with learning about some of the Italian culture and traditions is a perfect combination. Does your little one know that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist in Italy? Italian children still eat chocolate Easter eggs. The egg is a symbol of 'new life', and they usually have a 'sorpresa' (surprise) in them. 

Enjoy this FREE 4 page Easter activity printout and build your child's Italian vocabulary. BUONA PASQUA A TUTTI !

Pasqua in Italia.pdf

 
 
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Easter Fiadone Recipe

Fiadone Cake - Easter Ricotta Cake

This morning I woke up really early with the urge to bake a couple of traditional Italian Easter cakes. There's nothing I like more than to rise before the sun and bake while our bambini are still snuggled up in bed asleep. I'm pretty certain they love waking up to the smell of a freshly baked crostata or biscotti too. We love a little 'sweetness' for breakfast in our home. It's one of those 'Italian' things.

Our kids aren't too fussed on 'La Pastiera Napoletana', so I made them a 'Crostata di Nutella' instead. I'll be sure to share the recipe one day soon. But for now lets talk Easter...

Here are the ingredients for a Fiadone cake my beautiful mother in law handed down to me about 20 years ago when we temporarily lived in the in laws home in Italy before getting our own apartment. She would make it every Easter. I don't pretend to be a cookbook writer but I love to share recipes. When it comes to the method, well, I believe that if you practice making something with love enough times you'll work it out.


For the pastry:

10 tbsp of type 00 plain flour

1 egg

2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sugar

about half cup water

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Knead it well and set aside to let rest while you make the filling. You will need 

5 eggs

5 tablespoons sugar

1 grated lemon zest

about half kilo ricotta ( I use Thats Amore Cheese Ricotta. It's the creamiest and the best and it's already drained and ready to go)

(if you have any fresh cream you can add a dash to the mixture also)


Roll out the dough and place it over an oiled ciambella tin:

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Fill with the mixture and flap the edges over to cover the mixture

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Here are the 2 Easter Cakes I made plus the Crostata di Nutella. 

The Pastiera (pictured left) was on the top shelf of the oven and overcooked slightly on one side just the way my husband likes it. Perfectly imperfect!

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CONSERVARE LE OLIVE
 
Olive Picking
 

It’s olive picking season! And like every other year I get asked ‘how do you do your olives’? So this year I thought I’d write a short blog and include the recipe.

This time each year, we usually have an olive picking day with friends. I’ll make a delicious ragù and some fresh pasta so we can sit and enjoy lunch, a glass of wine and a few laughs together after the job is done.

 
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Our wonderful, kind and very healthy 95 year old neighbour Signor Gangemi, who migrated from Calabria around the same time as my parents, has an olive tree that is over 70 years old, and boasts some enormous and the most wonderfully smelling olives I have ever seen. We also have two olive trees on our verge, much younger than our neighbours, but with equally delicious olives on them.

 
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It just so happens that our trees fruit on alternative years, so it’s olive harvesting every year for us, because Signor Gangemi has an abundance of them when his tree fruits and he loves to share. Infact we spend a lot of time heading over to each other’s houses to share some sort of produce from our yard. He especially loves our fresh eggs, and when my children run them over, they never return home empty handed. It’s just one of those ‘Italian things’.

 
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Now the olive conserving is my husband’s job. He’s responsible for changing the water each day leading up to the day we jar them, so here is a very rough explanation of how you can make your olives if you happen to be picking some this year. I’d be the worst cookbook writer ever, because I don’t measure ingredients (another one of those ‘Italian things’), but here goes in point form, and you can also email me with any questions tania@thelittleitalianschool.com.au

 
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STEP 1

-Pick the olives !
- slit each olive with a knife – or – lightly bash each one with a hammer

STEP 2

-place the olives in a bucket of fresh water (make sure they are covered)
-change the water each day with some fresh water for at least 2 weeks. This may need to be done a little longer depending on the size of your olives. The best way to tell if they have lost their bitterness is to taste them.

STEP 3

-prepare the brine by melting 200gr of salt per 1 litre of water  and bring to boil (you’ll have to work out youself how much brine you may need depending on the quantity of olives you’ve picked. You can always make more if you need it so it’s best to start small and work it out from there.

Once boiling,  and for about 10 litres of water you’ll need to add

-a handful of peppercorns

-4 or 5 bayleaves

-lemon rind

-a clove of garlic (or more if you prefer more)

-a handful of rosemary twigs

STEP 4

-Using your sterilised jars, place the olives in them, poor in some vinegar (we use our own homemade red wine vinegar) maybe to a quarter of the jar, and top up with the brine.

Enjoy your labour of love!    

 
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Something About Italy - Emiko Davies
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Picture credit Emiko Davies

1) How did you end up in Italy ?

The first time I lived in Florence was during my third year of art school; I decided to leave my school in Providence, Rhode Island, for the damp Florentine autumn season – and I fell in love with it. I came back a few years later with an idea just to spend a year there and get it out of my system but I ended up staying and meeting the man who became my husband. It's been 13 years since then!

2) How much of the Italian culture were you familiar with before you moved there?

Being an art student and history lover, what I knew of Florence was the Renaissance. It was my favourite subject at university so in a way when I arrived in Florence – a city that very much lives in its past – it felt so familiar and like all my books had come to life! I knew something of the food (who doesn't these days? Italian food is so iconic) but really didn't understand the regional differences until I lived in Florence.

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Picture credit Emiko Davies

3) What were the biggest cultural differences you experienced ? Are there any you dislike? Which one is your favourite?

