Mo Rocca meets the energetic and always amiable Sonny Young, 71, of Rutland, Vt. Sonny and Mo walk through woods behind Sonny's house and tap a tree to make homemade maple syrup for a big family breakfast. On the morning's menu: pancakes, homemade country bread and other goodies.
Philadelphia native and spitfire Clara Corrado, 94, has triplet great-grandsons in the Air Force. The triplets are each stationed far from home, so Clara enlists Mo to help her make some of her best dishes to ship off to the three young military men. Italian Wedding Soup, and lemon-flavored pizzelles --and love -- make up these delicious care packages.
Miyoko, 80, grew up by the sea in the Land of the Rising Sun. She teaches Mo Rocca traditional Japanese curing and grilling techniques -- the main course is mackerel shioyaki. She also demonstrates how to make miso soup and cucumber salad. Miyoko has survived a lot in her life ... one of her secrets, "party hard!"
Doris, 88, is from Peabody, Mass., but her food is unmistakably Portuguese. Doris doesn't censor herself and has Mo in stitches as she teaches him roast pork, Portuguese donuts and a few nifty dance steps.
Lita is short for the Spanish word "abuelita" which means "little grandmother" -- but there is nothing little about her personality. Lita, 82, who lives in Hoschton, Ga., is a cheerleader for her homeland Costa Rica and its hearty cuisine. Lita shows Mo Rocca how to make some Central American staples including rice and beans and plantains maduros. She also introduces him to the furry loyal friend Canela.
Millie Martin, 70, who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., teaches Mo Rocca how to make down home Southern cooking. Hot cabbage, sweet potato pie and mac and cheese are served for lunch. And Millie's friend Pete breaks out the coals and hickory chips to grill up some ribs. In between cooking and eating, Mo and Millie sing in her church choir.
Ilene and Freddie Tsuhara, 71 and 73 respectively, are throwing a bash at their Concord, N.C., pad. Mo helps the couple assemble some fabulous appetizers including a twist on the classic: shrimp cocktail. There's also grilled pineapple and short ribs. And what's a cocktail party without cocktails? Mo learns some great potent potables from mix master Freddie including the Harvey Wallbanger.
Pakistani grandfather and Sarasota, Fla., resident Riaz Gilani is 96-years-old, but you wouldn't know it by the way he swings a golf club. Mo Rocca and Riaz hit the links and also cook some delicious Punjabi cuisine including the flatbread paratha and an aromatic beef and rice dish Riaz has dubbed "Rocca Rice." Riaz's voice is so rich and mellifluous, he can make reading the phonebook sound like Shakespeare!
Dave Whitney, 77, has fished all his life and he introduces Mo Rocca to the pastime on a lake in Lakeland, Fla. And of course, fish is also on the menu: bass fillets coated in potato chips. Since it's southern cooking, there's certainly going to be fried foods; hush puppies and biscuits. And there's a surprise for dessert!
Vincent, 57, who hails from Palm City, Fla., teaches Mo Rocca his father Pop's secret technique for making homemade mozzarella cheese along with some other delicious Italian specialties. Also, Vincent's cousin Sal stops by to make a shrimp bruschetta pizza and later Vincent and Mo pump some very serious iron.
Pete and Louie -- 63 and 61 -- live in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Central New York. Dinner consists of fresh-off-the-farm local fare including grilled lamb spiedies, Cornell chicken and peach crisp. Non-culinary activities include canoeing and naming favorite female vocalists.
Mo Rocca meets Sherryl, 52, a very young grandmother and her mother, Claire, whose family came from Syria before coming to the US. Mo, Sherryl and her family make a dish with stuffed eggplant skins and chicken. They also make stuffed meatballs called kibbeh with cherry sauce, and various appetizers. The big question -- will Mo give his blessing to the new man in Sherryl's life?
Kathy and George Boulukos of Freeport, Long Island, are as enthusiastic about sailing as they are about Greek cuisine. After hitting the high seas, Kathy shows Mo the ins and outs of filo dough; they make a molded spanakopita and rolled baklava, as well as a dish with shrimp and feta.
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