Monday, May 3, 2021

Please Join Me for Sobremesa and a Special #WinePW Event

I received a copy of Sobromesa: A memoir of food and love in thirteen courses by Josephine Camino Oria and 2 bottles of Norton wine for the purpose of review.  I received no monetary compensation for this post.  All writings and opinions are 100% my own.

Sobremesa (noun): Time spent being present at the table, lingering over a meal in conversation well after the food is gone.

Bodega Norton Wine and book

Come.....sit at my table and share Sobremesa with me........
Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla offered a second, special Wine Pairing Weekend event this month.  She gathered those who were interested the opportunity to receive the Memoir, Sobremesa, written by Josephine Camino Oria to read and to get inspiration for a dinner that we would then pair with wines from Argentina.

Norton Chardonnay

I got two bottles of wine from Bodega Norton in Argentina.  I decided to open the Chardonnay to pair with the dish I chose to share with you today.

Bodega Norton consists of 5 vineyards spread over the foothills of the Andes Mountains.  The bottle I opened was made of 100% Chardonnay grapes chosen from vineyards that are 30-50 years old.  The website says that it is aged in French Oak Barrels before release.  This surprised me because I did not get any oak at all.  Not on the nose nor on the tasting.  

What I did get was a crisp, clear, citrusy wine that I think is perfect for the approaching summer months.  I have not yet tried the Norton Privada, a red family blend.  I will be enjoying that later in the month and be sharing my thoughts with you, so stay tuned.

Sobremesa Memoir by Josephine Caminos Oria

I want to talk about this memoir for a moment.  This memoir was all about life.....and death....and signs from heaven....and angels and spirits....and family....and miracles...

I took this book with me as we left to drive 2 days to Florida where we were fortunate enough to spend 5 days before driving 2 days back home.

The day before we left I got a call that my dearest friend was admitted to the hospital with COVID.  She was not allowed visitors.  We decided to go on our vacation as planned.  I sent her a text...."you will be home before we, see you when we get back".

In this memoir Josie, as she is known by her family and friends, has a guardian angel.  He shows up whenever something major is going to happen in Josie's life.  She does not recognize him but she does recognize his love.

Josie and her family are very Catholic, as am I and my family and as was Kirsten.  Josie and her family get signs from God on a regular basis.  I too, get signs from God and Kirsten was very tuned into God and the messages he would send.

In the interest of not writing a book but in showing how well I related to this memoir and it's familiarity I am going to share a story of my Pops when he was dying.  During the days before his death, my Pops would tell me "I know you can't see them but there is a little girl and a little boy standing right there in front of me". He could describe what they were wearing and he said the little girl was always there while the little boy would come and go.  My response was how appropriate that my Dad's guardian angels were children.  My Pops loved kids and they loved him.

A day or two before he passed, Kirsten was spending time with him and Pops said that these kids were finally speaking to him.  They kept saying "come home".  He told her he tried to tell them he was home but they didn't understand.  Kirsten told him she thought they were asking him to come home to Heaven, he responded "Do you really think so?" and she responded she absolutely did.  This is only one of numerous things that my Pops shared with us when he was waiting to go home to our Lord.  There are so many things that I could share. Sometimes I think perhaps I should write a memoir myself.

While I was reading this memoir, as I got to the section where Josie was unexpectedly losing her mother, I got the call that the doctors could do nothing more for Kirsten and were going to remove the ventilation system.  We got this call the night before our final leg of the journey home.  We knew that we could do nothing for Kirsten but Frank drove straight through so that we could be home for her husband,John and help him with this terrible loss.  

I sobbed and railed and ranted on that ride home as I read about Josie doing the same when trying to get to her mother as she left for heaven.

Needless to say, I loved this memoir.  There are several discussion questions that we were asked to share.  Above I have answered my belief regarding signs, angels and spirits.  I'm going to take just a moment longer to talk to you about dreams in which we get assistance from those we love and who have passed.

My first husband's mother was a very dear lady.  A wonderful mom to me and an excellent grandma to my children.  She died very young.  When my son was a teenager and we were going through some rough times with him, she would often come to me in my dreams.  We would have long, sincere and thoughtful discussions about him and how to best help him.  I would always awaken with renewed hope and sense of peace.