I mainly noticed the cultural differences when we had kids. The way children are treated and brought up is so different to Australia! I'm a bit over the hypochondriac reaction to the cold, like not playing outside if it's cold or wet, not blow drying your child's hair or drinking chilled drinks even on a hot day! Let's not talk about the unsolicited advice on how your children are dressed from complete strangers! But I DO love that family culture is so respected and that children are welcome everywhere you go, that breastfeeding in public you get cheered and how strangers (often the ones telling you they should be wearing socks) gush over your babies.

4) Is Italy all roses and as romantic as people like to portray it is?

Ha, it is and it isn't. It's a land of contrasts really. There are often frustrating moments – mainly to do with politics, red tape and getting things done or things like lack of opportunities. But they are by far made up for by a certain way of life – the food, the food habits, even yes, the view! Yes, there's something about coming home after a hard day, stopping at your favourite wine bar with the beautiful Renaissance buildings silouhetted against the pink sky and the glittering lights in the river and you remember why you live in Italy.

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Picture credit Emiko Davies

5) What were the biggest challenges you faced when you moved there?

Finding a steady job. That still hasn't happened! And navigating the impossibly complicated system of setting yourself up (that eventually happened, albeit with lots of confusion and so much frustration). The language happened easily for me but I've grown up learning and speaking different languages though I think for some my expat friends that has been a hurdle in itself too.

6)Would you recommend moving to Italy? And why?

It depends. It's not for everyone. I'd recommend it if you're willing to learn a new language and to jump into an adventure. I spent 8 years growing up in China and I feel that really prepared me for any situation (there really are so many surprising similarities between the two cultures actually)! As long as you know that living there is definitely not like having a holiday there and are prepared for the annoying bits too. That, and you need to be prepared for long, unrelenting, humid summers without air conditioning and a very active mosquito population! People love the idea of “Under the Tuscan Sun” but to be honest the summer is my least favourite part of living in Italy.

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Picture credit Emiko Davies

7) How does it feel being foreign but wanting to embrace and feel part of a culture that is not yours? Do the Italians treat you like an Italian or do you always feel a little foreign or more like a visitor than a local?

I have been lucky in that I have never felt like a tourist or a foreigner in Italy and maybe it's because I learned the language quickly and made Italian friends or because I have dark hair and maybe look the part. One of my best friends is a blonde Scottish woman who speaks better Italian than I could dream of and yet in a shop or restaurant she will always be treated like a tourist first. I feel like even though Florence is a small city and its inhabitants are known as being a little gruff, there is a large international community here and so I've always found I fit in with that – I've been an “international” person more than half of my life now. I think that's partly what drew me to Florence in the first place.

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Picture credit Emiko Davies

8) Is the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ true for you? Do you think of your birthplace often and your family and friends back home?

It's true. I miss my family in Australia more than I ever have, even though I've lived out of home since I was 17 – and for decades have lived on the other side of the world. I think it's been having a family of my own that makes me miss my own family more and consider Canberra, my birthplace, home even though I haven't lived there in so long.

9) Do you think you will reside there forever or will you return home one day?

I've spent my whole life moving from one country to the other and have called Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing, Tianjin, Providence and Tuscany home for significant portions of my life. So staying put in one place isn't something I'm used to – but I would love to give my daughters the opportunity to experience their two cultures, Australian and Italian, equally. So we will see!

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Picture credit Emiko Davies


You can find photographer /cookbook author Emiko Davies on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/emikodavies/ to view her stunning feed or visit her website http://www.emikodavies.com/ and be inspired by some of her delicious recipes!

Kirsty Russell
Buona Pasqua
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Venerdí Santo - Good Friday

I have spent a few Easters in Italy and loved everything about them of course! I learned how to make
'i fiadoni molisani' with my mother-in-law, a traditional puff type pastry filled with ricotta, and I experienced the Good Friday Easter Procession which was unlike anything I'd experienced before. There was a heaviness in the air all day, and when the procession began, with it's band and choir walking through the 'centro storico' (the historic centre) of Campobasso in Molise, followed by a sea of people dressed in black, I felt the goosebumps rise all over me and watched as a small city came together to mourn the death of Jesus Christ. I'm not particularly religious, but it was a very deep reflection of tradition and culture and one of those moments you don't easily forget.
There are many processions held right across Italy on Good Friday. You can find and watch a lot of them on YouTube. Here is a snippet from the one held each year in Campobasso.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gLy1-OS1-g

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Pasqua - Easter

You won't find the Chocolate Easter Bunny in Italy! L'uovo di Pasqua (Easter Eggs), La Colomba di Pasqua (Italian Easter Dove Cake) and La Pastiera (wholegrain ricotta pie, traditionally from Naples) are just a few of the sweets you'll find at an Italian Easter lunch.
Easter eggs represent new beginnings, and doves, the symbol of peace.

There is a saying in Italy though : Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi! Which means, Christmas with family and Easter with whoever you like! Easter lunch is usually eaten like every other day at home with immediate family, and consists of a pasta dish for first course and for the main meal some capretto (baby goat) with a 'contorno' (side dish) like potato, greens and salad. For desert it is usually some 'Colomba di Pasqua', 'un amaro' (a digestive alcoholic drink) and an espresso. At Christmas we'd tend to hang around all day after lunch, but at Easter it would be out and about with our friends afterwards...

Here's a link to the Colomba di Pasqua Recipe -
http://www.academiabarilla.com/the-italian-food-academy/historical-recipes/alboino-colomba-easter-dove-cake.aspx

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Pasquetta - Easter Monday

Easter Monday, the day after Easter known as 'Pasquetta',  is a national holiday. It is tradition to go on a picnic that day as by then the weather is usually perfect for it and just what's needed after the extremely long and freezing cold winter.
We would take panini (rolls) with cold meats or leftover meat from the main course served at Pasqua lunch, frittata (omelette), bread, cheeses, leftover pasta and of course il vino! It is definitely a fun day.

Buona Pasqua a tutti! (Happy Easter to all)

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