Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Food Passion! Time spent with MOM

This can be considered food related or not.  It depends on how you my loyal readers interpret it.

My passion for baking and cooking has developed through the years because of my family roots.

I was born into a family where the love of food and necessary came together to make the heart of family.

My grandmothers on both sides of our family were of different decent.  Grandma S. was English and Grandma R.(Nana) was Slovak.  Both married 100% Italian men from different areas in Italy.  Frontone and Naples, Italy.  Their style was similar but their end results slightly different. The end results were wonderful so I have fond food memories of both grandparents for which I am so grateful.

Grandma S lived with for some time her husbands family and then to have Grandpa S and his brothers build a two family home where the home was connected by one door keeping the families very close.  Grandma learned all about Italian food from her mother- in- law and sister- in- law but to make it her own she added her touch of ingredients which were lots of grated fresh cheese and whatever meats were available during those early years. Making Tortelli were made with whatever chicken and meats they had.  Grinding the meats using a hand grinder are so clear that I can picture it still today very vividly. Her ravioli (tortelli)were huge.  She used a glass to cut out the round shape pasta pieces and used two pieces for each Tortelli.

 My Aunt Rose, and Aunt Anna were great bakers so Grandma learned a lot from them especially their specialty biscotti. YUM!  **I actually have Aunt Anna's Biscotti recipe which I'll link at the bottom of page.

For two years I lived with my Dad's parents as mom and dad moved because of jobs and my parents didn't want me to change schools.  My memories of those times are really imbedded in my mind and I am so thankful now I had that time to get to know them well.  At the time I did cry a lot.  Not because of living with them but I missed my parents.  It was only during the week I lived there but it still was hard.  Weekends I spent home with my parents and brother.

Grandma R (Nana) baking and cooking were the biggest influence on my mom style of baking and cooking at first but after mom and dad married they lived with dad's family so there she learned more about Italian specialties of Biscotti and Ravioli. 

I loved Sunday's at Grandma and Grandpa's.  We would all sit around a huge round dining room table and my brother and I and at times cousins too would play under the table before dinner was served.  I loved that!  I guess it was our play house.  Grandma didn't complain ever we were in her way!

Now I'll get to the point that I have wanted to and that is telling you about mom.  Mom truly was and still is at 91 going on 92 a big influence on my baking and cooking.  She truly is the I LIKE TO BAKE AND COOK lady.  She loved doing both and so do I!  You don't get many who love to do both but both her and I do. I think it's pretty amazing to have that passion.


I wrote a cookbook almost 3 years ago and her recipes are a big part of that book.  I learned to be creative by using what I had in my kitchen.  There is rarely a time I can't put a meal together in minutes using vegetables, pasta and tomatoes with whatever meat, chicken or fish on occasion I have in freezer or refrigerator. Quite honestly you can too!  Just have confidence that you can do it.  I never give it much thought actually having a family to raise I just did it and times were not always easy but I did it.  One nice idea is breakfast anytime.  It works and most families like breakfast dishes.

I visit mom every month and although she doesn't do any of the above anymore we still talk about food and yes I take with me a cooler full of homemade foods and desserts which she waits for with anticipation.  She likes to give out some of my desserts so I have to bring lots if you know what I mean?  She takes pride in telling those she shares desserts with that her DAUGHTER made them from scratch and that gives her great joy.

I took some photos recently of our time spent on this particular day.  She is usually a very serious woman and rarely laughs heartily.  I have to encourage a smile or two for pictures but this day her and I shared a few moments of hearty laughter.  So much I had tears in my eyes.  

I managed to capture these happy moments and like to share them with you.

Remember to make some memories.  Your parents and loved ones are a gift so make those moments ones you can cherish forever.

Here's the Biscotti link:

Aunt Anna's Biscotti recipe 



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