My parents visit in my dreams quite often but it is not only family that visits with me.  When Frank was in the hospital after his powered parachute crash, my friend Father Rooney, who had been transferred from our parish, came to me in a dream to assure me that he was going to be fine.  The next day I learned that Father Rooney had passed away in a freak boating accident.

So I was very comfortable with Josie's thought and beliefs even though I was reading this memoir during a very trying time in my life.  The memoir is interspersed with family recipes.  There are a ton I want to try but today I decided to make a Ricotta Gnocchi with a Brown Butter Sage Sauce for Meatless Monday and to pair it with this lovely bottle of Chardonnay.

Ricotta Gnocchi

I only made a third of the recipe that was written in the book.  Josie says that the recipe as written would feed 7 or one granddaughter coming to terms with the death of her abuela.   I was only feeding 3 of us and we were coming to terms with the death of our dearest Kirsten but we still had enough for us and a tray to go into the freezer for a later meal.  

I may make that second tray with a bolognese sauce to pair with the Red Blend generously provided by Norton.

I have made Potato Gnocchi in the past but this is the first time I have made Ricotta Gnocchi or even had Ricotta Gnocchi.  I was blown away at how easy it was to make and how scrumptiously delicious this recipe was.

Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

The gnocchi are light and airy.  They are tender and melt in your mouth delicous.  The browned butter sage sauce comes together in minutes and is perfect with these little pillows of goodness.  The Norton Chardonnay was crisp, bright and fresh.  It played very well with the buttery, sage scented sauce used for the gnocchi.

Ricotta Gnocchi Pin

One of my favorite things about this memoir is when Josie is sharing her mother's and grandmother's recipes that they prepared using punados (handfuls), dedos (fingers), pizcas (pinches) and poquitos  (little bits).  Reading these things made me feel like I was back in my grandmother's kitchen as I watched her cook and bake.  

Pasta, Cheese, Vegetarian, Meatless, Sage
Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 3 large servings or 6 first course servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Noqui de Ricota with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Noqui de Ricota with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

These gnocchi are light and airy. They are tender and melt in your mouth delicous. The browned butter sage sauce comes together in minutes and is perfect with these little pillows of goodness.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 25 Min


  • 10 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 T. butter
  • 7-10 sage leaves


  1. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, parmesan, ricotta, salt and pepper.  Add the flour 1/3 c. at a time until a sticky dough ball is formed.  You may not need the entire last third cup.  
  2. Turn the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle.  Cut the rectangle in half and then cut each half into quarters.  
  3. Roll each quarter into a log and then cut each log into bite size pillow.  Place onto parchment or a silicone mat.  **At this point any gnocchi not being used for dinner can be placed in the freezer and then transferred into a bag, once frozen, for later use.
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the gnocchi to the pot and let cook for a minute or two until they rise to the top.  Allow to cook another 30 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon and adding to the pan containing the Browned Butter Sage Sauce.
  5. While the water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a skillet over med high heat.  Cook and swirl the pan until the butter is nutty smelling and browned.  Add the sage leaves and cook until they are crisped.  Remove from heat.  Remove the sage and set some aside for garnish, discarding the rest.  Cover the skillet and set aside until gnocchi are ready to be added.
  6. Once gnocchi are added and coated with the brown butter, divide between serving dishes and garnish each with a sage leave.  Pass additional parmesan cheese for sprinkling.


Adapted from a recipe found in the memoir, Sobremesa, by Josephine Caminos Oria.



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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Thanks for sharing this!! I love that you joined this party. Cheers.

  2. Please accept my condolences for the loss of your dear friend. It's such a sad time these days, and I'm so sorry that she couldn't be vaccinated in time to save her from the cruel disease.

    And congratulations to your husband for his 70th.

    be well... mae at

  3. Thank you for sharing this review and your experience. We have just gone through a death in our family as well, my dear brother-in-law. He was going through so much intense pain and the doctors couldn't figure it out. So, a suicide, and we were all worried and overwhelmed, even though he trusted Jesus. His granddaughter had a wonderful dream set in a beautiful mountain meadow, in which he reassured her and his wife and everyone that he was home, and loved them. So helpful and encouraging.

    1. Yes, it is very nice when they come to see you and let you know that they are peaceful. My brother also took his own life, very hard to understand and so many questions about what I could have done to help him.


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