Hi, I'm Leah.
41 Peacock is named after the address that my great-great grandfather lived at when he moved to Buffalo, NY from Marianopoli, Sicily in the early 1900s. This site is an exploration of my ancestry, heritage, cooking, and traveling. What better way to explore my ancestry than through cuisine? I decided to dive head first into Sicilian-specific dishes and Polish-focused food. In doing so, I have realized so much has been lost. For most Americans, Sicilian meals have largely been folded into Italian menus and Polish pierogis arrive processed, boxed, and frozen. The cuisines have been cheapened, and the heritage has been stripped out. I am doing a lot of research to try and bring back what has been lost. In exploring my ancestry, I am finding out more about myself.
I hate to fly, but I love to travel.
Drinking Guinness in Ireland, watching the Military Tattoo in Scotland, drinking tea in Wales, seeing the change of the guard in England, eating tapas in Spain, frolicking the lavender fields in France, visiting the towns of my ancestors in Sicily, eating pretzels at Oktoberfest in Germany, or visiting the towns of my other ancestors in Poland – European travel excites me. To the left, this is me on a mountaintop in Montserrat, Spain, posing like a tourist.
If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I drink tea like I’m an Irishman. It is not unlike me to drink seven cups a day. I love all kinds of tea- black, herbal, green. There really is no tea that I am not interested in trying. I love tea so much that I decided to grow tea herbs this year so that I can make my own tea blends. The photo to the right is me at my favorite tea plantation, Cha Gorreana on São Miguel in the Azores. It is Europe’s oldest, and currently only, remaining Tea plantation. Family owned and operated since 1883. One thing most tea lovers ignore are the chemicals used to ward off plagues and insects on tea plants. Gorreana does not use any chemicals on their plantations since the plants’ natural plagues do not survive the island’s climate.
I like eating.
I love all kinds of food, which has led to a passion for preparing foods. I do not claim to be the best chef, but I like to cook and bake. During the Winter, I love crock-pot stews and roasted root vegetables. During the Summer, I love to grill on the deck and find meals that use our CSA share and garden herbs. My latest ambition is discovering traditional Sicilian and Polish dishes that help me to connect with my heritage. See the recipes here. To the left, this is me in Ireland eating a crepe from a genius crepe shop.