Memories from the table of an Italian-American Kitchen.
I have sweet memories of many beautiful childhood moments, like when we gathered around the table in the kitchen, of my grandparents Italian-American home. Of course, for a child, it was truly a magical place. My grandparents were immigrants from Southern Italy and brought many of their customs and traditions with them. I was fortunate to grow up watching my Nonno (grandfather) make his own wine and grow the vegetables in his garden. In addition, I also loved being with my Nonni (grandmother) and watching her cook and jar the tomatoes every season.
I always loved sitting around the table with my large Italian family.
My Nonni would always be the first to ask, “Did you eat?” and if I close my eyes, I can still imagine her there, in the kitchen, stirring the pot with her wooden spoon in one hand and the moppina (dish towel) in her other hand. Ready to wipe up a spill or to handle something hot.
Sundays & Holidays
The noisy sharing of food, as deep bowls of pasta with homemade tomato sauce and the meatballs (oh, those meatballs!), fresh green beans, cuccuza (Italian squash) and crusty semolina bread were brought to the table. My grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, would all gather around that table. We celebrated every Sunday and every holiday. There was lively exchanging of stories and many opinions on everything!
When we gathered there was laughter, there was food and there was lots of love.
Through the Years
Through the years, I’ve shared the memories and meals of my childhood with my own children. At times following a family recipe or simply my own interpretation. Often telling the story behind our Italian-American traditions For instance, why did we eat fish on Christmas Eve? Furthermore, by simply explaining that Arancini is a ball of rice, that has been stuffed with cheese, coated with bread crumbs and then usually deep fried. (Seriously, what is not to love about that!)
Starting when they were small, I encouraged my children to taste the food that I put on the table for them. My kids (now grown and almost grown) have all turned out to be adventurous eaters. They now have in turn, introduced me to a variety of ethnic foods, a world of spices and new healthy options. I am now enjoying fusing the classic dishes I grew up with a modern twist. These new and exciting meal plan choices for simple meals and party planning is what I look forward to sharing with you.
Have a seat so you can join me for some old and new memories. I still love sitting around the table with family and friends. ~ Rosanna