Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm in a Nana State of Mind

My dad's side of the family is Italian. My grandparents on his side were very Italian. I can remember staying at their house on the weekends and just cooking and eating and eating and cooking. Sometimes my Nana's sisters (my great-aunts) would come over and cook with us. We made homemade pastas and sauces and there was usually always something going on in the kitchen.

Today I had to go for my very first mammogram. NOT a pleasant experience. So even before I went, I knew I was going to want some comfort food tonight. Hence, the Nana-mode. I stopped at the way home at the Italian pork-store in town, DaVinci's, and bought some of my favorite pasta, Cavatelli. We used to make this one from scratch but there just isn't time and I've never made it as well as Nana did. I've got meat sauce simmering that has both ground beef and ground Italian sausage. The sauce itself is all made by me (short of growing and picking the tomatoes myself, that is). We have our favorite brand of grated parmesan cheese, the Locatelli. It will be one heck of a feast here tonight. I've got my apron on and am just loving the smells coming from the kitchen.

Having come from a big Italian family and living in New York to moving to the South, dealing with the different foods was a major adjustment. The pork store only opened up maybe a little under two years ago. It's funny because the guy that owns it looks exactly like my dad. The first time I went in there I almost screamed. Then I took Nick in there and he heard the guy arguing with his wife and he was like "Is Grandpa here?" So then just for fun I took Frank in there without warning him who the owner looked like and he almost screamed, as well! Ah, good times. So anyway, when that store first opened up, I bought some of the Cavatelli from them and made it for dinner one night and just about cried. Frank and the boys looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. It was just being a little girl again at Nana's house!

It's a good memory. One that will stay with me forever and tonight, I raise a toast to my Nana and all that she taught me.


carol at A Second Cup said...

Beautiful...just beautiful

Roo said...

Very sweet!

Funny thing is the one thing I remember that I really liked from my German paternal grandmother are her homemade hamburgers. I don't remember them being anything truly special about them other than they tasted good. I think she steamed them instead of just frying them. Then she would put them in the bun and wrap them in wax paper until we were ready to eat. They were yummy.

Grandmas are special people and regardless of the issues we had in later years I still have very fond memories of this woman.

Thanks for reminding me to keep her close in my mind.